Can You Drive in Tonga With an Overseas Licence?

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What Licence Do You Need to Drive in Tonga?

Renting a car gives you the ultimate freedom to explore the islands of Tonga. However, visitors to Tonga will not only need a valid driving licence from overseas, as well as an International Driving Permit if their licence is not in English, but they’ll also need to obtain a Visitor’s Driving Licence. So can you drive in Tonga with an overseas licence? No, but you’ll still need it if you want to drive in Tonga, as we explain in the guide below.

For more information on driving in Tonga, see How to Drive in Tonga.

The Visitor’s Driving Licence

The Visitor’s Driving Licence in Tonga is legally required for visitors to drive in Tonga. It is valid for three months.

The applicant must be over the age of 18 (although you need to be over 21 to hire a car in Tonga) and hold a valid and full driving licence, no matter which country it is from. Find more information on what driving licence you need below! Otherwise, skip to How to Get a Tonga Visitor’s Driving Licence for more details on the Visitor’s Driving Licence.

Can You Drive in Tonga With an Overseas Licence?(c)

What Driving Licence Do You Need to Drive in Tonga?

In order to get your Visitor’s Driving Licence, thus be able to legally drive in Tonga, you will need a full valid driving licence, i.e. not a provisional or a learner’s licence.

Your driving licence can be from any country, but if the licence is not in the English language, then an International Driving Permit (IDP) is also required. See Do You Need an International Driving Permit for Tonga? for more advice on the IDP.

You will need to present your overseas driving licence (and IDP, if necessary) when applying for your Visitor’s Driving Licence. You’ll also need these documents available when driving in Tonga.

Can You Drive in Tonga With an Overseas Licence?(c)

How to Get the Visitor’s Driving Licence

For driving in Tonga, you will need your overseas driving licence, your IDP if your licence if not in English, and a Tonga Visitor’s Driving Licence. The latter can only be obtained once you are in Tonga.

Where to Apply for the Visitor’s Driving Licence

A Visitor’s Driving Licence can be obtained in Nuku’alofa in Tongatapu and Neiafu in Vava’u.

In Nuku’alofa, get your Visitor’s Driving Licence from the Ministry of Infrastructure building at the Land Transport Division. It’s located on Alaivahamama’o Bypass Road after turning off Taufa’ahau Road at the corner with the Little India restaurant. Keep going past the BP gas station and you’ll see the building clearly labelled.

In Neiafu, Visitor’s Driving Licences are available to apply for at the Police Station on the corner of Tu’i and Fatafehi Roads.

How to Apply for a Visitor’s Driving Licence

To apply for the Visitor’s Driving Licence, you need to present your overseas driving license, as well as your IDP if required. Your details will be written onto a piece of printed cardboard which is your Visitor’s Driving Licence. You will then need to pay a fee of around TOP$40. You will then receive your Visitor’s Driving Licence and your receipt.

Now you can drive in Tonga! Move onto 10 Safety Tips for Driving in Tonga.

For a more detailed description of obtaining the Visitor’s Driving Licence, see How to Get a Tonga Visitor’s Driving License.

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