How to Apply for a Visitor’s Driving Licence in Tonga
If you want to rent a car and drive in Tonga and your driving licence is not issued by one of the visitor visa-exempt countries, simply your driving licence or International Driving Permit (IDP) is not enough. It is a legal requirement for visitors from non-visa exempt countries to obtain a Visitor’s Driving Licence to drive in Tonga. We’ll show you how to get a Tonga Visitor’s Driving Licence in this guide.
For more tips for driving in Tonga, see How to Drive in Tonga and the Tonga Transport Guide: 10 Ways to Get Around Tonga.
Wait! You Might Not Need a Visitor’s Driving Licence
Drivers from the visitor visa-exempt countries with a valid full driving licence are entitled to drive in Tonga. Overseas driving licences are valid for driving in Tonga for up to 12 months from the date of arrival. Visitors with licences from non-visa-exempt countries need to obtain a Visitor’s Driving Licence. Find out more in our guide, Can You Drive in Tonga with an Overseas Licence?
What You Need for the Visitor’s Driving Licence: Checklist!
Do you need to get a Visitor’s Driving Licence for Tonga? In order to apply for the licence, you need the following:
- To be 18 years old or above
- A full valid overseas driving license
- An International Driving Permit (if applicable)
- TOP$40 cash or to pay with card
Where to Get Your Visitor’s Driving Licence
Visitor’s Driving Licences can only be obtained on the two islands where you can hire a car in Tonga: Tongatapu and Vava’u.
Where to Get Your Driving Licence in Tongatapu
A Visitor’s Driving Licence can be purchased at the Ministry of Infrastructure in Nuku’alofa. The Ministry of Infrastructure is 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 signed. You will need to go into the Land Transport Division office of the building, which faces the road and is easy to spot with a sign in the door window.
Where to Get Your Driving Licence in Vava’u
Visitor’s Driving Licences are available to apply for at the Police Station in Neiafu. Find the police station on the corner of Tu’i and Fatafehi Roads. It has big clear signs on the building – you won’t miss it.
Car Rental Company Assistance
Some car rental companies, particularly in Nuku’alofa, offer assistance in getting the Visitor’s Driving Licence. They usually charge an extra TOP$10 than if you were to get the driving licence yourself. See which car rental companies offer this service in The Best Car Rentals in Tonga.
The Visitor’s Driving Licence Application Process
If you are 18 years of age or older, have a full valid driving licence (and an IDP if your licence is not in English – see more about the IDP for Tonga here), and TOP$40, getting the Visitor’s Driving Licence is easy.
How to Get the Visitor’s Driving Licence
At the Land Transport Division office in Nuku’alofa or the Pollice Station in Neiafu, ask for a Visitor’s Driving Licence. You will be asked whether you want a temporary licence or a permanent licence. The temporary licence is valid for three months and is usually what most visitors need.
Present your overseas driving licence along with the IDP, if your licence is not in English. Learn more about what licence you need in Can You Drive in Tonga With an Overseas Licence?
The licence officer will use your driving license and/or IDP to complete the form printed on a piece of cardboard which will be your Visitor’s Driving Licence. They will also photocopy your driving license for their records.
You will then be asked to pay the fee of TOP$40, which you can pay by cash or debit/credit card. You will be given your Visitor’s Driving Licence along with your receipt.
Now you can legally drive in Tonga! You’ll notice that there are some driving tips written on your Visitor’s Driving Licence. You can find more driving tips for Tonga here.
The Conditions of the Tonga Visitor’s Driving Licence
The conditions of the Tonga Visitor’s Driving Licence (Temporary) is as follows:
- It is valid for three months from the issue date
- The driving licence is for the named driver on the licence only, you cannot transfer the licence to anyone else
- You must be over the age of 18
- You must have the Visitor’s Driving Licence and your overseas driving licence on you when driving in Tonga.