To drive in Tonga, every foreign driver is required to obtain a Tongan driver license. Any visitor, who holds a valid driving license issued by the country of his residence, may be issued by the Tongan Principal Licensing Authority with the Tongan driver license entitling such person to drive the same class of motor vehicle as his domestic driver license allows him. To addition of the prescribed fee, the Principal Licensing Authority may prescribe to applicant to pass a driving test.
Any foreign visitor, who imports into the Kingdom a motor vehicle of which he is owner, must notify the Principal Licensing Authority within 48 hours of the importation. The owner must furnish particulars of the car registration and plates of the vehicle in the country where his car was last registered. The motor vehicle will be exempt from the registration and licensing until the expiration of 6 months from the date when the vehicle was last brought into Tonga.

The main Tongan road traffic rules:

  • Traffic moves on the left side of the road.
  •  The minimum driving age is 18 years.
  • The permitted blood alcohol level is 0.08%.
  • At roundabout, drivers are required to stop and give way to vehicles on their right side.
  •  Every owner of a cycle must register his cycle in the police office before using it on any public road. The police officer will affix to the bicycle a number plate.
  • Any person who is going to transport on any public road in any vehicles anything that together with the vehicle is of a total weight of more than three tones must apply to the Minister of Lands for a written permit to do that.
  • It is required to display the “L” plates on a private motor vehicle driven by a person under a learner permit.
  • Drivers may only use their horns in the case of a reasonable traffic warning. It is not permitted to use the warning device from 22:00 (10 p.m.) to 6:00 (6 a.m.) within Nuku'alofa, except for emergency purposes.
  • It is not permitted operate any motor vehicle having the steering column to the left without approval in writing of the Principal Licensing Authority.
  • It is not permitted to drive a motor vehicle or trailer which exceeds seven feet in width and 20 feet 6 inches in length without the consent of Cabinet.
  • It is permitted to park vehicles on the side of the road nearest the left hand side, except in the case of a one way road. Drivers keep the vehicle as close as is practicable to his left of the road.
  • It is illegal to operate a loaded motor vehicle or trailer if the load extends further forward than 18 inches from the foremost part and 9 feet 6 inches behind the axis of the rear wheels of the vehicle.
  • It is not permitted to park vehicles within 30 feet of an intersection, on a footpath, within 20 feet of either side of a pedestrian crossing, in front of any access road, on a bus stop.
  • It is illegal to overtake vehicle which has stopped or slowed down to yield the right of way. Overtaking is not permitted within 30 feet before an intersection.
  • It is illegal to make a turn at an intersection at any speed which exceeds 15 mph.
  • Drivers must give way to pedestrians crossing a road.
  • Before leaving a motor vehicle, a driver must stop the engine and apply the hand brakes.
  • All drivers must give a way to any ambulance, fire engine, police vehicle or power board vehicle which is exhibiting the appropriate flashing light.
  • When an accident is occurred, a driver must stop and report the accident at the nearest police station. He also must give his name and address, the name and address of the car owner, the numbers of the registration plates and license of the motor vehicle to a police officer.
  • Every driver must stop at the request or signal of any police officer in the uniform and give his name and address and produce his driver license and car registration certificate.
  • The police phone number is 911.

Tonga Republic Marking

 Driving Overseas - Short Information