Getting your learner licence

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If you're at least 16 years old, you're ready to begin. The first step is to pass the Driver Knowledge Test (DKT).

Changes to the Graduated Licensing Scheme from 20 November 2017

Changes apply to the testing you need to progress through the licensing stages. In addition, P2 drivers who get suspended for unsafe driving will end up adding an extra 6 months to the time they need to spend on their P2 licence. Find out more.

Before you head off to the registry or service centre, you've got some preparation to do.

The first thing to do is read the Road Users' Handbook and the Driver licence section on the Roads and Maritime Services website.

To help you out, the Road Users' Handbook includes questions for you to tackle as you go through it. These are the kinds of test questions that you'll need to answer in the Driver Knowledge Test (DKT).

Electronic versions of the handbook and the DKT have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Greek, Korean, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese. The handbook – but not the test – is also available in Japanese.

Ready to go?

Heaps of people are doing licence tests all the time so you have to book. Book a test online.

When you go to do your test you'll need to take proof of your identity such as your birth certificate or passport, proof of signature and address, and you'll also need to pay a fee. You'll also have your eyes tested – for obvious reasons!

When you've passed

Congratulations – you are now an L plater. Learner licences are valid for five years, giving you plenty of time to practice and get moving towards the next step – your Hazard Perception Test (HPT).

If you are under 25 you'll need to wait at least 10 months before attempting the test. If you're over 25 you can attempt the test right away.

The Hazard Perception Test, as the name suggests, will give you an idea of how well you recognise and respond to hazards.

You need to pass this test to prepare for the next step – your driving test.

To make things absolutely clear, you are given a Learner Driver Log Book at the registry or service centre when you get your learner licence. The log book is your guide.

It's for you and your supervising driver (a driving instructor, parent or whoever is teaching you) to record your driving experience. You have to log at least 120 hours of driving – over at least 12 months – before you can attempt the test to get your Ps. It's a good idea to have a close look at the log book to find out what's expected of you.

Learner drivers 25 years and over are exempt from completing the Learner Driver Log Book.

To find out who can be your supervising driver go to Learning to Drive? Who's going to teach you?

Digital log book apps

You can now choose one of three new digital log book apps to record your driving experience and submit your log book hours. They do the same thing as the paper log book you'll be given, but electronically. Find out more.

Special rules

There are special rules for L platers. Make sure you get to know the following list because there are big penalties for breaking these rules, including losing your licence.

L platers must:

  • Be supervised at all times by the holder of a full Australian driver licence
  • Have L plates displayed clearly at the front and rear exterior of the car (or an L sign on the roof of your instructors vehicle) when driving. L plates cannot be fixed on the window inside the car
  • Observe a maximum speed limit of 90 km/h, and observe the posted speed limit where it is below 90km/h
  • Not tow any other vehicle
  • Not exceed zero blood alcohol concentration (in effect, this means you cannot drink before driving)
  • Not supervise another learner driver
  • Only carry the number of passengers that can be properly seated in seats and restrained by approved seat belts or child restraints
  • Only drive a vehicle with a seatbelt fitted to the driver's position and wear the seat belt
  • Not drive with any passengers in or on the boot of the vehicle

Restricted P1 provisional licence

Under 25-year-old learner drivers living in Brewarrina, Walgett, Bourke, Broken Hill, Balranald and Hay can now apply for a restricted P1 provisional licence so they can drive to work, education and medical related appointments. Read more about the restricted P1 licence.

Learner no more

If you can say 'yes' to all the questions in the following list, then you're ready to have a go at the driving test to get your P1 licence.

  • Have you passed the Hazard Perception Test?
  • Have you logged at least 120 hours at the wheel, including 20 hours night driving?
  • Have you held your learner licence for at least 12 months?
  • Are you aged 17 or older?

Read more about getting your P1 licence.