Driver Licensing

 

For Learners / Students

 

 

Australia

 

All contents copyright ©, Drive and Stay Alive, Inc., 2003 onwards, unless specified otherwise. All rights reserved.

 

IMPORTANT: click here to read the DISCLAIMER


 

 

L

For details of regulations governing

Learner ('Student') Licences/Permits

click here

 

P

For details of regulations governing

 Provisional or Probationary Licences

click here

 

P

 

 

The following tables have kindly been provided for Drive and Stay Alive, Inc., by 

Ken Smith, Esq., FACRS; of Smithworks Consulting, Queanbeyan, NSW, Australia

 

Introduction:  A person may learn to drive in Australia either with a professional driving instructor or with another licensed driver accompanying them.  Conditions relating to the learner and accompanying driver are set out in this table and the notes following.  Although the general approach is similar each Australian State and Territory has its own rules and requirements.  

 

Special conditions apply to learning to ride and drive motorcycles and heavy vehicles.  These are not covered in this table.

 

Learner Licence or Permit

Condition

NSW

Victoria

Queensland

Western Australia

South Australia

Tasmania

Australian Capital Territory

Northern Territory

Minimum age

16

16

16 years 6 months

16 years 6 months

16

16 (can sit for knowledge test at 15/11mths)

15 years 9 months

16

Minimum duration

6 months

6 months continuous if under 25; 3 months if over

6 months in two years

 

6 months

6 months

6 months

Nil

Demerit points

No demerit but infringements can result in loss of licence

5 in one year

4 in one year

 

4

4 in one year or 12 in 3 years

12 in three years

NT exempt

Log book practice

50 hours

(recommended) 120 hours supervised driving practice

Voluntary log book in official learner driver’s guide

25 hours in Phase II

If undertaking competency based training

50 hours

Recommended 50 hours but not recorded.

N/a

Speed limit

80 km/h

Posted speed limits

Posted speed limits

100 km/h

80 km/h, but up to 100 if with licensed driving instructor in driving school car with dual controls

80 km/h

Posted speed limits

80 km/h unless participating in an approved training course

Other

Licence tenure 36 months

 

 

Phase 1 and Phase II Learner Permit.  Driving test to pass to Phase 2

Accompanying driver must have held licence for at least 4 years

 

Supervising driver must have had full licence for continuous period of two years

Must have completed Road Ready course through school, college or private provider

If eligible - Subsidised 10 hours theory and 8 hours driving training

General:  Before a learner’s permit is issued applicants must show proof of identity and residence, pass a knowledge test of road rules and an eyesight test.  Learner permit holders must be accompanied at all times by a fully licensed driver (i.e. holding a full licence not a provisional or probationary licence and not under suspension); both learner and accompanying driver must be under the legal blood alcohol limit. In most jurisdictions learner’s permits are issued for manual or automatic transmission vehicles; if automatic the learner is restricted to that type.  Generally towing is prohibited while on a learner’s permit (in ACT trailer to 750kg is permitted).  While the learner is at the wheel a plate 150mmx150mm showing a black ‘L’ on a yellow field must be displayed on the front and rear of the vehicle. 

 

Alcohol:  The general prescribed blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in Australia is 0.05%, with zero for drivers of heavy vehicles, dangerous goods vehicles, emergency vehicles, public service vehicles (including buses, taxis and hire cars), and driving instructors and supervisors of learner drivers.  For learner and provisional licence holders the limit is 0% or, in the ACT, 0.02%.

 

In all Australian States and Territories the learner’s permit and driver’s licence is a credit card sized photographic licence.  Proof of identity is stringent because the licence once issued is a primary form of identification for other purposes. 

 

 

Copyright © 2004, Ken Smith, FACRS; Smithworks

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Provisional or Probationary Licence

Condition

NSW

Victoria

Queensland

Western Australia

South Australia

Tasmania

Australian Capital Territory

Northern Territory

Minimum age

17 (for P1 [red] licence)

18

17

17

16 years 6 months

17

17

16 years 6 months

Minimum duration

P1 (red) 18 months.

P2 (green) 2 years

3 years

3 years if under 23; 2 years if 23 or 24; 1 year if over 24

2 years (issued with full licence if 19 or over at time of applying)

 

Hold Provisional licence until age 19 or for 2 years.  If any demerit points, Provisional licence to be held for 2 years or until age 20

Issued under age 22:  3 years; 22-24 until age 25; over 24 1 year

3 years.  After 6 months can do optional ‘Road Ready Plus’ course at own expense and may remove P plates

1 year

Demerit Points

P1, 3; P2 6

5 in one year

4 in one year

12 over 3 years

4

4 in one year or 12 in three years

4 points; 8 points if have completed Road Ready Plus course

NT exempted

Driving test

Driving test to obtain P1; Hazard Perception Test to obtain P2; Driver Qualification Test (advanced HPT and road rules and safe driving test after holding P2 for two years)

Yes

Qsafe driving test

Driving test to pass from Learner Phase I; Hazard Perception Test and assessment of log book to pass to Provisional licence

Driving test or competency based training with accredited driving instructor using log book to record competency in specific tasks.  Licence issued on instructor’s certification

Competency based driving test.  If failed applicant must wait 28 days before taking another test

Driving test with ACT Government examiner or training with accredited driving instructor using log book

Yes

Speed limit

P1 90 km/h; P2 100 km/h

Posted speed limits

Posted speed limits

Posted speed limits

100 km/h

80 km/h

Posted speed limits

100 km/h

Other

P1:  Permitted to tow trailers to 250kg

1) High powered car restriction:  Power/weight ratio exceeding 125 kw/tonne or 3.5 litres/tonne

2) If licence suspended during first year of probation, restricted to one passenger for twelve months after licence reinstated

 

 

 

 

 

Zero BAC

 

Note:  Victoria refers to this licence as ‘Probationary’; all other States and Territories refer to it as ‘Provisional’

Demerit points are applied against a licence for traffic and other offences on a scale from 2 for minor offences to 6 for a major offence.  For fully licensed drivers the maximum is 12 in one year after which a licence is suspended.  Lower maximum limits apply for learners and provisional/probationary licence holders (see table).  Zero BAC applies to provisional licence holders in most States (0.02 in ACT).  Alcohol offences do not normally attract demerit points:  fines and mandatory licence suspensions apply with court action for higher range BAC offences.

 

Provisional/probationary licence holders must display ‘P’ plate on front and rear of vehicle:  150mm x 150mm with red ‘P’ on white field (white on red in Victoria; in NSW a green ‘P’ plate in Phase 2 (see table)).  ACT licensees may remove ‘P’ plate if have completed ‘Road Ready Plus course (see table).

 

Provisional/probationary licence holders are restricted to vehicles with automatic transmission if driving test was done on automatic, except in South Australia.

 

 

Copyright © 2004, Ken Smith, FACRS; Smithworks

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