Australian Drivers License
Australian Drivers Licence
A driver licence is required in Australia before a person is permitted to drive a motor vehicle of any description on a road in Australia. The responsibility for the regulation and enforcement of road use, including light vehicle driver licensing is the responsibility of the state and territory governments. The rules for the obtaining of licences vary between states and territories, but a driver licence issued in one Australian state or territory is generally recognised and valid in the other states and territories. In 1997, a national drivers licence scheme was agreed by the states to provide uniform arrangements for the post-novice licensing of drivers of motor vehicles, the renewal of licences, and their suspension and cancellation, and to facilitate the mutual recognition between Australian jurisdictions of driver licences when transferring between jurisdictions. In 2017, the federal government proposed creation of a national drivers licence database that would involve state or territory governments handing over the identities of drivers in a bid to toughen national security laws. The national ID database would be used to monitor public events, but could be transferred to a national drivers licence system with agreement from the states.
Classes of licences
All states and territories in Australia have a uniform driver licence system.
|C||Car licence||Covers vehicles up to 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass (GVM). GVM is the maximum recommended weight a vehicle can be when loaded. The licence allows the holder to drive cars, utilities, vans, some light trucks, car-based motor tricycles, tractors and implements such as graders, vehicles that seat up to 12 adults, including the driver.|
|R||Rider licence||Applies to motorcycle riders with any registrable motorcycle.|
|RE||Restricted Rider licence||Covers motorcycles matching the LAMS (Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme) list of motorcycles of each state. Generally this means abiding by a power-to-weight ratio and a total engine size limit. Riders must hold this licence for 12 months before being permitted to upgrade to a R class motorcycle licence.|
|LR||Light Rigid licence||Covers a rigid vehicle with a GVM of more than 4.5 tonnes up to 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9 tonnes GVM. This class also includes vehicles with a GVM up to 8 tonnes which carry more than 12 adults including the driver. A holder of a LR licence is also permitted to drive vehicles in class C.|
|MR||Medium Rigid licence||Covers a rigid vehicle with 2 axles and a GVM of more than 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9 tonnes GVM. A holder of a MR licence is also permitted to drive vehicles in class LR and lower.|
|HR||Heavy Rigid licence||Covers a rigid vehicle with 3 or more axles and a GVM of more than 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9 tonnes GVM. This class also includes articulated buses. A holder of an HR licence is also permitted to drive vehicles in class MR and lower.|
|HC||Heavy Combination licence||Covers heavy combination vehicles like a prime mover towing a semi-trailer, or rigid vehicles towing a trailer with a GVM of more than 9 tonnes. A holder of an HC licence is also permitted to drive vehicles in class HR and lower.|
|MC||Multi-Combination licence||Covers multi-combination vehicles like road trains and B-double vehicles. A holder of an MC licence is also permitted to drive vehicles in class HC and lower.|
The medical standards for drivers of commercial vehicles are set by the National Transport Commission and Austroads.
The driver of a vehicle carrying paying passengers (such as a school bus or tourist coach) is required to hold a driver licence depending on the size of the vehicle as well as a “Public Passenger Vehicle Driver Authority” which is issued by the state or territory Ministry of Transport.
Car licences – rules by jurisdiction
The official nomenclature for car licences varies in the states and territories, for example, “Driver’s Licence” or “Driver Licence”. However, “Driver’s Licence” is most commonly used.
The official names for learners also vary, for example, “Learner Driver Licences” or “Learner’s Permit”.
The minimum driving age for drivers varies between states and territories. Learner drivers may drive, under the supervision of a fully licensed driver, from 15 years and 9 months in the ACT, and 16 years in the other states and the Northern Territory. The minimum unsupervised driving age is 18 years in Victoria, 16 years and 6 months in the Northern Territory, and 17 years in all other states and the ACT.
After obtaining a licence, drivers continue to be subject to restrictions during a probationary period, which is two years in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, three years in the ACT, New South Wales and South Australia, and four years in Victoria.
Australian Capital Territory
The driver licensing authority in the Australian Capital Territory is the ACT Roads and Transit Authority (RTA).
The driving age in the ACT is 17 years, but after obtaining a licence, a driver is subject to restrictions during a three-year probationary period.
LVic.pngThe minimum age for obtaining a Learner Licence is 15 years and 9 months. The applicant for a Learner Licence must have completed a road safety program, called Road Ready, that is taught in many[vague] secondary schools or at a Road Ready Centre and pass a computerised road rules test.
The Road Ready course at a Road Ready Centre is a minimum of ten hours, during which an applicant learns the road rules, undergoes alcohol education and hazard perception training.
A Learner Licence is valid for two years. Learners must display black on yellow “L Plates” and drive under the supervision of a full Australian licence holder, who has held their licence for at least four years.
New South Wales registration plate P1 Probationary Driver.pngA learner driver can apply for a Provisional Licence if they are at least 17 years of age, and have held a Learner Licence for at least six months. They must complete a competency-based scheme with an ACT government-accredited driving instructor and during their accredited instructor driving lessons, complete a logbook containing 22 driving proficiencies. After a learner has passed all proficiencies, the logbook is turned over to RTA, which issues a provisional licence.
Alternatively, a provisional licence may be obtained by recording driving experience in the same logbook, with a supervisor who has held an open licence for 12 months for the class of vehicle used. The difference in using this method to obtain a provisional licence is that the logbook only records time spent driving, and not the learner’s ability to drive. While no minimum number of hours are required, Learners are advised when obtaining their Learner’s Licence, that 50 or more practical hours are recommended before attempting the practical test. Using this method, provided the driver has held their Learner’s licence for at least 6 months, they may book with RTA for the practical driving test.
If the driver has obtained a licence in an automatic transmission vehicle, an “A” is placed on the licence which restricts the licence holder to driving automatic transmission vehicles for 12 months. To remove the restriction before 12 months, the provisional driver must pass the practical driving exam in a manual transmission vehicle.
A Provisional Licence is valid for three years. Provisional drivers must display red on white “P Plates” for three years unless: (a) they take an additional road safety program Road Ready Plus after six months of obtaining the Provisional Licence; or (b) they are over 26 years of age and held their licence for six months. Provisional licence holders who have taken the Road Ready Plus (RRP) course, (commonly called a “P-off” course), or are over 26 years of age also get an additional four demerit point allowance. A “PC” condition is displayed on the licence, which indicates that the provisional driver can drive with “P plates not displayed”. Provisional drivers must have a zero blood-alcohol limit.
No speed restrictions are imposed on ACT learner or Provisional drivers, and they are permitted to drive the posted speed limit.
A driver can apply for a Full Licence after holding a Provisional Licence for three years.
New South Wales
The Roads and Maritime Services is responsible for driver licensing in New South Wales.
The minimum driving age in New South Wales is 16 years. The government introduced the Graduated Licensing Scheme in 2000 and therefore learners progress from a learner licence, to a provisional P1 licence, to a provisional P2 licence and finally to a full licence over an extended period of time. After obtaining a licence, a driver continues to be subject to restrictions during a three-year probationary period.
LVic.pngA learner licence is gained after: (a) the minimum driving age of 16 is met; (b) passing a touch-screen computer-based test Driver Knowledge Test; (c) provide identification; and (d) pass an eyesight test. Learners are permitted to drive accompanied by a supervising unrestricted licence holder. Learners are subject to numerous restrictions: (a) a maximum speed of 90 km/h; (b) a zero blood alcohol content limit; (c) cannot tow a trailer; and (d) and must conspicuously display black-on-yellow “L-plates” on the exterior of the vehicle while driving. Learners must complete at least 120 hours of driving practice including 20 hours of night driving and hold the learner licence for at least 12 months before a provisional P1 licence is issued. Since 16 December 2009, one hour with an instructor is equal to three hours of normal driving hours until a total of ten hours with an instructor. This equates to a maximum of 30 hours which can be accumulated at an advanced rate. Since 19 December 2009, learner drivers 25 years old and over are not required to complete a learner driver log book and are exempt from the twelve-month tenure.
Provisional P1 Licence
New South Wales registration plate P1 Probationary Driver.pngA provisional P1 licence (commonly called Ps and Reds) is gained after: (a) a minimum twelve months of holding a learner licence; (b) 120 hours (20 hours night drive between sunset and sunrise) of on-road driving experience; (c) successful completion of a computerised hazard perception test. and d) pass a driving test. The licence holder can drive unaccompanied but is limited to a maximum speed of 90 km/h, towing trailers of up to 250 kg and a zero alcohol content. Red-on-white “P-plates” must be displayed while driving. P1 drivers are limited to a total of four demerit points during the term of the licence, as compared to the thirteen-point limit on unrestricted licences. P1 drivers must hold the licence for one year before progressing to the next stage. In New South Wales the minimum age to be eligible for a provisional P1 licence is 17. As of 1 July 2007, new laws for P1 drivers have been introduced, including a limit of one passenger under the age of 21 between 11 pm and 5 am, and instant suspension for three months for any speeding offence. Furthermore, it is also now a requirement that red “P-plates” be displayed on the outside of the vehicle.
As of 20 November 2017, the Hazard Perception Test, became a requirement for learner drivers to progress to P1 Provisional license. P1 and P2 drivers are also prohibited from driving a vehicle with a power-to-weight ratio of or greater than 130 kilowatts per tonne as of 1 August 2014, replacing the previous law of being prohibited from driving vehicles with 8 or more cylinders and being turbocharged or supercharged (diesel vehicles exempt) If a P1 or P2 licence holder is disqualified by a court for a serious driving offence, they will have a one-passenger condition imposed on them at all times while on their P1 or P2 licence. It is also worth noting that any time a P1 or P2 licence is suspended or disqualified will NOT count towards the 12 months/24 months needed for the holder to progress to a P2/full licence.
Provisional P2 Licence
New South Wales registration plate P2 Probationary Driver.pngA provisional P2 licence (commonly known as Ps and Greens) is gained after one year on P1 license. The driver is restricted to a speed limit of 100 km/h, a zero alcohol limit and a maximum of seven demerit points; however, they are eligible to upgrade the class of their licence, such as those for heavier vehicles. P2 drivers must conspicuously display a green-on-white “P-plate” on the exterior of the vehicle at all times. P2 drivers must hold the licence for two years before progressing to the next stage. From 1 December 2016, P2 licence holders will no longer be permitted to use a mobile phone at all while driving or riding.
A full, unrestricted licence is gained after two years and successful completion of another computerised test. Unrestricted drivers licences are coloured gold.
The learner licence may be obtained at age 16. Learner drivers may not use a mobile phone and must be supervised by a full licence holder and may not drive faster than 80 km/h. After holding the learner licence for six months a provisional licence may be obtained. Once the provisional licence is obtained, it must be held for a minimum of 2 years before obtaining the full northern territory licence.
New South Wales registration plate P1 Probationary Driver.pngThe provisional licence period is a minimum of two years.
Provisional drivers need to comply with all road rules and traffic laws and other restrictions: eg., the speed limit is 100 km/h, The Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) must be a zero, provisional drivers are not permitted to use a mobile phone in any form whilst driving, including hands-free devices and texting. Accumulating five or more demerit points within a 12-month period will trigger action against a provisional driver.
Provisional drivers must display approved P-plates that are clearly visible to the front and rear of the vehicle and which do not obstruct the driver’s vision. P-plates must have the letter ‘P’ in red on a white background. The plate must be a minimum of 150mm wide and 150mm tall. P-plates must not be displayed when the person driving the vehicle is not a provisional driver.
Source: Northern Territory Department of Transport
The Department of Transport and Main Roads is responsible for driver licensing in Queensland.
LVic.pngPersons may apply for their Learner Licence at 16 years of age, passing a written Road Rules Test. Learners under 25 must hold a licence for at least one year and log a total of 100hrs on-road driving experience (including 10hrs night driving) in the issued logbook. However, a logbook exemption can be applied for, meaning the learner will not need to submit a logbook with 100 hours of driving, but will need to hold a Learner Licence for a minimum of 12 months before going for the provisional licence. Learners over 25 years of age are not required to complete a log book of 100 logged driving hours; however, they may voluntarily do so. Learners must display yellow L-plates and are not speed restricted by the licence. Learners must be accompanied by an open licence holder who has held the relevant class open licence for at least 1 year. The drinking level must be 0.00 for a learner and instructor must be under 0.049.
Provisional licence 1
New South Wales registration plate P1 Probationary Driver.pngP1 is a transitional licence for applicants 25 years old or younger. Applicants must be at least 17 years of age, held a Learner Licence for a minimum of twelve months, recorded a minimum of 100 hours driving experience in the learner logbook with a supervisor who has held an open licence for twelve months for the class of vehicle used or an accredited driving instructor, and has passed a practical driving test. P1 drivers must at all times display red P-plates. P1 licence holders may upgrade to P2 licences after holding their P1 licences for one year and passing the hazard perception test. There are restrictions to the power of the vehicles and the number of passengers allowed in relation to P1 drivers. Drivers over 25 years of age who successfully pass their practical driving test are able to skip the P1 licence stage and progress directly to the P2 licence stage.
Provisional licence 2
New South Wales registration plate P2 Probationary Driver.pngIf not upgraded from P1, applicants must have held a Learner Licence for a minimum of twelve months. P2 drivers must display green P-plates. P2 licence holders may upgrade to an open licence after holding their P2 licence for two years (one year for P2 licence holders over 25 years of age). As with P1 licences, there are restrictions to power and passengers but they are less restrictive than P1 licences.
The Queensland Government is replacing the current laminate Driver Licence & Heavy Vehicle Driver Licence with a more secure, durable and reliable licence. All licensing and personal information that is currently on the face of the laminated licence will remain on the face of the new card, and the address on the back. From 2005, Queensland licences have been called a “Driver Licence” (as opposed to the traditional “Driver’s Licence” or the variant “Driving Licence”), and no longer carry information about the holder’s organ donor status. The Australian Organ Donor Register is now used for national registration of tissue donation status. Elderly drivers are required to have their licences renewed more often and are required to have compulsory eye tests, which does not include colour vision. For more information on driver’s licences in Queensland, see Department of Transport and Main Roads and click on Licensing.
A Queensland Driver charged with a drink driving offence may apply for a work licence that if granted by the Magistrates Court would entitle the driver to drive for work purposes whilst their licence is suspended.
UD Class Licence
Queensland had a special class UD licence which allows operation of heavy agricultural or purpose-built vehicles without an MC or HC licence. No new licences of this type will be issued after 1 January 2014, but existing licences remain valid.
The Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure is responsible for driver licensing in South Australia.
LVic.pngA person who is at least 16 may apply for a Learner’s Permit (commonly referred to as Ls) in South Australia. Applicants must pass a theory test to obtain a driving permit. A learner driver must always be accompanied by a Qualified Supervising Driver (that does not hold either a provisional or a probationary licence). Learners must display yellow L-plates, and may not have a blood alcohol content greater than zero and must not accumulate more than four demerit points. Learner drivers are allowed to travel at a maximum speed of 100 km/h, even where the posted speed limit is higher. Learner drivers are permitted to tow a single trailer.
New South Wales registration plate P1 Probationary Driver.png
To get a Provisional Licence (also called a probationary licence and commonly referred to as Ps), you must have held a learner’s permit for at least 12 months, be at least 17 years of age or have an equivalent interstate or overseas driver’s licence and be at least 17. If you had a learner’s permit, you must also have a log book showing you have had at least 75 hours driving experience (including at least 15 hours of night-time driving) which must have all been signed by the Qualified Supervising Driver. All applicants must pass a practical driving test or be signed off on several points by a driving instructor in a competency-based training course. Drivers are then issued with a P1 licence. The main restrictions on P-platers are a maximum speed limit of 100 km/h (even where the posted speed limit is higher), a requirement that no alcohol or party drugs be in the system, and not being allowed to accrue more than 4 demerit points. They must also display red P plates (shown on left).
Drivers who obtain a P1 provisional licence on or after 4 September 2010 must not drive a high-powered vehicle if they are under the age of 25. High powered includes vehicles with engines of eight or more cylinders, vehicles with turbocharged or supercharged engines (excluding diesel powered vehicles), vehicles that have been modified to increase engine performance, and nominated high-performance vehicles. High-powered vehicle restrictions do not apply to drivers over 25 years of age. P plates of any kind are not displayed when on the P2 licence.
A driver must have held a provisional licence (combined P1s and P2s) for at least 3 years (one year on P1 and 2 years on P2) before becoming a fully licensed driver. Fully licensed drivers have their restrictions on alcohol relaxed to 0.05 per cent blood alcohol concentration and may drive at the full speed limit (which is 110 km/h on many country roads).
LVic.pngA learner licence for cars may be obtained after reaching age 16. A person holding a learner licence may not exceed 80 km/h in speed or tow a trailer or boat, and may only drive with a BAC of zero. L plates must be displayed, and a supervisory driver with a full licence must sit in the front passenger seat. The supervisory driver must not have any periods of suspension or disqualification within the last two years. As of April 2009, there are separate L1 and L2 stages. After 3 months a Learner can go for a practical driving test, this test proves in the driver can drive safely. This test can be undertaken in an automatic or manual vehicle, if the L2’s test was undertaken in an automatic vehicle the learner can still go for their manual licence when the undertake the P’s test. (there is no plate change it still remains the yellow L plate) Once a Learner is on their L2’s they begin logging their driving hours, a learner must complete 50hours of driving and must be of the age of 17 before they can take the practical driving test. This test contains several sections including the “I left something behind” task.
As of 2 March 2015; L2 drivers have new speed restrictions in which they can drive at 90 km/h in a 90 or 100 zone and at 100 km/h in a 110 zone.
New South Wales registration plate P1 Probationary Driver.pngA P1 licence may be issued after reaching age 17, logging 50 practice hours, holding an L2 licence for nine months, and passing a practical driving test. A P1 licence is issued for one year. P1 drivers must remain under 100 km/h, have a zero BAC while driving, and display P plates. Provisional drivers may tow other vehicles. As of 2 March 2015; P1 drivers have new speed restrictions in which they can drive at 90km/h in a 90 or 100 zone and at 100km/h in a 110 zone. After 12 months, the licence converts to a P2 licence. P2 are still limited to driving at most 100km/h provided they don’t exceed the speed limit, and do not have to display P plates. They must have a BAC limit of zero to drive and the licence will be suspended if 4 demerit points are accumulated, contrasted with 12 for full licence holders. Drivers must hold the P2 licence for between 12 months and two years, depending on their age, to be issued a full licence.
Note: there are no vehicle restrictions in Tasmania.
VicRoads is the authority in Victoria responsible for the administration of driver licensing in the state.
The minimum driving age in Victoria is 18 years. A learner can drive at the age of 16 under the supervision of a fully licensed driver since 1966. After obtaining a licence, a driver continues to be subject to restrictions during a 4-year probationary period.
LVic.pngA Learner’s Permit may be obtained by a person over 16 years. The applicant must pass a computerised knowledge test and an eyesight test. Learner drivers must not consume any alcohol before driving (i.e. the Blood alcohol content (BAC) must be zero), and must be accompanied by a driver who holds a full driver licence and has a BAC below 0.05%. A Victorian learner’s permit is valid for 10 years from date of issue. Australian Drivers Licence
‘L’ plates must be displayed while driving, and must not tow a trailer. There are no special speed or vehicle restrictions.
Learner permits, P1 and P2 probationary licences may incur a maximum of 5 demerit points in any 12 month period, and 12 points in any 3 year period.
P1 (Red) probationary licence
Victoria registration plate P1 Probationary Driver.pngA P1 Probationary Driver Licence holder must be over 18 years of age and pass a computerised Hazard Perception Test, a practical driving test and an eyesight test. P1 drivers must display white-on-red ‘P-plates’.
An applicant for a Driver Licence must have held a Learner’s Permit for at least 12 months if the applicant is under 21 years at the time of applying; 6 months if the applicant is between 21 and 24 years; and 3 months for applicants aged over 25 years. If a driver obtained their Learner’s Permit after 1 July 2007, and are under 21 years of age, they must have logged 120 hours of practice, including 20 hours at night. Australian Drivers Licence
Probationary drivers must drive with a zero BAC, and are not permitted to drive ‘high powered vehicles’ (formerly those powered at more than 125 kW/tonne or 3.5 litres/tonne; now all petrol turbocharged and supercharged cars and any car of more than 6 cylinders, refer below). If the driver was tested in an automatic vehicle, the driver will have an “A” condition applied to their licence and are not permitted to drive a manual transmission vehicle. The “A” condition can be lifted anytime during the probationary period(s) by taking the practical drive test in a manual transmission vehicle.
There are no speed restrictions, however trailers may not be towed except for work purposes. P1 drivers have a peer passenger restriction which sees P1 drivers only able to carry no more than one passenger aged between 16–21 years old (excluding family members; exemptions may also be allowed by VicRoads for other reasons) at any time. They must not use any form of mobile phone including hands-free. Australian Drivers Licence
On 1 July 2008, what is considered a high power vehicle was redefined. P plate drivers were no longer allowed to drive cars with engines larger than a V6, cars that have a turbo or supercharger (unless it is a diesel). A shortlist was produced of cars that comply with these restrictions but are still considered powerful and therefore banned. The list includes BMW M3 and Porsche 911. There have been many complaints about this system as several slower cars have been banned, such as the Peugeot 308, but faster cars such as VW Golf R32 and BMW 130i were still permitted.
On 1 July 2014, the rules were again modified, to distinguish between vehicles manufactured before 1 January 2010, and those manufactured after. Probationary drivers are now permitted to drive any vehicle manufactured after 1 January 2010 that does not have a power-to-mass ratio of greater than 130 kilowatts per tonne, and does not have a modified engine for increased performance. Vehicles manufactured before 1 January 2010 remain subject to previous restrictions, which include a restriction on engines larger than a V6, and cars that have a turbocharger or supercharger. After 1 July 2008, those aged over 21 years when applying for a licence qualify as P2 drivers after passing the computerised Hazard Perception Test and a practical driving test, as well as an eyesight test.
P2 (Green) Probationary Licence
Victoria registration plate P2 Probationary Driver.pngThe P2 Probationary Driver Licence came into effect from 1 July 2008. For probationary drivers obtaining a P1 Probationary Licence after that date, their licence status will progress to a P2 Licence automatically provided they have had a good driving record for at least 12 months
while holding the P1 Licence.
The same P1 restrictions apply, except P2 drivers may tow trailers. As of 25 November 2013, P2 drivers must not use a mobile phone while driving, including hands-free phones. The peer passenger restriction does not apply to P2 drivers. They must display the white-on-green ‘P-plates’, rather than the red. If a person is over 21 when licensed they go straight onto the P2 licence for three years.
P2 licences last for 3 years, making the minimum age of receiving a full licence 22 years, up from 21 years for drivers who obtained their Probationary Licence before 1 July 2008. The minimum age for obtaining a P2 Licence is 19 years. All drivers who obtained their Probationary Licence before 1 July 2008 qualify as P2 drivers and must display the green ‘P’ plates. Australian Drivers Licence
A full Driver Licence is obtained after the probationary period. For drivers who obtained their Probationary Driver Licence after 1 July 2008, the minimum age at which they can obtain their full Driver Licence is 22, unless they already have an Interstate or New Zealand Probationary licence, and move to Victoria, in which case they can be 21. This is an irregularity that can allow Interstate and New Zealand drivers to obtain their full licence one year ahead of residential Victorians. There are few restrictions on fully licensed drivers, other than not being able to drive while holding a mobile phone, and the requirement to have a BAC under 0.05%. Full licences are valid for ten years, but can be made available for three years if requested. Full driver licences may incur a maximum of 12 demerit points in any 3 year period.
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This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (January 2019)
Driver’s licences in Western Australia are administered by the Department of Transport. The driving age in Western Australia is 17 years. A learner can drive at the age of 16 under the supervision of a fully licensed driver. After obtaining a licence, a driver continues to be subject to restrictions during a 2-year probationary period. Australian Drivers Licence
LVic.pngA Learner’s Permit to drive a car in Western Australia can be gained by anyone aged 16 or over after successfully passing a computer-based driving theory test and an eyesight test. Drivers with Learner’s Permits may drive only whilst accompanied by either a qualified driving instructor or a person who has held a valid licence of the same type as the permit for 4 years. Learner drivers must display black-on-yellow “L” plates, and must not drive with a blood alcohol content exceeding 0.00%. Learner’s Permits expire after three years. After a recent bill passed through parliament, Phase 1 drivers are now permitted to drive on Perth freeways as well as other roads outside the boundaries of Kings Park. Australian Drivers Licence
Hazard Perception Test
Holders of a Learners Permit for 6 months or more (and are aged 16 years and 6 months or older) are permitted to undergo the computerised “Hazard Perception Test”. Successful drivers are to continue learning and gaining driving experience before attempting their practical driving assessment.
Victoria registration plate P1 Probationary Driver.pngA Provisional Licence is awarded when learner drivers aged 17 years or over complete 50 hours of driving experience (and 6 months have elapsed from obtaining their Learner’s Permit) in their log book and pass a practical driving test accompanied by an examiner employed by the government. Drivers with provisional licences must display white-on-red ‘P’ plates whenever they drive within the first 6 months, can drive unaccompanied but cannot drive with a blood alcohol content over 0.00%. They are not allowed to drive between 12 am – 5 am unless driving to and from place of work or study.
Victoria registration plate P2 Probationary Driver.pngFor last 18 months, provisionally licensed drivers must display white-on-green ‘P’ plates and cannot drive with a blood alcohol content over 0.00%.
Changes to the Learners Permit process
From the 9th October 2017, the Department of Transport introduced a change to the process of obtaining a drivers licence. The new process requires applicants to complete the Hazard Perception Test before the Practical Driving Assessment. Applicants still have to have held their Learners Permit for 6 months to attempt either, but are now required to be at least 16 years and 6 months of age for the Hazard Perception Test and at least 17 years of age for the Practical Driving Assessment. The previous process allowed applicants to complete the Practical Driving Assessment at 16 years and 6 months of age, followed by the computerised Hazard Perception Test at 17 years. The minimum age to hold a Provisional Licence is still 17 years. Australian Drivers Licence
Graduated demerit points
As of 1 December 2010, the Western Australian Government introduced a new Graduated Demerit Point system for Novice Drivers (which includes L- and P-plate drivers). Under this system, a driver may accrue less than 4 demerit points within the first year of their provisional licence, and less than 8 points within the second year, before losing their licence. These limits include demerit points accrued before these 1- and 2-year periods. Australian Drivers Licence
Full driver’s licence
The provisional licence automatically converts into a full driver’s licence after the 2-year probationary period. Drivers with full driver’s licences must drive with a blood alcohol content less than 0.05%, may accrue less than 12 demerit points before being disqualified, and may drive at up to 110 km/h (the maximum speed limit in the state). ‘P’ plate drivers may also drive up to 110 km /h, where permitted by the state. Australian Drivers Licence
WA has two classes of drivers licence: C which enables one to drive any vehicle weighing less than 4.5 tonnes C-A which enables one to drive any vehicle fitted with an automatic transmission and weighing less than 4.5 tonnes. Australian Drivers Licence
Double or nothing
Drivers who have accrued 12 or more demerit points can choose to continue driving on a 12-month Good Behaviour Period. If more than two demerit points are accrued during the 12-month period (even on different fines), the licence is lost for twice the original disqualification period; usually 6 months (3 months x 2). Australian Drivers Licence
See also: Identity documents of Australia
Australia does not have a national identity card, and driver’s licences are commonly used as a means of photo identification. Photo cards are also available, especially for non-drivers. Beside identification, these may be used as proof of age for entry to venues which have age restrictions, such as premises where alcohol is sold. Australian Drivers Licence
Licences and photo cards are hologrammed, and contain a photograph, signature, the holder’s address, and date of birth. Australian Drivers Licence
Electronic online identification can be (partly) established using a driver’s licence for online applications for some services such as SIM card activation, and opening bank accounts.
The Australian Attorney-General’s Department provides a document verification service that allows for validation of some licences. Australian Drivers Licence
Many issuing authorities such as NSW allow for an online check of the validity of a driver’s licence.
Digital driver licences
New South Wales
Digital driver’s licences were trialled in Dubbo, New South Wales in 2017. As at May 2018, legislation was being introduced to roll it out throughout the state. Under the system, digital driver’s licences will be optionally available through an app and able to be displayed on users’ smartphones. NSW drivers will also continue to be issued with a physical card, which are the only valid licences during the trial, as well as for use outside the trial area. Australian Drivers Licence
South Australia became the first state to officially roll out digital driver’s licences via its mySA GOV smartphone app in October 2017. The app allows licences to show dynamic content including demerit points, expiry statuses and licence conditions. Australian Drivers Licence
With the exception of the Northern Territory, visitors with a temporary visa (other than a permanent visa) from other countries are conditionally permitted to drive with their current overseas drivers licence for the length of their stay. Conditions vary for every state and territory. Generally, drivers must carry their overseas licence with them. A certified translation or International Driving Permit is only required if the licence is not in English, and the original licence must be carried regardless. In NSW, once a driver becomes a permanent resident a local licence should be obtained generally within three months. In Victoria, a permanent resident is able to drive with his/her overseas licence for up to six months (six month period is calculated by the visa grant date or Australia entry date, whichever comes later). Australian Drivers Licence
Interstate visitors are permitted to travel on their current Australian or New Zealand licence. They must obey the local road rules of that state. The differences in state laws have generated much confusion to visiting drivers, with many pushing for uniform federal road rules. Australian Drivers Licence
Drivers who move interstate must apply for a new driver’s licence within three months of moving. Unless a driving test is required, there is no charge for a conversion from a current interstate licence. Usually, licences are converted in the same day, to the same or equivalent class, or, in the case of the conversion of a non-GLS licence to a GLS system, a P1 or P2 licence is issued, depending on the length of time that the holder of the licence has been driving. The licence may need to be confirmed by obtaining a letter from the interstate licence issuing authority (on their letterhead) confirming the licence details (including first issue date) and status. Australian Drivers Licence
Drivers moving states may be eligible to upgrade their licence class, due to the varying age rules that apply in each state. For example, a Victorian learner driver who moves to NSW may be eligible to sit the driving test to obtain a P1 licence. However, drivers who are under 18 will not be able to obtain the same licence class in Victoria, where one must be at least 18 to do so. Another example is a Victorian over 25 moving to Tasmania, SA, QLD or WA will be able to obtain a full licence after having held their Ps for 12 months in Victoria despite the fact that the probationary period for over-21-year-olds in Victoria is 3 years. If a driver is about to lose their licence in their home state, they may obtain a new licence in another state of Australia, provided that the demerit points have not already been added and the fine has not yet been paid, or in the case of immediate licence disqualification, the actual disqualification period has not yet commenced (prior 28 days after offence).
Interstate commercial driving jobs
Most states do not allow a person to have an interstate commercial driving job if the person does not “reside” in that state. For example, a person with a Queensland Driver’s Licence and Driver’s Authority (a variation of the wording Driver’s Accreditation) cannot obtain a commercial driving job in South Australia unless that person registers a “residential” address in South Australia, even though they may not live there, and swap over the Driver’s Licence and obtain a new Driver’s Accreditation.
Suspension or cancellation of licence
Main article: Point system (driving) § Australia
Each state has a demerit points system that leads to the suspension of a driver’s licence if the demerit point threshold is reached. The rules vary, but road authorities share information about interstate offenses.
In all states, drivers holding a full, unrestricted licence will be disqualified from driving after accumulating 12 demerit points or more within a three-year period, except in New South Wales, where drivers are allowed 13 points in a three-year period. Those who can prove they are professional drivers are allowed an additional point. The minimum suspension period is three months, plus one further month for every extra four demerit points beyond the license’s limit, with a cap in most states of five months (for 8 points or more over the suspension trigger; e.g. 20 points or more on a full license). An alternative to initially accepting the suspension, a driver can apply for a “good behavior” period of 12 months. In most states, drivers under a good behavior period who accumulate one or two further points (except in Victoria, which does not allow any further offenses) have their licence suspended for double the original period. Australian Drivers Licence
Most states also provide for immediate suspension of a license, instead of or in addition to demerit points, in certain extreme circumstances. These generally include offenses for driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, or for greatly excessive speed.
In some circumstances, driver’s licences can be cancelled, either immediately or by court order, such as for anti-social driving activity, popularly known as hooning. Australian Drivers Licence