Driving licence in Australia

A driver's licence is required inAustralia before a person is permitted to drive a motor vehicle of anydescription on a road in Australia.

The responsibility for the regulation andenforcement of road use, including light vehicle driver licensing is theresponsibility of the state and territory governments.

Classes of licences All states and territories in Australiahave a uniform driver licence system.

The medical standards for drivers ofcommercial vehicles are set by the National Transport Commission andAustroads.

The driver of a vehicle carrying payingpassengers is required to hold a driver licence depending on the size of thevehicle as well as a "Public Passenger Vehicle Driver Authority" which isissued by the state or territory Ministry of Transport.

Car licences – rules by jurisdiction = Terms =The official nomenclature for car licences varies in the states andterritories, 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 DriverLicences" or "Learner's Permit".

= Driving age =The minimum driving age varies between States and Territories.

It is 18 yearsin Victoria, 16 years and 6 months in the Northern Territory, 16 years inSouth Australia and 17 years in the other states and the ACT.

Learnerdrivers may drive, under qualified supervision, from 15 years and 9 monthsin the ACT and 16 years in the other states and the Northern Territory.

= Australian Capital Territory = The driving age in the AustralianCapital Territory is 17 years.

After obtaining a licence, a driver continuesto be subject to restrictions during a three-year probationary period.

Learner Licence The minimum age for obtaining a LearnerLicence is 15 years and 9 months.

The applicant must complete a road safetyprogram Road Ready that is taught in many secondary schools or at a RoadReady Centre and pass a computerised road rules test before obtaining aLearner Licence.

This licence is valid for two years.

Learners must displayblack on yellow "L Plates" and drive under the supervision of a fullAustralian licence holder, who has held their licence for at least four years.

Provisional Licence Provisional Licence applicants must beat least 17 years of age, held a Learner Licence for a minimum of six months,recorded driving experience a learner logbook with a supervisor who has heldan open license for twelve months for the class of vehicle used or anaccredited driving instructor, or has passed a practical driving test.

TheProvisional Licence is valid for three years.

Provisional drivers must displayred on white "P Plates" for three years unless: they take an additional roadsafety program Road Ready Plus after six months of obtaining their ProvisionalLicence; or they are over 26 years of age and held their licence for sixmonths.

Provisional holders who have taken the RRP course or are over 26years of age also get an additional four demerit point allowance.

Provisionaldrivers must have a zero blood-alcohol limit.

Full Licence A Full Licence is upgradable afterholding a Provisional Licence for three years.

= New South Wales = The minimum driving age in New SouthWales is 16 years.

The government introduced the Graduated LicensingScheme in 2000 and therefore learners progress from a learner licence, to aprovisional P1 licence, to a provisional P2 licence and finally to a full licenceover an extended period of time.

After obtaining a licence, a driver continuesto be subject to restrictions during a three-year probationary period.

Learner Licence A learner licence is gained after: theminimum driving age of 16 is met; passing a touch-screen computer-basedtest Driver Knowledge Test; provide identification; and pass an eyesighttest.

Learners are permitted to drive accompanied by a supervisingunrestricted licence holder.

Learners are subject to numerous restrictions: amaximum speed of 90 km/h; a zero blood alcohol content limit; cannot tow atrailer; and and must conspicuously display black-on-yellow "L-plates" onthe exterior of the vehicle while driving.

Learners must complete at least120 hours of driving practice including 20 hours of night driving and hold thelearner licence for at least 12 months before a provisional P1 licence isissued.

Since 16 December 2009, one hour with an instructor is equal to threehours 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 advancedrate.

Since 19 December 2009, learner drivers 25 years old and over are notrequired to complete a learner driver log book and are exempt from thetwelve-month tenure.

Provisional P1 LicenceA provisional P1 licence is gained after: a minimum twelve months ofholding a learner licence; 120 hours of on-road driving experience; and pass adriving test.

The licence holder can drive unaccompanied but is limited to amaximum speed of 90 km/h, towing trailers of up to 250 kg and a zeroalcohol content.

Red-on-white "P-plates" must be displayed while driving.

P1drivers are limited to a total of four demerit points during the term of thelicence, as compared to the thirteen-point limit on unrestrictedlicences.

P1 drivers must hold the licence for one year before progressingto the next stage.

In New South Wales the minimum age to be eligible for aprovisional P1 licence is 17.

As of 1 July 2007, new laws for P1 drivers havebeen introduced, including a limit of one passenger under the age of 21between 11 pm and 5 am, and instant suspension for three months for anyspeeding offence.

Furthermore, it is also now a requirement that red"P-plates" be displayed on the outside of the vehicle.

Provisional P2 Licence A provisional P2 licence is gained afterone year and successful completion of a computerised hazard perception test.

Thedriver is restricted to a speed limit of 100 km/h, a zero alcohol limit and amaximum of seven demerit points; however, they are eligible to upgradethe class of their licence, such as those for heavier vehicles.

P2 driversmust conspicuously display a green-on-white "P-plate" on the exteriorof the vehicle at all times.

P2 drivers must hold the licence for two yearsbefore progressing to the next stage.

Full LicenceA full, unrestricted licence is gained after two years and successfulcompletion of another computerised test.

Unrestricted drivers licences arecoloured gold.

= Northern Territory =The learner licence may be obtained at age 16.

Learner drivers may not use amobile phone and must be supervised by a full licence holder and may not drivefaster than 80 km/h.

After holding the learner licence for six months aprovisional licence may be obtained.

Once the provisional licence isobtained, it must be held for a minimum of 2 years before obtaining the fullnorthern territory licence.

Provisional LicenceYou will need to hold your provisional licence for a minimum of two yearsbefore you progress to an open licence.

Now that you have your provisionallicence you still need to comply with all road rules and traffic laws andthere are some additional requirements for provisional licence holdersincluding: SpeedYou may not exceed 100 km/h, irrespective of the sign-postedspeed limit.

AlcoholYou must have a zero Blood Alcohol Concentration at all timeswhilst driving.

Displaying P-platesYou must display approved P-plates that areclearly visible to the front and rear of the vehicle you are driving and must notobstruct your vision while driving.

P-plates must have the letter ‘P’ in redon 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 aprovisional driver – so make sure you remember to display and then remove yourP-plates from the vehicle when you start and finish driving.

Mobile phones andother devices Provisional drivers are not permitted to use a mobile phone inany form whilst driving, including hands-free devices and texting.

DemeritpointsAccumulating five or more demerit points within a 12-month period willtrigger action against your provisional licence.

Source: Northern Territory Department of Transport= Queensland = Learner's licencePersons 6 may apply for their Learner Licence at 16 years of age, passing awritten Road Rules Test.

Learners under 25 must hold their licence for at leastone year and log a total of 100hrs on-road driving experience in the issuedlogbook.

However a logbook exemption can be applied for, meaning the learner willnot need to submit a logbook with 100 hours of driving, but will need to holdtheir learner licence for a minimum of 12 months before going for theirprovisional licence.

Learners over 25 years of age are not required tocomplete a log book of 100 logged driving hours, however may voluntarilywish to do so.

Learners must display yellow L plates and are not speedrestricted by the licence.

Learners must be accompanied by an open licence holderwho has held the relevant class open licence for at least 1 year.

Thedrinking level must be 0.

00 for a learner and instructor must be under0.

049.

Provisional licence 1P1 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 aminimum of twelve months, recorded a minimum of 100 hours driving experiencein the learner logbook with a supervisor who has held an open license for twelvemonths for the class of vehicle used or an accredited driving instructor, andhas passed a practical driving test.

P1 drivers must at all times display red Pplates.

P1 licence holders may upgrade to P2 licences after holding their P1licences for one year and passing the hazard perception test.

There arerestrictions to the power of the vehicles and the number of passengersallowed in relation to P1 drivers.

Drivers over 25 years of age whosuccessfully pass their practical driving test are able to skip the P1licence stage and progress directly to the P2 licence stage.

Provisional licence 2 If not upgraded from P1, applicants musthave held a Learner Licence for a minimum of twelve months.

P2 driversmust display green P plates.

P2 licence holders may upgrade to an open licenceafter holding their P2 licence for two years.

As with P1 licences, there arerestrictions to power and passengers but they are less restrictive than P1licences.

Driver licenceThe Queensland Government is replacing the current laminate Driver Licence &Heavy Vehicle Driver Licence with a more secure, durable & reliable licence.

Alllicensing and personal information that is currently on the face of thelaminated licence will remain on the face of the new card, and one's addresswill be shown on the back.

From 2005, Queensland licences have beencalled a "Driver Licence", and no longer carry information about the holder'sorgan donor status.

The Australian Organ Donor Register is now used for nationalregistration of tissue donation status.

Elderly drivers are required to havetheir licences renewed more often and are required to have compulsory eyetests, which does not include colour vision.

For more information on driver's licences in Queensland, see Departmentof Transport and Main Roads and click on Licensing.

Work Licence A Queensland Driver charged with a drinkdriving offence may be entitled to apply for a work licence that if granted by aMagistrates Court would entitle the driver to drive for work purposes whilsttheir licence is suspended see :www.

Drivinglaw.

Com.

Auwork-licences.

HtmlUD Class Licence Queensland had a special class UDlicence which allows operation of heavy agricultural or purpose-built vehicleswithout an MC or HC licence.

No new licenses of this type will be issuedafter 1st January 2014, but existing licenses remain valid.

= South Australia = Learner's PermitA person who is at least 16 may apply for a Learner's Permit in SouthAustralia.

Applicants must pass a theory test to obtain a driving permit.

Alearner driver must always be accompanied by a Qualified SupervisingDriver.

Learners must display yellow L-plates, and may not have a bloodalcohol content greater than zero and must not accumulate more than fourdemerit points.

Learner drivers are allowed to travel at a maximum speed of100 km/h, even where the posted speed limit is higher.

Learner drivers arepermitted to tow a single trailer.

Provisional LicenceTo get a Provisional Licence, you must have held a learner's permit for atleast 12 months, be at least 17 years of age or have an equivalent interstate oroverseas 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 drivingexperience which must have all been signed by the Qualified SupervisingDriver.

All applicants must pass a practical driving test or be signed offon several points by a driving instructor in a competency-basedtraining course.

Drivers are then issued with a P1 licence.

The main restrictionson P-platers are a maximum speed limit of 100 km/h, a requirement that noalcohol or party drugs be in the system, and not being allowed to accrue morethan 4 demerit points.

They must also display red P plates.

Drivers who obtain a P1 provisional licence on or after 4 September 2010must not drive a high-powered vehicle if they are under the age of 25.

Highpowered includes vehicles with engines of eight or more cylinders, vehicleswith turbocharged or supercharged engines, vehicles that have beenmodified to increase engine performance, and nominated high-performance vehicles.

High-powered vehicle restrictions do not apply to drivers over 25 years of age.

Pplates of any kind are not displayed when on the P2 licence.

A driver must have held a provisional licence for at least 2 years and a P2licence for at least 6 months before becoming a fully licensed driver.

Fullylicensed drivers have their restrictions on alcohol relaxed to 0.

05 per centblood alcohol concentration and may drive at the full speed limit.

= Tasmania = LearnerA learner licence for cars may be obtained after reaching age 16.

A personholding a learner licence may not exceed 80 km/h in speed or tow a trailer orboat, and may only drive with a BAC of zero.

L plates must be displayed, and asupervisory driver with a full licence must sit in the front passenger seat.

The supervisory driver must not have any periods of suspension ordisqualification within the last two years.

As of April 2009, there areseparate L1 and L2 stages.

After 3 months a Learner can go for apractical driving test, this test proves in the driver can drive safely.

Thistest can be undertaken in an automatic or manual vehicle, if the L2's test wasundertaken in an automatic vehicle the learner can still go for their manuallicence when the undertake the P's test.

Once a Learner is on their L2's theybegin logging their driving hours, a learner must complete 50hours of drivingand 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.

If the learner fails the test he/she must wait 28 days before retakingthe test.

As of March 2, 2015; L2 drivers have newspeed restrictions in which they can drive at 90 km/h in a 90 or 100 zone andat 100 km/h in a 110 zone.

P1A P1 licence may be issued after reaching age 17, logging 50 practicehours, holding an L2 licence for nine months, and passing a practical drivingtest.

A P1 licence is issued for one year.

P1 drivers must remain under 80km/h, have a zero BAC while driving, and display P plates.

Provisional driversmay tow other vehicles.

As of March 2, 2015; P1 drivers have new speedrestrictions in which they can drive at 90km/h in a 90 or 100 zone and at100km/h in a 110 zone.

After 12 months, the licence converts to a P2 licence.

P2drivers may drive above 80 km/h provided they don't exceed the speed limit, anddo not have to display P plates.

They must have a BAC limit of zero to driveand the licence will be suspended if 4 demerit points are accumulated,contrasted with 12 for full licence holders.

Drivers must hold the P2licence for between 12 months and two years, depending on their age, to beissued a full licence.

Note: there are no vehicle restrictionsin Tasmania.

= Victoria =VicRoads is the authority in Victoria responsible for the administration ofdriver licensing in the state.

The minimum driving age in Victoria is18 years.

A learner can drive at the age of 16 under the supervision of a fullylicensed driver.

After obtaining a licence, a driver continues to besubject to restrictions during a 4-year probationary period.

Learner's Permit A Learner's Permit may be obtained by aperson over 16 years.

The applicant must pass a computerised Knowledge Test andan eyesight test.

Learner drivers must not consume any alcohol before drivingmust be zero), and must be accompanied by a driver who holds a full DriverLicence and has a BAC below 0.

05%.

A Victorian Learner's Permit is valid for10 years from date of issue.

'L' plates must be displayed whiledriving, and must not tow a trailer.

There are no special speed or vehiclerestrictions.

P1 probationary licenceA P1 Probationary Driver Licence holder must be over 18 years of age and pass acomputerised Hazard Perception Test, a practical driving test and an eyesighttest.

P1 drivers must display white-on-red 'P-plates'.

An applicant for a Driver Licence must have held a Learner's Permit for atleast 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 forapplicants aged over 25 years.

If a driver obtained their Learner's Permitafter 1 July 2007, and are under 21 years of age, they must have logged 120hours of practice.

Probationary drivers must drive with azero BAC, and are not permitted to drive 'high powered vehicles'.

If the driverwas tested in an automatic vehicle, then they must not drive a manual vehicle.

There are no speed restrictions, however trailers may not be towed except forwork purposes.

P1 drivers have a peer passenger restriction which sees P1drivers only able to carry no more than one passenger aged between 16–21 yearsold at any time.

They must not use any form of mobile phone includinghands-free.

On 1 July 2008, what is considered ahigh power vehicle was redefined.

P plate drivers were no longer allowed todrive cars with engines larger than a V6, cars that have a turbo orsupercharger.

A shortlist was produced of cars that comply with theserestrictions but are still considered powerful and therefore banned.

The listincludes BMW M3 and Porsche 911.

There have been many complaints about thissystem as several slower cars have been banned, such as the Peugeot 308, butfaster cars such as VW Golf R32 and BMW 130i were still permitted.

On 1 July 2014, the rules were again modified, to distinguish betweenvehicles manufactured before 1 January 2010, and those manufactured after.

Probationary drivers are now permitted to drive any vehicle manufactured after1 January 2010 that does not have a power to mass ratio of greater than 130kilowatts per tonne, and does not have a modified engine for increasedperformance.

Vehicles manufactured before 1 January 2010 remain subject toprevious 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 licencequalify as P2 drivers after passing the computerised Hazard Perception Test anda practical driving test, as well as an eyesight test.

P2 Probationary Licence The P2 Probationary Driver Licence cameinto effect from 1 July 2008.

For probationary drivers obtaining a P1Probationary Licence after that date, their licence status will progress to aP2 Licence automatically provided they have had a good driving record for atleast 12 months while holding the P1 Licence.

The same P1 restrictions apply, except P2 drivers may tow trailers.

As of 25November 2013, P2 drivers must not use a mobile phone while driving, includinghands-free phones.

The peer passenger restriction does not apply to P2drivers.

They must display the white-on-green 'P-plates', rather thanthe red.

If a person is over 21 when licensed they go straight onto the P2licence for three years.

P2 licences last for 3 years, making theminimum age of receiving a full licence 22 years, up from 21 years for driverswho obtained their Probationary Licence before 1 July 2008.

The minimum age forobtaining a P2 Licence is 19 years.

All drivers who obtained their ProbationaryLicence before 1 July 2008 qualify as P2 drivers and must display the green 'P'plates.

Driver LicenceA full Driver Licence is obtained after the probationary period.

For drivers whoobtained their Probationary Driver Licence after 1 July 2008, the minimumage at which they can obtain their full Driver Licence is 22, unless theyalready have an Interstate or New Zealand Probationary licence, and moveto Victoria, in which case they can be 21.

This is an irregularity that canallow Interstate and New Zealand drivers to obtain their full licence one yearahead of residential Victorians.

There are few restrictions on fullylicensed drivers, other than not being able to drive while holding a mobilephone, and the requirement to have a BAC under 0.

05%.

Full licences are valid forten years, but can be made available for three years if requested.

For more information on driver's licences in Victoria, see Arrive Alivewebsite.

= Western Australia =Driver's licences in Western Australia are administered by the Department ofTransport.

The driving age in Western Australia is 17 years.

A learner candrive at the age of 16 under the supervision of a fully licensed driver.

After obtaining a licence, a driver continues to be subject to restrictionsduring a 2-year probationary period.

Phase 1 learner's permitA Phase 1 Learner's Permit to drive a car in Western Australia can be gainedby anyone aged 16 or over after successfully passing a computer-baseddriving theory test and an eyesight test.

Drivers with Learner's Permits mayonly drive whilst accompanied by either a qualified driving instructor or aperson 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 notdrive with a Blood alcohol content exceeding 0.

00%.

Learner's Permitsexpire after three years.

After a recent bill passed through parliament, Phase 1drivers are now permitted to drive on Perth freeways as well as other roadsoutside the boundaries of Kings Park.

Phase 2 learner's permitA Phase 2 Learner's Permit is awarded to those Phase 1 Learners who pass apractical driving test accompanied by an examiner employed by the government.

Only those aged 16 years and 6 months or older are permitted to undergo thepractical assessment.

Successful drivers are presented with a log book, in whichthey must record subsequent driving experience and conditions.

If the testis passed in an automatic transmission vehicle, the driver will be given a"C-A" licence class and is restricted to driving automatic vehicles.

To receive a"C" licence, the test must be passed in a manual vehicle, the driver can thendrive either transmission.

Phase 2 Learner drivers are permitted to driveon Perth freeways, however they must still be accompanied by an experienceddriver whenever they drive and the other restrictions continue to apply, thedriver also has a 6-month mandatory waiting period before they can sit thehazard perception test to get their provisional licence.

Provisional licence A Provisional Licence is awarded whenlearner drivers aged 17 years or over complete 25 hours of driving experiencein their log book and pass a computerised "Hazard perception test".

Drivers with provisional licences must display white-on-red 'P' plates wheneverthey drive within the first 6 months, can drive unaccompanied and but cannotdrive with a blood alcohol content over 0.

00%.

They are not allowed to drivebetween 12 am – 5 am unless driving to and from place of work or study.

For last 18 months, provisionally licensed drivers must displaywhite-on-green 'P' plates and cannot drive with a blood alcohol content over0.

00%.

Graduated demerit points As of 1 December 2010, the Western Australian Government introduced a newGraduated Demerit Point system for Novice Drivers.

Under this system, adriver may accrue less than 4 demerit points within the first year of theirprovisional licence, and less than 8 points within the second year, beforelosing their licence.

These limits include demerit points accrued beforethese 1- and 2-year periods, such as any accrued while on a Learner's Permit.

Full driver's licence The provisional licence automaticallyconverts 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 lessthan 0.

05%, may accrue less than 12 demerit points before beingdisqualified, and may drive at up to 110 km/h.

'P' plate drivers may also driveup to 110 km /h, where permitted by the state.

WA has two classes of drivers licence: C which enables one to drive any vehicleweighing less than 4.

5 tonnes C-A which enables one to drive any vehicle fittedwith an automatic transmission and weighing less than 4.

5 tonnes.

Refer Double or nothing Drivers who have accrued 12 or moredemerit points can choose to continue driving on a 12-month Good BehaviourPeriod.

If more than two demerit points are accrued during the 12-month period,the licence is lost for twice the original disqualification period;usually 6 months.

General Tourists and visitors staying less than three months are permitted to driveusing their home country licence.

If the licence is not written in English, thenan acceptable translation of the licence must be carried at all times.

Visitorsstaying more than three months must apply for a licence in the state inwhich they reside.

Licences and photo cards arehologrammed, and contain a photograph, signature, and the holder's address.

Insome states, they also show organ donor status.

In Australia, where there is no national identity card in operation, driver'slicences serve as the primary means of photo identification.

'Proof of age'cards are available for non-drivers.

In New South Wales, these were replaced bythe 'NSW Photo Card' in December 2005 and Western Australia did the same in2014.

Tasmania calls their equivalent card a 'personal information card'.

These may be used for entry to venues which have age restrictions, such asalcohol selling premises.

The Road and Traffic Authority of NewSouth Wales A ‘Demonstration’ Driver Knowledge Testfor Learner Drivers Road Users HandbooksHandbook summaries and practice tests for all NSW licence testsInteractive Driver Knowledge Test Interstate travel Interstate visitors are permitted to travel on their current Australian orNew Zealand licence.

They must obey the local road rules of that state.

Thedifferences in state laws have generated much confusion to visiting drivers, withmany pushing for uniform federal road rules.

Drivers who move interstate must apply for a new driver's licence within threemonths of moving.

Unless a driving test is required, there is no charge for aconversion from a current interstate licence.

Usually, licences are convertedin the same day, to the same or equivalent class, or, in the case of theconversion 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 interstatelicence issuing authority confirming the licence details and status.

Drivers moving states may be eligible to upgrade their licence class, due to thevarying age rules that apply in each state.

For example, a Victorian learnerdriver who moves to NSW may be eligible to sit the driving test to obtain a P1licence.

However, drivers who are under 18 will not be able to obtain the samelicence class in Victoria, where one must be at least 18 to do so.

Anotherexample is a Victorian over 25 moving to Tasmania, SA, QLD or WA will be able toobtain a full licence after having held their Ps for 12 months in Victoriadespite the fact that the probationary period for over-21-year-olds in Victoriais 3 years.

If a driver is about to lose their licence in their home state, theymay obtain a new licence in another state of Australia, provided that thedemerit points have not already been deducted and the fine has not yet beenpaid, or in the case of immediate licence disqualification, the actualdisqualification period has not yet commenced.

See also Point system#AustraliaReferences External links South Australia Department for Transport.

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