Barnes Driving School Canberra

Getting a Drivers Licence in NSW    (Click here for ACT)






If you’re at least 16 years old, then you’re ready to begin.


The first step is to pass the Driver Knowledge Test (DKT). But before you head off to Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) motor registry, you’ve got some preparation to do. The first thing to do is read the Road Users’ Handbook and the pamphlet Getting your driver licence.


To help you out, the Road Users’ Handbook is available on the Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) website – including questions for you to tackle as you go through it. These are the kinds of questions that you’ll need to answer in the 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. You can do this online, by phoning 132213 or in person at any NSE Motor Registry. 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 be prepared to pay the fee. You’ll also have your eyes tested – for obvious reasons!


When you’ve passed


Congratulations – you are now an L plater. Learner licences issued from 1 July 2007 are valid for five years, giving you plenty of time to practice and get moving towards the next step – your P1 licence. To make things absolutely clear, you are given a Learner Driver Log Book at the motor registry 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 old 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?


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 loss of your licence.


L platers must:



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.



Getting your P1 licence.


If you are 17 years of age or older, you are eligible to attempt the Driving Test if you have logged at least 120 hours driving time (which includes a minimum of 20 hours of night driving) and have held your learner licence for at least 12 months. See the Learner licence section for more information about the requirements of the learner licence.


Note: drivers aged 25 years and over are exempt from the 12 month tenure and log book requirements.


You will need to book for the Driving Test by phoning 13 22 13 or booking online at myTests. If you pass, you will be issued a P1 driver licence. You can attempt the Driving Test in any type of light vehicle, however, you will be restricted from driving certain prohibited vehicles when a P1 driver licence is issued. For more information see the sections on P1 and P2 vehicle and passenger conditions and Learner licence for exemptions from the 120 hours log book requirements.


A P1 driver licence is issued for 18 months. You must hold a P1 licence for a minimum total period of 12 months before being eligible to progress to a P2 licence. If you have committed an offence under section 129 of the Liquor Act 2007 of using false documents to gain access to licensed premises or purchase alcohol you will be required to hold your P1 driver licence for 18 months, that is, an additional six-month period.


Any period that your licence is suspended is not counted. This means that if your licence is suspended, you must hold your P1 licence for an additional period that is equal to the suspension period. As an example, if your licence is suspended for 3 months, the earliest you can progress to the P2 licence is after 15 months (12 months + 3 months = 15 months) or, if the Liquor Act offence applies, 21 months (18 months + 3 months = 21 months).


If you are disqualified from driving by a court, the law operates to immediately and permanently cancel any licence held. In these circumstances, any tenure gained on your P1 licence is forfeited. This means that when the disqualification period has ended, you will be required to obtain a further P1 licence and you will need to complete the 12 months (or 18 months) tenure period again before you can progress to a P2 licence.

Once you have completed the required tenure period on your P1 licence, you can attempt the Hazard Perception Test (HPT). If successful, you can proceed to the P2 licence.

What special rules must I follow?


P1 drivers must:



Failure to comply with any of the above requirements is an offence and carries heavy penalties, including loss of licence. A provisional P1 licence will be suspended or refused if the threshold of four demerit points is reached or exceeded. P1 licence holders will have their licence suspended for at least three months for any speeding offence. An additional suspension or refusal period will apply for any excessive speed offence (More than 30km/h above the speed limit).


To progress from a P1 to a P2 licence you must pass the HPT.