For starters, we're rearranging the tests you need to take to move through the licence stages, from learner to P1, P2 and then finally a full licence. We're also making sure that P2 drivers are safe drivers, by adding an extra 6 months to your P2 licence if you get suspended for unsafe driving.
From 20 November 2017:
- Learners: You'll need to pass the Hazard Perception Test before you attempt your driving test and apply for a P1 licence.
- P1: You won't need to do a test to apply for a P2 licence. As long as you have had your P1 for at least 12 months, you'll be able to apply for a P2 without having to do the Hazard Perception Test.
- P2: The Driver Qualification Test is being removed, so after 20 November 2017, if you've had your P2 licence for at least 24 months, you can apply for your full licence without doing a test. BUT do the wrong thing and you'll be on your P2 for a lot longer - get suspended for gaining too many demerit points, or for higher risk offences like speeding more than 30km/h over the limit, and you'll be staying on your P2 for another 6 months before you can apply for a full licence. And that's on top of your time out suspension period – getting suspended for 3 months can add at least 9 months extra to your P2 time before you can apply for a full licence.
Already got a learner, P1 or P2 licence?
If you already had your learner, P1 or P2 licence before 20 November 2017, there may be some special arrangements for you:
If you already have a learner licence, and haven't progressed to a P1 by 20 November 2017, you will need to pass the Hazard Perception Test before you can book in for a driving test.
This applies to all learner drivers – even if you're 25 or older.
Under 25s: You need to have held your learner licence for at least 10 months before you can take the Hazard Perception Test.
25 or over: You can take the Hazard Perception Test at any time before you book your driving test.
Remember the Hazard Perception Test (HPT) for learners does not last forever - wait more than 15 months without passing the driving test and you'll have to do the HPT again.
If you got your P1 licence before 20 November 2017, you'll need to pass the Hazard Perception Test before you can apply for your P2 licence. This applies whether you go for your P1 before or after 20 November. This is to make sure you've done the Hazard Perception Test at some point in your journey from learner to a full licence.
Same goes if you renew your P1 – you'll still need to do the Hazard Perception Test before you apply for a P2, but only if you haven't done one earlier.
If you got your P2 licence before 20 November 2017, you'll still need to pass the Driver Qualification Test before you can apply for a full licence. This affect you even if you apply for your full licence before or after 20 November. The good news is you won't have to do an extra 6 months if you're suspended.
If you renew your P2 licence on or after 20 November, you will cop an additional 6 months on your P2 if you're suspended after renewing your licence. P2 licences issued after 20 November do not need to do the DQT.
What about riders – any changes?
These changes don't apply to riders – only to car licence holders. See Getting a motorcycle licence for info on how to get your bike licence.
These changes still apply, even if you're over 25.
Get your hand off it – ALL mobile use is banned for L, P1 and P2 licence holders
Learner, P1 and P2 drivers and riders must not use any function of a mobile phone while driving or riding. And we mean it – you can't use any function at all, not even hands-free or on speaker, or to use the GPS.
And don't think this means you can take a sneaky peek while at the lights, or stuck in traffic. You have to be parked safely, out of the line of traffic.
If you're caught using your mobile in any way while driving or riding, you will be fined and get 4 demerit points.Learners and P1 drivers get suspended for using a phone.
For a P2 driver using a phone is more than half your points. From 20 November 2017, If you hit 7 demerits, not only are you suspended, but after your suspension is over you'll spend another 6 months on your P2, before you can apply for a full licence.