Provisional (P1) driver 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 Learner licence for more information.

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.

 

Plan ahead – your card may be posted to you

We’re changing the way we print and issue photocards. At certain locations, when you apply for a licence, your card will be posted to you at no extra cost.

When you apply for or renew your licence you will be given a paper receipt. The receipt will act as proof of licence status until your new photo licence arrives.

See Centralised photocard printing for more information.

If you pass your driving test

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 P1 and P2 vehicle and passenger conditions.

A P1 driver licence is issued for 18 months.

Progressing to a P2 licence

To get a P2 licence, you must meet the minimum tenure requirements and pass the Hazard Perception Test (HPT).

Tenure requirements

You must hold your P1 licence for a minimum total period of 12 months before you become eligible to progress to a P2 licence.

Liquor Act offences
If you commit an offence under section 129 of the Liquor Act 2007 by 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.

Suspension periods while on your P1 licence
Any period that your licence is suspended is not counted towards tenure for your P2 licence. 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.

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).

If your licence is suspended for three months and the Liquor Act offence applies, the earliest you can progress to the P2 licence is after 21 months (18 months + 3 months = 21 months).

Court disqualification
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.

Hazard Perception Test (HPT)

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.

Conditions for P1 drivers

P1 drivers are subject to the following conditions:

  • Display of P plates – P plates (red P on a white background) must be clearly displayed on the front and back of the vehicle, on the outside. The letter P on the plate must not be hidden. If you are towing a trailer, a P plate must be on the back of the trailer.
  • Mobile phones – You must not use a mobile phone while driving or while your vehicle is moving or is stopped but not parked. This includes phones in the hands-free mode or with the loudspeaker operating.

  • Zero Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) – You cannot have any alcohol in your system when you drive a vehicle. It is also illegal to drive under the influence of drugs.
  • Speed limit – You must not drive faster than 90 km/h and must observe the speed limit where it is below 90 km/h.
  • Automatic transmission vehicles – If you took your driving test in a automatic vehicle, you are restricted to driving an automatic or clutchless manual transmission vehicle while on your P1 licence.
  • Licence class – You can only drive cars, and cannot apply to upgrade your licence to a higher class.
  • Passengers – P1 licence holders are subject to special conditions regarding the passengers you can carry. See P1 and P2 vehicle and passenger conditions for more information.
  • Seatbelts – You must ensure all occupants, including yourself, are in a seat that has a seatbelt or an approved restraint fitted and that each passenger is using the seatbelt or restraint.
  • Supervising a learner – You must not supervise a learner driver.
  • Towing – You are allowed to tow light trailers up to 250 kilograms unloaded weight. You must display a P plate (red P on a white background) on the back of the trailer while towing.
  • Prohibited vehicles – Certain vehicles must not be driven by P1 licence holders. See P1 and P2 vehicle and passenger restrictions for more information. 

Failure to comply with any of these requirements is an offence and carries heavy penalties, including loss of licence.

Demerit points and suspension/cancellation

Your P1 licence will be suspended or refused if you reach or exceed four demerit points.

P1 licence holders 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 Hazard Perception Test (HPT).