Driver licence

Think of your licence as a 'contract', or an agreement between you as a driver and the rest of society. Roads and Maritime Services and the NSW Police administer this contract on behalf of the people of NSW.

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.

More information about centralised photocard printing.

Licence classes

All states and territories in Australia have the same licence classes.

Important: If you are driving passengers for fare or other form of payment, regardless of the class of licence or vehicle, you must also hold a Public Passenger Vehicle Driver Authority.

Licence class What you can drive
C - Car

Vehicles up to 4.5 tonne Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM). Vehicles that seat up to 12 adults, including the driver.

A Class C licence allows you to drive cars, utes, vans, some light trucks, car-based motor tricycles, tractors, and implements such as graders.

R - Rider Motorcycle and scooter riders must have a Class R licence. See Rider licences for more information.
LR - Light Rigid

Rigid vehicles with a GVM of more than 4.5 tonnes, but not more than 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9 tonnes.

Vehicles up to 8 tonnes GVM which can carry more than 12 adults, including the driver.

There are no restrictions on the number of axles for the LR licence class.

With an LR licence you can also drive any vehicle covered by a Class C licence, but not motorcycles and scooters.

See Heavy vehicle licences for more information.

MR - Medium Rigid

Rigid vehicles with 2 axles and a GVM of more than 8 tonnes. Any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9 tonnes.

With an MR licence you can also drive any vehicle covered by a Class LR licence.

See Heavy vehicle licences for more information.

HR - Heavy Rigid

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.

Articulated buses.

With an HR licence you can also drive any vehicle covered by a Class MR licence.

See Heavy vehicle licences for more information.

HC - Heavy Combination

Heavy combination vehicles, such as a prime mover towing a semi-trailer, or rigid vehicles towing a trailer with a GVM of more than 9 tonnes.

With an HC licence you can also drive any vehicle covered by a Class HR licence.

See Heavy vehicle licences for more information.

MC - Multi Combination

Multi combination vehicles such as road trains and B-doubles.

With an MC licence you can also drive any vehicle covered by a Class HC licence.

See Heavy vehicle licences for more information.

Getting a car licence

With statistics showing that young drivers, aged 17-25, are more likely to be involved in crashes resulting in death or injury than other drivers, NSW introduced the Graduated Licensing Scheme.

The scheme gives new drivers the chance to safely build experience on the road and improve driving skills as they move from a learner to a full licence.

It takes a minimum of four years to progress through all the licence stages.

Overview – from learner to full licence

There are seven steps to progress from a learner to a full licence:

  1. Pass the Driver Knowledge Test (DKT) – get your learner licence
  2. Hold your learner licence for at least 12 months, and complete 120 hours of supervised driving practice, including 20 hours of night driving (unless you’re 25 or older)
  3. Pass the Driving Test – get your provisional P1 (red) licence
  4. Hold your P1 licence for at least 12 months
  5. Pass the Hazard Perception Test (HPT) – get your provisional P2 (green) licence
  6. Hold your P2 licence for at least two years (24 months)
  7. Pass the Driver Qualification Test (DQT) – get your full licence.

Converting an overseas or interstate licence to a NSW equivalent

If you hold an overseas or interstate licence and wish to convert it to a NSW equivalent, see Moving to NSW for information.

Getting a motorcycle rider licence

See Rider licences for information.

Taking your photo

Roads and Maritime is authorised under NSW law to take and use your photo when we issue you a licence. See Taking your photo for more information.

Getting a tow truck driver licence

See Tow trucks for more information.

Getting a taxi driver licence

Taxi drivers in NSW must hold a NSW driver licence and a Taxi Driver Authority. For information, visit the Transport for NSW website, or contact:

Taxi and Hire Car Bureau
Locked Bag 5085
Level 4, 16-18 Wentworth St
Parramatta NSW 2150
Phone 02 9689 8888
Fax 02 9689 8813

Warning: Roads and Maritime Services is the only licensing authority in NSW

A number of organisations claim that they can provide motor vehicle registrations and driver licences, including so-called '100-year driver licences' and 'perpetual vehicle registrations'.

Under NSW legislation, Roads and Maritime Services is the only vehicle registration and driver licensing authority in NSW.

Customers are reminded that:

  • You cannot legally register your vehicle in NSW with organisations other than Roads and Maritime
    Registering your vehicle with any unauthorised organisation claiming to provide vehicle registrations will mean your vehicle is not legally registered or insured for compulsory third party in NSW. This is regardless of whether the vehicle has undergone a roadworthiness inspection and/or purchased compulsory third party insurance
  • You can only get a NSW driver licence from Roads and Maritime
    Anyone getting a licence card from any unauthorised organisation will be unlicensed to drive a motor vehicle in NSW
  • Your number plates may be confiscated
    If the NSW Police stop a vehicle bearing number plates supplied by an unauthorised organisation, the driver of the vehicle may be infringed for driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle. The number plates may also be confiscated
  • You may be personally liable if you have an accident
    In the case of an accident where the driver of a vehicle bearing number plates from an unauthorised organisation is responsible, they may be held personally liable for any damage or injury caused.

For enquires please contact Roads and Maritime on 13 22 13.

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