Learner rider licence

To get your learner rider licence, you need to be at least 16 years and nine months old.

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.

Getting your learner rider licence

To apply for your learner rider licence, you need to be at least 16 years and nine months old. The process for getting your licence is different, depending on whether you live in an area where rider training courses are available (a declared area), or not (an undeclared area).

Call Roads and Maritime Services on 13 22 13 to find out if you live in a declared or undeclared area.

You don’t need to hold a driver licence to apply for a rider licence.

Declared area

If you live in a declared area, you need to complete the pre-learner rider training course.

Once you’ve successfully completed the course, go to any registry or service centre in person and:

Once you pay the required fees and pass the Rider Knowledge Test, your photo will be taken. Depending on which location you attend, your licence card will either be handed over the counter, or posted to you. If it’s posted, you’ll receive a temporary paper licence, which you can use to learn to ride, until your new card arrives.

Your learner licence is valid for 12 months. You can renew it if required, but you’ll need to attend a pre-learner course again, and pay the course fee.

Undeclared area

If you live in an area where rider training courses are not available, you need to go to any registry or service centre in person and:

Once you pay the required fees and pass the Rider Knowledge Test, your photo will be taken. Depending on which location you attend, your licence card will either be handed over the counter, or posted to you. If it’s posted, you’ll receive a temporary paper licence, which you can use to learn to ride, until your new card arrives.

Your learner rider licence is valid for 12 months. You can renew it if required, but you’ll need to pass the Rider Knowledge Test again, and pay the test fee.

Rules for learner riders

In additional to complying with the NSW Road Rules, you must:

  • Only ride a motorcycle approved for novice riders
  • Only ride motorcycles if your licence is class R only. You need a class C or above licence to drive cars, or any other vehicle 
  • Have an L plate displayed (black L on an orange/yellow background) clearly on the rear of the motorcycle. The letter L on the plate must not be hidden
  • Observe a maximum speed limit of 90 km/h, and observe the posted speed limit, where it is below 90 km/h
  • Not carry any pillion passengers
  • Not tow a trailer or any other vehicle
  • Not exceed zero blood alcohol concentration. This means you cannot have any alcohol in your system when you ride a motorcycle. It’s also illegal to ride under the influence of drugs
  • Not use any mobile phone, including hands free devices or loudspeaker, while riding, while your motorcycle is moving or is stopped but not parked.
  • If in Sydney, not ride in Parramatta Park, Centennial Park or Moore Park.
    Failure to comply is an offence and carries heavy penalties, including loss of licence.

Demerit points apply to learner riders. Your learner rider licence will be suspended or refused, if you reach or exceed 4 demerit points in a three-year period.

Progressing to a P1 rider licence

Once you’ve held your learner rider licence for at least three months, you can attend a pre-provisional course (if you live in a declared area) or book a riding test (if you live in an undeclared area).

If you’re successful, you’ll be issued with a provisional P1 rider licence.

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