Learner rider licence

To get your learner rider licence, you need to be at least 16 years and 9 months old. You don’t need to hold a driver licence to apply for a rider licence.

Getting your learner rider licence

The process for getting your licence is different depending on where you live in NSW. If you live in an area whererider training courses are available (a declared area), first you need to complete the pre-learner course, and then pass a rider knowledge test.

If you live in an area where training is not available (an undeclared area), you only need to pass a rider knowledge test.

Declared area - pre-learner course plus rider knowledge test

Pre-learner course

If you live in a declared area, rider training is compulsory. Check the list of rider training centres to find one near you, or call 13 22 13 to find out if you live in a declared area.

You need to book and successfully complete the pre-learner rider training course before you can attempt a rider knowledge test.

Important: To book training you must have a current a NSW driver licence, NSW Photocard or customer number. If you don't have one of these, you need to attend a service centre to apply for a customer number.

Full Proof of Identity (POI) is required to obtain a customer number.

From 1 March 2018, customers in declared areas wanting to book and pay for Rider Pre-Learner, Pre-Provisional Training or a Practical Skills Test must book directly with a rider training course provider. For more information about booking a course, see Rider training centres.

Rider knowledge test

After you’ve successfully completed the pre-learner course, you need to pass a rider knowledge test a service centre. Bookings are essential - you can book:

You'll need to pay the test fee when you book, so if you book online or by phone you'll need a credit card. 

On the day of your booking, go to your nominated service centre in person. Don't be late, as you may be required to re-book, and pay another fee.

You'll need to bring your:

To be issued with a learner rider licence you will also need to pass an eyesight test, and pay the licence fee, unless you are eligible for a concession.

Undeclared area - rider knowledge test only

An undeclared area is where rider training courses are not available. If you live in an undeclared area you need to book a rider knowledge test, which you take at a service centre

You can make a booking:

You'll need to pay the test fee when you book, so if you book online or by phone you'll need a credit card. 

On the day of your booking, go to your nominated service centre in person. You'll need to prove your identity.

To be issued with a learner rider licence, you will also need to pass an eyesight test, and pay the licence fee, unless you are eligible for a concession.

Issuing the learner licence

Once you pay pass the rider knowledge test, and paid the licence fee (unless eligible for a concession), your photo will be taken and your licence issued.

Depending on the 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 while learning to ride, until your new card arrives.

Learner licence validity

Your learner licence is valid for 12 months only. You can renew it if required, but you’ll need to successfully complete all of the requirements again (pre-learner course and rider knowledge test in declared areas. All test and course fees apply.

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 automatic motorcycles if you passed your pre-learner training on an automatic.
  • Wear a motorcycle helmet that meets either the Australian AS1698 or the UNECE22.06 standard.
  • 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.
  • Display an L plate (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 the posted speed limit, and never drive at more than the maximum learner speed limit of 90 km/h.
  • Not carry any pillion passengers.
  • Not tow a trailer or any other vehicle.
  • Not lane filter.
  • 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 function of a mobile phone, including GPS and maps, while your motorcycle is moving or is stopped but not parked. This includes hands free devices and loudspeakers.
  • 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

If you’ve held your learner rider licence for at least 3 months, you can attend a pre-provisional course (if you live in a declared area) or book a practical 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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