Important licensing changes on the way for young drivers

14 September 2017

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey has announced major improvements to the state’s highly successful Graduated Licensing Scheme to ensure new drivers are safe drivers on our roads.

The NSW licensing system for young drivers is already one of the safest in the world and the changes that come into effect on 20 November 2017 are designed to improve the way the scheme prepares novice drivers - in particular young drivers – to be safe on the road.

“We know that the first six months of driving solo is the highest risk period for novice drivers so it’s important we continue to look at ways to improve licensing of young drivers to ensure they get the training and experience they need to be safe on our roads,” Mrs Pavey said. “Young drivers continue to be over-represented in road crashes. P-platers make up 8 per cent of all driver licence holders, yet their crashes account for 15 per cent of all fatalities on NSW roads. “Last year was a horror year for road crashes, with 100 fatalities and 1,684 serious injuries involving a 17-25 year old driver on NSW roads. It’s vital we continue to adapt and improve our approach to reduce this tragic loss of life and serious injuries involving our young drivers.”

The Graduated Licensing Scheme has been highly successful since it was first introduced on 1 July 2000. The scheme takes drivers from their learner licence to full licence with restrictions and conditions that are designed to ensure they build their skills and knowledge so they understand risks and are safer on the roads. Since its introduction, there has been a 50 per cent reduction in the number of young drivers killed on NSW roads.

The changes to the Graduated Licensing Scheme mean:

  • Learner drivers will have to complete the Hazard Perception Test before they can take the driving test;
  • P1 drivers will no longer have to complete the Hazard Perception Test to get their P2 licence; and
  • The Driver Qualification Test has been removed for P2 Drivers and in its place P2 drivers will have to stay on their licence for an extra 6 months if they receive a suspension for unsafe driving behaviour.

These changes come into effect from 20 November 2017. Find out how the changes affect you or someone you know at

View original media release.

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