Steps to getting your licence

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Before you can hold an unrestricted licence, there are a few steps you'll need to take.

Changes to the Graduated Licensing Scheme from 20 November 2017

Changes apply to the testing you need to progress through the licensing stages. In addition, P2 drivers who get suspended for unsafe driving will end up adding an extra 6 months to the time they need to spend on their P2 licence. Find out more.

Getting your full licence takes more than a couple of years, and there are different rules for driving depending on whether you're on your Ls, your 'red' Ps (also known as P1) or your 'green' Ps (also known as P2).

The Geared website is here to help you through the stages so you know exactly what you need to do to stay on track, stay safe and stay legal.

We'll be here to help you prepare for tests, answer your questions and provide tips and good advice from driving instructors and Roads and Maritime Services testing officers – the people who assess whether you're ready to take the next step.

Here's a summary of what you need to do:

  1. Pass the Driver Knowledge Test (DKT). This gets you a learner licence.
  2. Pass the Hazard Perception Test (HPT) once you've held your learner licence for at least 10 months.
    • Learner drivers aged 25 and over are exempt from the 10 month requirement - if you're 25 or over you can do the HPT when you're ready.
  3. Pass the Driving Test, after you've held your learner licence for 12 months and completed 120 hours minimum of driving practice and recorded it in your Learner Driver Logbook This gets you a provisional P1 licence - your red Ps.
    • If you're 25 or over you're exempt from the 12 month driving practice and log book requirement and can do the driving test when you're ready.
  4. Hold your P1 licence for at least 12 months, and you can apply for a P2 licence - your green Ps.
  5. Hold your P2 licence for at least 24 months, and you can apply for an unrestricted licence
    • Provisional P2 drivers who receive a suspension for unsafe driving behaviour must stay on their P2 licence for an extra six months for every suspension they receive.

If you got your P1 or P2 licence before 20 November 2017

The system changed on 20 November 2017 - if you got your P1 or P2 licence before this date, things are a bit different for you:

  • P1 - if you got your P1 before 20 November 2017 and haven't yet upgraded to a P2 licence, you'll need to pass the HPT before progressing to a P2 licence.
  • P2 - if you got your P1 before 20 November 2017 and haven't yet upgraded to an unrestricted licence, you'll need to pass a Driver Qualification Test (DQT) before applying for an unrestricted licence. You must hold your P2 licence for 24 months before you can attempt the DQT.


keys2drive is an Australian Government-funded program which provides learner drivers and their parents/supervisors a free driving lesson with a keys2drive accredited professional driving instructor.