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NSW Australian Driving License - New South Walse (NSW)

MysticRiver

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
14,980
Points
113
This post describes the process of getting driving license for Cars in New South Walse province in Australia.

There are seven steps to complete to progress from a car learner licence to a full licence. The steps are:
  1. Pass the Driver Knowledge Test (DKT) - get your learner licence.
  2. Hold your learner licence at least 12 months and complete 120 hours of supervised driving practice including 20 hours of night driving (for drivers under the age of 25 only).
  3. Pass the Driving Test - progress to a Provisional Licence - stage 1 (P1 licence).
  4. Hold your P1 licence for a minimum of 12 months.
  5. Pass the Hazard Perception Test - progress to Provisional Licence - stage 2 (P2 licence).
  6. Hold your P2 licence for a minimum of 24 months.
  7. Pass the Driver Qualification Test (DQT) - progress to a full licence.
If you have an overseas licence, you can skip some steps based on your licence duration (see last part of this post).

Learner License:
To get learner licence you need to be 16 years of age or older. You will need to attend a Driver Knowledge Test (DKT). Learner licences are valid for five years. You will have to log at least 120 hours of supervised driving (with minimum of 20 hours of night driving) and hold your learner license for 12 months before you can attempt the Driving Test.

Learner drivers who complete a one hour (maximum accepted: 10 hours) structured driving lesson with a fully licensed driving instructor can record three hours driving experience in their Learner Driver Log Book.

Exemptions from holding a learner log book and tenure period of 12 months
Those who are exempt from holding a Learner Driver Log Book include:
  • Drivers who have previously held a NSW or interstate drivers licence other than a learner licence.
  • Drivers who apply for a learner licence and have previously held an overseas licence other than a learner licence.
  • Holders of an overseas licence, other than a learner licence, who are issued with a learner licence after failing one Driving Test.
  • Drivers specifically exempted by Roads and Maritime Services.
  • Drivers over 25 years old.
Learner drivers are subject to the following conditions:
  • Be supervised at all times by the holder of a full Australian driver licence.
  • Have L plates displayed conspicuously at the front and rear exterior of the car (or an L sign on the roof) when driving. The letter L on the plate must not be hidden.
  • Observe a maximum speed limit of 90 km/h.
  • Not tow any other vehicle.
  • Not exceed zero blood alcohol concentration (this means you cannot drink before driving). It is also illegal to drive under the influence of drugs.
  • Not supervise another learner driver.
  • Only carry the number of passengers that can be properly seated in seats and restrained by approved seat belts or child restraints.
  • Only drive vehicles that have a seat belt fitted to the driver's position and you must wear the seat belt.
  • Not use any functions of a mobile phone including hands free devices.
From 28 September 2009, demerit points apply to learner drivers. A learner licence will be suspended or refused if the threshold of four (4) demerit points is reached or exceeded.

Provisional (P1) driver licence
If you are 17 years of age or older, you are eligible to attempt the Driving Test if you have logged at least 120 hours driving time (which includes a minimum of 20 hours of night driving) and have held your learner licence for at least 12 months. Drivers aged 25 years and over are exempt from the 12 month tenure and log book requirements. A P1 driver licence is issued for 18 months.

Your P1 licence will be suspended or refused if you reach or exceed four demerit points. P1 licence holders have their licence suspended for at least three months for any speeding offence. An additional suspension or refusal period will apply for any excessive speed offence (more than 30km/h above the speed limit).

P1 drivers are subject to the following conditions:
  • Display of P plates – P plates must be clearly displayed on the front and back of the vehicle, on the outside.
  • Mobile phones – You must not use a mobile phone while driving or while your vehicle is moving or is stopped but not parked. This includes phones in the hands-free mode or with the loudspeaker operating.
  • Zero Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) – You cannot have any alcohol in your system when you drive a vehicle. It is also illegal to drive under the influence of drugs.
  • Speed limit – You must not drive faster than 90 km/h and must observe the speed limit where it is below 90 km/h.
  • Automatic transmission vehicles – If you took your driving test in a automatic vehicle, you are restricted to driving an automatic or clutchless manual transmission vehicle while on your P1 licence.
  • Licence class – You can only drive cars, and cannot apply to upgrade your licence to a higher class.
  • Passengers – P1 licence holders are subject to special conditions regarding the passengers you can carry.
  • Seatbelts – You must ensure all occupants, including yourself, are in a seat that has a seatbelt or an approved restraint fitted and that each passenger is using the seatbelt or restraint.
  • Supervising a learner – You must not supervise a learner driver.
  • Towing – You are allowed to tow light trailers up to 250 kilograms unloaded weight. You must display a P plate (red P on a white background) on the back of the trailer while towing.
  • Prohibited vehicles – Certain vehicles must not be driven by P1 licence holders.
Provisional (P2) driver licence
After completing the minimum required tenure period on your P1 licence (*see below) you can attempt the Hazard Perception Test (HPT). If successful, you can proceed to the P2 licence. A P2 driver licence is issued for 30 months. During the term of a P2 licence you are able to upgrade to a heavy vehicle licence of the classes LR, MR or HR.

A P2 licence is suspended or refused if you reach or exceed seven demerit points. P2 licence holders caught speeding will receive a minimum of four demerit points. A suspension or refusal period also applies for any excessive speed offence (more than 30km/h above the speed limit).

Tenure requirements with P1 licence*
You must hold your P1 licence for a minimum total period of 12 months before you become eligible to progress to a P2 licence.
  • Liquor Act offences - If you commit an offence by using false documents to gain access to licensed premises or purchase alcohol you will be required to hold your P1 driver licence for 18 months, that is, an additional six-month period.
  • Suspension periods while on your P1 licence - Any period that your licence is suspended is not counted towards tenure for your P2 licence. This means that if your licence is suspended, you must hold your P1 licence for an additional period that is equal to the suspension period.
  • Court disqualification - If you are disqualified from driving by a court, the law operates to immediately and permanently cancel any licence held. In these circumstances, any tenure gained on your P1 licence is forfeited. This means that when the disqualification period has ended, you will be required to obtain a further P1 licence and you will need to complete the 12 months (or 18 months) tenure period again before you can progress to a P2 licence.
Conditions for P2 drivers
P2 drivers are subject to the following conditions:
  • Display of P plates – P plates (green P on a white background) must be clearly displayed on the front and back of the vehicle, on the outside.
  • Zero Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) – You cannot have any alcohol in your system when you drive a vehicle.
  • Licence class – Can only drive up to a Heavy Rigid (HR) licence class.
  • Seatbelts – You must ensure all occupants including yourself, are in a seat that has a seatbelt or an approved restraint fitted and that each passenger is using the seatbelt or restraint.
  • Speed limit – You must not drive faster than 100 km/h and must observe the speed limit where it is below 100 km/h.
  • Supervising a learner – You must not supervise a learner driver.
  • Passengers - P2 licence holders are subject to special conditions regarding the passengers you can carry.
  • Prohibited vehicles - Certain vehicles must not be driven by P2 licence holders.
Full driving licence
To get a full licence, you must meet the minimum tenure requirements and pass the Driver Qualification Test (DQT).

Tenure requirements with P2 licence
You must hold your P2 licence for a minimum period of 24 months before being eligible to progress to a full licence.
  • Liquor Act offences - If you commit an offence by using false documents to gain access to licensed premises or purchase alcohol, you will be required to hold your P2 licence for 30 months, that is, an additional six-month period. This is not required if the additional six-month period was served on the P1 licence.
  • Suspension periods while on your P2 licence - Any period that your licence is suspended is not counted towards tenure for your full licence. This means that if your licence is suspended, you must hold your P2 licence for an additional period that is equal to the suspension period.
  • Court disqualification - If you are disqualified from driving by a court, the law operates to immediately and permanently cancel any licence held. In these circumstances, any tenure gained on your P2 licence is forfeited. This means that when the disqualification period has ended, you will be required to obtain a further P2 licence and you will need to complete the 24 months (or 30 months) tenure period again before you can progress to a full licence.
International drivers:
You can drive maximum 3 months from the day you arrive with your valid overseas licence (English or translated in English). After that, you have to apply for NSW licence with normal procedure, However, you are entitled to avail the below advantages against your overseas licence:
  • If you have held your overseas driver or rider licence for less than 12 months, you will be issued a NSW provisional P1 licence.
  • If you have held your overseas driver licence for more than 12 months but less than three years, a provisional P2 licence will be issued.
  • If you have held your overseas driver licence for more than three years, you will be issued with a NSW unrestricted licence.
But remember, if you fail the driving test, your visiting driving privileges will be withdrawn. To continue to drive in NSW you must then get a learner licence that will allow you to drive and attempt another driving test.
 

paddlescoop

Wanderer
Messages
11
Points
1
MSA
2017-12-06
Skill
261313
SC
189
Point
70
EOI
2017-12-10
Inv.
2018-10-10
App.
2018-12-07
PCC
2018-12-06
HC
2018-11-30
Grant
2019-05-28
International drivers:
You can drive maximum 3 months from the day you arrive with your valid overseas licence (English or translated in English). After that, you have to apply for NSW licence with normal procedure, However, you are entitled to avail the below advantages against your overseas licence:
  • If you have held your overseas driver or rider licence for less than 12 months, you will be issued a NSW provisional P1 licence.
  • If you have held your overseas driver licence for more than 12 months but less than three years, a provisional P2 licence will be issued.
  • If you have held your overseas driver licence for more than three years, you will be issued with a NSW unrestricted licence.
But remember, if you fail the driving test, your visiting driving privileges will be withdrawn. To continue to drive in NSW you must then get a learner licence that will allow you to drive and attempt another driving test.
As always, fairly detailed information. Thank you!
Have a few questions on this (first few may be dumb questions, so pardon the naivety):
a. Third bullet for International drivers mentions "unrestricted" license: Is this same as Full Driver License (subject to clearing the Driving Test), or something else?
b. Are the rules and procedures for getting a driver's license for 4-wheeler same in NSW and VIC?
c. If not, how do these rules/procedure(s) change when it comes to getting a 4-wheeler license in VIC?
d. You've mentioned that we can avail these advantages if we have a valid overseas license. Does this mean that the overseas license, even if in English, is not automatically valid on 1st entry in AUS - i.e., we would most likely need to visit some Road Transport Office (or similar) to get our overseas license validated (to avail these benefits)?
e. Also, what happens if you, say, shift from NSW to VIC or vice versa. Does one have to re-apply, re-register, re-validate, or get the license transferred, etc.?
 
MSA
2017-12-06
Skill
261313
SC
189
Point
70
EOI
2017-12-10
Inv.
2018-10-10
App.
2018-12-07
PCC
2018-12-06
HC
2018-11-30
Grant
2019-05-28

MysticRiver

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
14,980
Points
113
Third bullet for International drivers mentions "unrestricted" license: Is this same as Full Driver License (subject to clearing the Driving Test), or something else?
Yes, full driving license. NSW has 2 types of provisional licenses (P1 and P2) which have a few unimportant restrictions (speed limit, alcohol level etc.). The unrestricted license comes after that (in usual case).

Are the rules and procedures for getting a driver's license for 4-wheeler same in NSW and VIC?
They are fairly similar, but the. procedure might have a slight variance.

If not, how do these rules/procedure(s) change when it comes to getting a 4-wheeler license in VIC?
I believe car and 4-wheeler have the same license type. For the exact procedure, you have to check VIC RTA website.

You've mentioned that we can avail these advantages if we have a valid overseas license. Does this mean that the overseas license, even if in English, is not automatically valid on 1st entry in AUS - i.e., we would most likely need to visit some Road Transport Office (or similar) to get our overseas license validated (to avail these benefits)?
Valid as in, valid in your country. You don't need to revalidate in Australia.

Also, what happens if you, say, shift from NSW to VIC or vice versa. Does one have to re-apply, re-register, re-validate, or get the license transferred, etc.?
If you get a license from any of the states in Australia, you can just transfer it to any other state, if you move, without reappearing any exam.
 

paddlescoop

Wanderer
Messages
11
Points
1
MSA
2017-12-06
Skill
261313
SC
189
Point
70
EOI
2017-12-10
Inv.
2018-10-10
App.
2018-12-07
PCC
2018-12-06
HC
2018-11-30
Grant
2019-05-28
Yes, full driving license. NSW has 2 types of provisional licenses (P1 and P2) which have a few unimportant restrictions (speed limit, alcohol level etc.). The unrestricted license comes after that (in usual case).


They are fairly similar, but the. procedure might have a slight variance.


I believe car and 4-wheeler have the same license type. For the exact procedure, you have to check VIC RTA website.


Valid as in, valid in your country. You don't need to revalidate in Australia.


If you get a license from any of the states in Australia, you can just transfer it to any other state, if you move, without reappearing any exam.

thank you so much!

One more question, though... :)

I'm planning to come to Melbourne for a few days to meet the Initial Entry Date limitation in Oct'19. I have a valid car driving license that I got 5+ years back. If I plan to rent a car while in Melbourne, can I drive it on my native country's license, without having to undergo any validation/confirmation with the authorities?
 
MSA
2017-12-06
Skill
261313
SC
189
Point
70
EOI
2017-12-10
Inv.
2018-10-10
App.
2018-12-07
PCC
2018-12-06
HC
2018-11-30
Grant
2019-05-28

MysticRiver

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
14,980
Points
113
I'm planning to come to Melbourne for a few days to meet the Initial Entry Date limitation in Oct'19. I have a valid car driving license that I got 5+ years back. If I plan to rent a car while in Melbourne, can I drive it on my native country's license, without having to undergo any validation/confirmation with the authorities?
Yes. You can use your overseas license until 3 months of your permanent move to Australia.
 
This post describes the process of getting driving license for Cars in New South Walse province in Australia.

There are seven steps to complete to progress from a car learner licence to a full licence. The steps are:
  1. Pass the Driver Knowledge Test (DKT) - get your learner licence.
  2. Hold your learner licence at least 12 months and complete 120 hours of supervised driving practice including 20 hours of night driving (for drivers under the age of 25 only).
  3. Pass the Driving Test - progress to a Provisional Licence - stage 1 (P1 licence).
  4. Hold your P1 licence for a minimum of 12 months.
  5. Pass the Hazard Perception Test - progress to Provisional Licence - stage 2 (P2 licence).
  6. Hold your P2 licence for a minimum of 24 months.
  7. Pass the Driver Qualification Test (DQT) - progress to a full licence.
If you have an overseas licence, you can skip some steps based on your licence duration (see last part of this post).

Learner License:
To get learner licence you need to be 16 years of age or older. You will need to attend a Driver Knowledge Test (DKT). Learner licences are valid for five years. You will have to log at least 120 hours of supervised driving (with minimum of 20 hours of night driving) and hold your learner license for 12 months before you can attempt the Driving Test.

Learner drivers who complete a one hour (maximum accepted: 10 hours) structured driving lesson with a fully licensed driving instructor can record three hours driving experience in their Learner Driver Log Book.

Exemptions from holding a learner log book and tenure period of 12 months
Those who are exempt from holding a Learner Driver Log Book include:
  • Drivers who have previously held a NSW or interstate drivers licence other than a learner licence.
  • Drivers who apply for a learner licence and have previously held an overseas licence other than a learner licence.
  • Holders of an overseas licence, other than a learner licence, who are issued with a learner licence after failing one Driving Test.
  • Drivers specifically exempted by Roads and Maritime Services.
  • Drivers over 25 years old.
Learner drivers are subject to the following conditions:
  • Be supervised at all times by the holder of a full Australian driver licence.
  • Have L plates displayed conspicuously at the front and rear exterior of the car (or an L sign on the roof) when driving. The letter L on the plate must not be hidden.
  • Observe a maximum speed limit of 90 km/h.
  • Not tow any other vehicle.
  • Not exceed zero blood alcohol concentration (this means you cannot drink before driving). It is also illegal to drive under the influence of drugs.
  • Not supervise another learner driver.
  • Only carry the number of passengers that can be properly seated in seats and restrained by approved seat belts or child restraints.
  • Only drive vehicles that have a seat belt fitted to the driver's position and you must wear the seat belt.
  • Not use any functions of a mobile phone including hands free devices.
From 28 September 2009, demerit points apply to learner drivers. A learner licence will be suspended or refused if the threshold of four (4) demerit points is reached or exceeded.

Provisional (P1) driver licence
If you are 17 years of age or older, you are eligible to attempt the Driving Test if you have logged at least 120 hours driving time (which includes a minimum of 20 hours of night driving) and have held your learner licence for at least 12 months. Drivers aged 25 years and over are exempt from the 12 month tenure and log book requirements. A P1 driver licence is issued for 18 months.

Your P1 licence will be suspended or refused if you reach or exceed four demerit points. P1 licence holders have their licence suspended for at least three months for any speeding offence. An additional suspension or refusal period will apply for any excessive speed offence (more than 30km/h above the speed limit).

P1 drivers are subject to the following conditions:
  • Display of P plates – P plates must be clearly displayed on the front and back of the vehicle, on the outside.
  • Mobile phones – You must not use a mobile phone while driving or while your vehicle is moving or is stopped but not parked. This includes phones in the hands-free mode or with the loudspeaker operating.
  • Zero Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) – You cannot have any alcohol in your system when you drive a vehicle. It is also illegal to drive under the influence of drugs.
  • Speed limit – You must not drive faster than 90 km/h and must observe the speed limit where it is below 90 km/h.
  • Automatic transmission vehicles – If you took your driving test in a automatic vehicle, you are restricted to driving an automatic or clutchless manual transmission vehicle while on your P1 licence.
  • Licence class – You can only drive cars, and cannot apply to upgrade your licence to a higher class.
  • Passengers – P1 licence holders are subject to special conditions regarding the passengers you can carry.
  • Seatbelts – You must ensure all occupants, including yourself, are in a seat that has a seatbelt or an approved restraint fitted and that each passenger is using the seatbelt or restraint.
  • Supervising a learner – You must not supervise a learner driver.
  • Towing – You are allowed to tow light trailers up to 250 kilograms unloaded weight. You must display a P plate (red P on a white background) on the back of the trailer while towing.
  • Prohibited vehicles – Certain vehicles must not be driven by P1 licence holders.
Provisional (P2) driver licence
After completing the minimum required tenure period on your P1 licence (*see below) you can attempt the Hazard Perception Test (HPT). If successful, you can proceed to the P2 licence. A P2 driver licence is issued for 30 months. During the term of a P2 licence you are able to upgrade to a heavy vehicle licence of the classes LR, MR or HR.

A P2 licence is suspended or refused if you reach or exceed seven demerit points. P2 licence holders caught speeding will receive a minimum of four demerit points. A suspension or refusal period also applies for any excessive speed offence (more than 30km/h above the speed limit).

Tenure requirements with P1 licence*
You must hold your P1 licence for a minimum total period of 12 months before you become eligible to progress to a P2 licence.
  • Liquor Act offences - If you commit an offence by using false documents to gain access to licensed premises or purchase alcohol you will be required to hold your P1 driver licence for 18 months, that is, an additional six-month period.
  • Suspension periods while on your P1 licence - Any period that your licence is suspended is not counted towards tenure for your P2 licence. This means that if your licence is suspended, you must hold your P1 licence for an additional period that is equal to the suspension period.
  • Court disqualification - If you are disqualified from driving by a court, the law operates to immediately and permanently cancel any licence held. In these circumstances, any tenure gained on your P1 licence is forfeited. This means that when the disqualification period has ended, you will be required to obtain a further P1 licence and you will need to complete the 12 months (or 18 months) tenure period again before you can progress to a P2 licence.
Conditions for P2 drivers
P2 drivers are subject to the following conditions:
  • Display of P plates – P plates (green P on a white background) must be clearly displayed on the front and back of the vehicle, on the outside.
  • Zero Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) – You cannot have any alcohol in your system when you drive a vehicle.
  • Licence class – Can only drive up to a Heavy Rigid (HR) licence class.
  • Seatbelts – You must ensure all occupants including yourself, are in a seat that has a seatbelt or an approved restraint fitted and that each passenger is using the seatbelt or restraint.
  • Speed limit – You must not drive faster than 100 km/h and must observe the speed limit where it is below 100 km/h.
  • Supervising a learner – You must not supervise a learner driver.
  • Passengers - P2 licence holders are subject to special conditions regarding the passengers you can carry.
  • Prohibited vehicles - Certain vehicles must not be driven by P2 licence holders.
Full driving licence
To get a full licence, you must meet the minimum tenure requirements and pass the Driver Qualification Test (DQT).

Tenure requirements with P2 licence
You must hold your P2 licence for a minimum period of 24 months before being eligible to progress to a full licence.
  • Liquor Act offences - If you commit an offence by using false documents to gain access to licensed premises or purchase alcohol, you will be required to hold your P2 licence for 30 months, that is, an additional six-month period. This is not required if the additional six-month period was served on the P1 licence.
  • Suspension periods while on your P2 licence - Any period that your licence is suspended is not counted towards tenure for your full licence. This means that if your licence is suspended, you must hold your P2 licence for an additional period that is equal to the suspension period.
  • Court disqualification - If you are disqualified from driving by a court, the law operates to immediately and permanently cancel any licence held. In these circumstances, any tenure gained on your P2 licence is forfeited. This means that when the disqualification period has ended, you will be required to obtain a further P2 licence and you will need to complete the 24 months (or 30 months) tenure period again before you can progress to a full licence.
International drivers:
You can drive maximum 3 months from the day you arrive with your valid overseas licence (English or translated in English). After that, you have to apply for NSW licence with normal procedure, However, you are entitled to avail the below advantages against your overseas licence:
  • If you have held your overseas driver or rider licence for less than 12 months, you will be issued a NSW provisional P1 licence.
  • If you have held your overseas driver licence for more than 12 months but less than three years, a provisional P2 licence will be issued.
  • If you have held your overseas driver licence for more than three years, you will be issued with a NSW unrestricted licence.
But remember, if you fail the driving test, your visiting driving privileges will be withdrawn. To continue to drive in NSW you must then get a learner licence that will allow you to drive and attempt another driving test.
Very useful information, thank you.

I was wondering if you have any information in regards to acquiring a HR licence in Nsw if you have an existing overseas licence for the same class.

Thanks for your help
 

MysticRiver

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
14,980
Points
113
NSW said:
If you are applying for a heavy vehicle licence (classes LR, MR, HR, HC or MC) you must pass the relevant knowledge and driving tests, even if you hold an equivalent class licence from a recognised foreign licensing authority.
 
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