Tips for getting your learner licence

L plate on rear of car
  • You have to be 16 years or older to get your learner driver licence
  • How to get your Ls on the first attempt
  • The rules for learner drivers you will need to know

Getting your learner driver licence isn’t difficult or expensive. You will have to study to gain an understanding of the road rules and pay the relevant fees.

You have be 16 years of age or older to obtain your learner driver licence – you will need to prove your identity and pass a Driver Knowledge Test at a motor registry or Service NSW office, as well as passing an eyesight test. From November 2017, learners will also have to pass a Hazard Perception test.

How much does it cost to get my learner driver licence?

It costs about $44.00 to do your Driver Knowledge Test and, when you pass, about $24.00 for a learner driver licence, $13.00 for a Road Users Handbook and $17.00 for a learner driver logbook. The Hazard Perception test costs $44 and the Hazard Perception handbook costs $13.

How to get your L's on the first attempt

  • Study the road rules and do practice tests. Thoroughly study the Road Users' Handbook so you know all the road rules and complete online practice driver knowledge tests until you can pass them consistently.
  • Book the test at a convenient time. Choose a time when you’re not squeezing the test in between work or study so you can be relaxed and focused. Get there early and use the time to revise the Road User’s Handbook or complete practice tests on your phone.
  • Be an observant passenger. Whenever you ride in a car, observe the driver and try to understand how things work. Ask lots of questions and carry the Road Users' Handbook with you so you can confirm any road rules you or the driver are not certain about.
  • Stay cool during the test. Stay calm and take your time – there is no maximum time limit. Read the question and each of the answer choices carefully. You will very likely come across questions similar to or the same as those in practice tests. 

Once you have your learner licence, you're ready to book your driving lessons with the NRMA, or organise a family member or friend to teach you.

Rules for learner drivers

L platers must:

 Only drive a car, not a motorcycle
 Be supervised at all times by the holder of an unrestricted Australian driver licence
 Have L plates displayed clearly at the front and rear of the car (or an L sign on the roof of your instructors vehicle) when driving. L plates cannot be fixed on the window inside the car
 Observe the posted speed limit where it is below 90km/h, and observe a maximum speed limit of 90 km/h
 Not tow any other vehicle
 Not exceed zero blood alcohol concentration (in effect, this means you cannot drink before driving)
 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 a vehicle with a seatbelt fitted to the driver's position and wear the seat belt
 Not drive with any passengers in or on the boot of the vehicle
 Not use any mobile phone, including hands-free devices or loud speaker, while driving, or while your vehicle is stopped, but not parked
 If in Sydney, not drive in Parramatta Park or Centennial Park

Demerit points apply to learner drivers for failing to comply with the road rules or learner driver rules. Your learner licence will be suspended or refused if you reach or exceed 4 demerit points in a three year period.

What do I have to do before I go for my Ps?

You must log at least 120 hours of supervised driving in your learner driver log book, including a minimum of 20 hours of night driving, before you can attempt the P1 licence driving test. Night driving hours are between sunset and sunrise.

Good to know: Your learner driver licence is valid for five years. If you have not passed your P1 licence test by the end of the five years, you can renew your learner licence by passing the Driver Knowledge Test again.

Did you know that a 1 hour lesson with an accredited driving instructor counts for 3 hours in the learner driver logbook? This change to the learner driver licencing scheme now allows for a maximum of 10 driving tuition hours to be recorded as 30 hours. Learn more about driver training and the learner driver licencing scheme.

Can't wait to get your L's?

Get your log book hours up faster with NRMA driver training