Learner driver licence
If you're 16 or over, you can apply for a learner driver licence. Follow these steps to get your Ls.
Check your eligibility
To get your NSW learner driver licence, you must:
Pass the Driver Knowledge Test (DKT)
The Driver Knowledge Test is a computer-based test held at service centres around NSW.
Everything you need to know before you take the test is in the Road User Handbook. Make sure you study the handbook and know the rules.
You can use our free practice tests to get familiar with the test questions.
Booking the test
You'll need to pay the test fee at the time of booking.
On the day of the test
On the day of your test booking, travel to your nominated service centre and bring:
- proof of identity
- glasses or contacts, if you need them to see well.
After you pass
After you pass your test, an attendant at the testing centre will take your photo for your licence card.
We'll post your licence to you if it's not given to you on the day. In this case, you'll receive a temporary paper licence, which you can use until your new licence card arrives.
You can also choose to get a digital licence.
Learner Driver Log Book
You'll be given a paper log book to use to record your supervised driving experience while you're on your learner licence.
You can also choose to use a log book app, if you prefer.
Learner driver rules
Like other drivers, learners must follow the NSW road rules. There are also some special conditions that apply to learner drivers.
These conditions are designed to keep you safe while you're building your driving skills and experience.
What you must do
- Learners need to have a supervisor present at all times. The supervisor must hold a full Australian driver licence.
- Learners can drive with passengers in the car. If you're driving with passengers, you must ensure these passengers all sit in seats with seat belts or child restraints.
- Learners must only drive vehicles that have a seat belt fitted to the driver's seat, and you must wear the seat belt.
- When driving, learners must display L plates clearly on the front and back of the car. The plates must be on the outside, or there must be an L sign on the roof. The letter L on the plate must not be hidden.
- Learners must only drive cars.
What you must not do
- Learners must never drive above 90km/h.
- Do not use any mobile phone while driving, or while your vehicle is stopped but not parked. This includes hands-free devices or loud speakers.
- Learners must not tow any other vehicle.
- Learners must not have any alcohol in their system when driving. It is also illegal to drive under the influence of drugs.
- If in Sydney, do not drive in Parramatta Park or Centennial Park.
You must comply with these learner driver restrictions when you are driving outside NSW. You should also find out about any driving laws that may apply to you while in another jurisdiction.
Failure to comply with these rules is an offence. This can carry heavy penalties, including the loss of your licence.
Demerit points apply to learner drivers. If you reach or exceed 4 demerit points in a 3-year period, your learner licence will be suspended or disqualified. For more see Learner and provisional driver demerit points.
Getting a provisional P1 licence
If you're under 25 and working towards your red Ps:
- you need to record at least 120 hours of driving experience, including 20 hours of night driving.
- you can choose to take a Safer Drivers Course to improve your skills (and get a bonus 20 hours in your log book).
- you can choose to have structured lessons with a licensed NSW driving instructor, which allows you to record bonus hours in your logbook.
- once you've held your learner licence for 10 months, you can book in for the Hazard Perception Test (HPT). This is first test to pass before you can get your provisional P1 licence.
If you're 25 or over, you can take the HPT when you feel ready. You do not need to have held your Ls for 10 months.
Do not feel any pressure to take the driving test before you're ready. You can continue to practise on your learner licence for as long as you need. Only take the driving test when you feel confident that you have the experience and skills to safely drive by yourself.
Your learner licence is valid for 5 years. If you haven't progressed to your red Ps after this time, you can renew your learner licence. However, each time you renew, you must pass the Driver Knowledge Test (DKT) and pay the test and licence fees.
Restricted P1 licences for people in remote areas
If you're under 25 and live in a remote area, you may be eligible for a restricted P1 licence. A restricted licence lets you drive without a supervisor, in particular circumstances.
This type of licence makes it easier for young people in remote areas to drive to health, education and work-related appointments.
See Restricted P1 licence licence for more.