6 Steps to a full driving licence in NSW
Updated: May 9
Planning to get a driver’s licence in NSW but don’t know where to start? Well, the process of transitioning from learner's to a full licence can be a bit confusing and daunting for beginners, but it doesn’t have to be so. This is why, we’ve come up with this post to help you understand the basics on how to get yourself a licence and the rules that you need to follow.
Step 1 - Get a Learner's Licence - 'L' Plate
To apply for a learner's licence, you must:
be 16 years of age or older
visit a service centre to prove your identity
pass a Driver Knowledge Test (DKT)
have your eyes tested
If you are under 25 years of age, you will be issued with a learner's logbook along with the learner's licence after passing your DKT. You are exempt for a learner's logbook only if you meet one or more criteria below:
are 25 or over
previously held a NSW or interstate driver licence (other than a learner licence)
previously held an overseas licence (other than a learner licence)
hold an overseas licence (other than a learner licence) and are issued with a learner licence after failing one driving test
are specifically exempted by Transport for NSW.
For more information on what documents to take when visiting the Services NSW centre for your DKT, visit the Services NSW website.
Step 2 - Look for 'driving lessons near me' - Why?
Learning how to drive can be challenging or easy for learners, depending on their skill and confidence. However, regardless of the learner type, it is essential for a learner to take driving lessons with a professional driving instructor. It is highly recommended to get professional driving lessons with a driving instructor as soon as you get your Ls or before you start driving with your supervisor at home.
There are multiple benefits of learning with a professional driving instructor:
Learn in a dual control car i.e. driving instructors have a break installed on the passenger side. Hence they have more control of the vehicle and can take better safety measures.
Get 30 logbook hours with just 10 practical hours with a driving instructor.
Learn the tips & basic skills from a professional to ensure the foundation of your driving skills is strong
Gain confidence and freedom - some learners feel at ease when learning with an instructor instead of a family member. Once you are comfortable in your skill, you can easily drive with a family member at home.
Step 3 - Pass the Hazard Perception Test (HPT)
Once you have been on your L plate for 9 months and have gained a good practical experience, you can book a Hazard Perception Test (HPT) at your nearest Services NSW centre. The HPT is a computer test comprising of driving videos to assess your judgement on the road and ensure you make safe decisions on the road.
Unlike the DKT, NSW does not have a practice test for HPT. However, the practice test from South Australia is very similar to the actual HPT test in NSW. Hence, it can be used to familarise & prepare for the HPT.
However, please ensure you have good enough practical experience before sitting your driving test as some of the driving videos can be complex and require experience to ensure you respond at the correct time.
Step 4 - Get a P1 Provisional Licence
To acquire your P1 Provisional Licence you must:
Complete 120 hours on your logbook, including 20 hours of night driving (if you are under 25 years of age).
Held your L plate or learner licence for at least 12 months (if you are under 25 years of age).
Pass the Hazard Perception test
Pass an eyesight test
Pass the driving test
The driving test is a 45 mins practical road test taken by an official Services NSW assessor. It will assess skills such as:
If you pass your driving test including all the above requirements, you will recieve a provisional P1 licence (also known as 'red Ps'). This means you can drive a car unsupervised. However, if you fail the driving test, you will remain on your L plate or learner licence and cannot book the driving test for 7 days from the failed driving test day.
Step 5 - Get a P2 Provisional Licence
The provisional P2 licencelaunch (also known as 'green Ps') is the next step in the journey to getting your full licence. When you have held your provisional P1 licence for at least 12 months, you can apply for a provisional P2 driver licence.
Most customers can apply for a P2 licence online.
Step 6 - Full Licence
When you've had your green Ps for at least 2 years, you can get a full (unrestricted) driver licence. To apply for a full licence, you must:
have held your P2 licence for at least 2 years
pass an eyesight test.
You can choose the validity of your full licence for 12 months, 36 months, 5 years or 10 years.