Welcome

The Road to Solo Driving will prepare you for both the learner permit test and practical drive test. This information also aims to make you a safer driver as new drivers are 3 times more likely to be involved in casualty crashes than more experienced drivers.

The licensing journey

  • Understand the Road to Solo Driving
  • Pass Learner Permit test (computerised test based on the Road to Solo Driving).
  • If under 21 when you go for your drive test, you will need to show at least 120 hours of supervised driving experience.
  • Use the 4 stages in the Learner Kit to get the right experience and help you decide when you are ready to go for a Probationary licence.
  • Go for your Probationary Licence test (both a computerised hazard perception test and a practical driving test).
  • If 21 or over, you go straight to a P2 Probationary Licence (green Ps).
  • Spend at least 12 months on a P1 Probationary Licence (red Ps). Some restrictions apply to help you stay safe while inexperienced.
  • Spend at least 3 years on a P2 Probationary Licence (green Ps). Some restrictions apply to improve safety as you get closer to a full licence.
  • You will continue to a full licence if you have a safe driving record.

The 10 steps to getting your licence

Step 1 - Read and understand Road to Solo Driving

Learning the information in the Road to Solo Driving handbook and knowing the road rules will prepare you for the learner permit test. Make sure you have the latest edition of the handbook and study comprehensively.

Step 2 - Book your learner permit test

You must be at least 16 to sit the test. You can book online, by phone or in person at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre. You must provide your full name, date of birth, address, phone number and when and where you would like to be tested. An appointment number will be provided and you need to bring this number to your test.

Booking and test fees must be paid at the time of booking. You must provide 24 hours notice to cancel or these fees will not be refunded (except where supporting evidence is produced e.g. medical certificate). Transferring an appointment, regardless of timing, will result in an additional appointment fee.

Step 3 - Pass your learner permit test

You need to bring your appointment number, evidence of identity and age, and payment for your 10-year learner permit.

People with poor vision must bring a certificate from an optometrist/ophthalmologist. People with a medical condition that may affect driving must bring a report from their doctor stating they are medically fit to drive. Learner permit holders are required to tell VicRoads if a medical condition that may affect driving develops.

The learner permit test includes a vision test using an eyesight chart followed by a computerised, multiple-choice test that assesses your knowledge of road law and road safety based on the Road to Solo Driving handbook.

The best test preparation involves thoroughly studying the Road to Solo Driving handbook until you understand it all and then using practice tests to revise.

Evidence of identity

Before your learner permit or probationary licence tests you must use certain original documents (with matching names on each) to prove your identity and Victorian residence. You need to bring 1 category A evidence document, 1 category B evidence document, evidence of Victorian residence, and evidence of change of name or differing names. Full details can be found in the latest handbook.

Step 4 - Pay for and be granted your learner permit

After you pass you will:

  • pay for your learner permit (valid for 10 years)
  • have your photo taken
  • be given a paper learner permit receipt (used while the permit card is in the mail)
  • receive a Learner Kit containing the Guide for Learners with the Learner Log Book and the Guide for Supervising Drivers

Step 5 - Get as much driving experience as possible

The best preparation for the Drive Test is to get supervised experience in many driving situations. If you are less than 21 when you go for your licence test you must:

  • complete a minimum of 120 hours supervised driving (including 10 night hours).
  • take your completed Learner Log Book so it can be checked for correct completion before you take the drive test.

If you are 21 or over, you are encouraged to use the Learner Kit, but you have no requirement to complete the hours or the Learner Log Book.

Practising on public roads and in car parks without a learner permit can result in you being charged with unlicensed driving.

Learner permit restrictions

At all times while driving car, learner permit holders must:

  • carry their learner permit card or receipt
  • display L plates on the front and rear of the vehicle, visible from 20m
  • be accompanied by a driver holding a full licence
  • have a zero Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)
  • not use a mobile phone, including hands-free, hand-held, or messaging
  • not tow a trailer or vehicle
  • only drive a car (not a bus or truck)

Step 6 - Book your probationary licence test

To get your probationary licence, you must:

  • be at least 18
  • have held a learner permit for a continuous period (not suspended, cancelled or allowed to expire) immediately before applying for a licence of at least:
    • 12 months if under 21
    • 6 months if between 21 and 25
    • 3 months if 25 or over
    • These periods may be reduced if you are a motorcycle licence or permit holder and have held this for 12 or more months.
  • not be disqualified from driving in Australia or overseas
  • pass a computerised Hazard Perception Test and then the driving test
  • If under 21 when you apply for a probationary licence, you must show you have completed 120 hours of supervised driving (present the Learner Log Book):
    • All necessary details must be completed and each entry signed
    • Both the applicant and a supervising driver must sign the Declaration of Completion. The List of Supervising Drivers must be complete and signed by all supervising drivers.
    • Read the front of the Log Book to understand how to fill it in correctly.

If entries in the Learner Log Book are incomplete or incorrect you will lose your booking and test fees, and be prevented from taking the test for at least 6 weeks. You may also be liable to penalties under the Road Safety Act 1986.

You can book online, by phone or in person at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre. You must provide 24 hours notice to cancel or fees will not be refunded (except where supporting evidence is produced e.g. medical certificate). Transferring an appointment, regardless of timing, will result in an additional appointment fee.

Step 7 - Pass your probationary licence test

For the drive test you need a registered, roadworthy car with a speed display on the dash easily visible to the testing officer, seatbelts for all occupants and visible L plates. If sitting the test without a driving instructor, the car needs to also have a centrally mounted handbrake accessible to the testing officer. You also need to bring your:

  • appointment number
  • current learner permit
  • payment for your probationary licence
  • if under 21, completed Learner Log Book (with completed Declaration of Completion and List of Supervising Drivers)

People with undisclosed medical conditions that may affect driving must provide a medical certificate that states fitness to drive. Probationary licence holders are required to tell VicRoads if a medical condition that may affect driving develops.

The test includes:

  • a vision test using an eyesight chart
  • a computerised Hazard Perception Test
  • a practical driving test to assess your driving skills

The Hazard Perception Test (HPT)

Test designed to see how safely you respond to traffic situations involving hazards (anything in the road environment that could present a danger or a risk).

  • For each item you will watch a video of a traffic situation where you are asked when it is safe to do something like slow down or make a turn.
  • You have to respond safely to each traffic situation.
  • You click the mouse button when it is safe to perform the driving task.
  • If there is no time when it is safe to perform the task, you should not click.

You can take this test when you are 17 years and 11 months. You have to pass the HPT before you can sit the Drive Test. The HPT will indicate how well you observe the whole road environment and anticipate potential hazards.

Drive Test

Practical test designed to identify drivers with safe skills that develop with experience. You are more likely to pass the drive test if you have had more than 120 hours of experience in a range of conditions (at night, in wet weather, in different speed zones).

You need to drive safely and legally during the 30-minute test (so read the Road to Solo Driving handbook before attempting). The test route will include a range of conditions and tasks. Throughout, you will have to show you can control the vehicle correctly, obey road rules, cooperate with other road users, and demonstrate safe driving skills.

Safe driving in less demanding situations will be assessed first to make sure you have basic car control and traffic skills. A range of traffic situations will then be assessed.

If you do something unsafe, the test will be stopped and you will fail.

If tested in a car that has dual controls (additional pedal(s) on the passenger side for use by the accompanying driver) and your instructor holds a current Driving Instructor Authority Number, you can have your driving instructor with you. Otherwise, only the testing officer will accompany you (other passengers not usually permitted).

If tested in an automatic transmission vehicle, you will be restricted to driving only automatic transmission vehicles during your probationary period. This restriction can be removed earlier by passing another drive test in a manual car.

If you hold a probationary licence and are undergoing instruction or testing in a manual vehicle, you must display a yellow plate (150mm by 150mm) inscribed with ‘Driver under instruction’ in black letters along with your P plates.

Step 8 - Pay for and be granted your probationary licence

Once you have passed, you will:

  • pay for your probationary licence
  • have your photo taken
  • be given a paper probationary licence receipt (used while licence is in the mail)

Step 9 - Follow the P plate rules, stay safe and keep your licence

There are specific rules for probationary drivers to reduce their crash risk. Severe penalties apply for rule breaches, including suspension, extension of your probationary period, or licence cancellation. Drink driving incurs additional penalties including fitting alcohol ignition interlocks and heavy fines.

A good driving record (no licence cancellations or suspensions and no drink/drug driving offences) allows you to progress through the licence system. Too many demerit points results in licence suspension (probationary drivers have a stricter limit).

If you are less than 21 when applying for a probationary licence:

  • you will start on a P1 probationary licence (minimum of 1 year)
  • a good driving record allows progression to the P2 licence (minimum of 3 years)
  • after holding a probationary licence for 4 years with a good driving record, you can be issued with a full licence

If you are 21 or over when applying for a probationary licence:

  • you will start on a P2 probationary licence (minimum of 3 years)
  • after holding a probationary licence for 3 years with a good driving record, you can be issued with a full licence

P1 probationary licence

In addition to the rules that apply to all drivers, when driving on a P1 licence, you must:

  • display red P plates on the front and rear of your vehicle clearly visible from a distance of 20m (150mm square with a white P on a red background)
  • carry your probationary licence (or valid paper receipt) at all times
  • have a zero BAC
  • not drive a probationary prohibited vehicle (unless during work hours at employer request or you have been granted a written exemption by VicRoads)
  • not use a mobile phone, including hands-free or hand-held, or messaging
  • not tow a caravan or a trailer (unless at employer request, or for driving solely in connection with agriculture, horticulture, dairying, pastoral or commercial fishing or under instruction with an experienced driver present)
  • not carry more than 1 passenger between 16 and 22. Exemptions exist for immediate family members, when you’re with a fully licensed supervising driver (e.g. learner drivers) or for driving an emergency vehicle
  • drive only an automatic vehicle if you passed the drive test in an automatic
  • have less than 5 demerit points in 12 months
  • have a good driving record to progress to a P2 licence – if you don’t, your P1 licence will be extended and you will have a stricter passenger limit.

P2 probationary licence

In addition to the rules that apply to all drivers, when driving on a P2 licence, you must:

  • carry your probationary licence (or valid paper receipt) at all times
  • display green P plates on the front and rear of your vehicle clearly visible from a distance of 20m (150mm square with a white P on a green background)
  • have less than 5 demerit points in 12 months
  • have a good driving record to progress to a full driver licence – if you don’t, your P2 licence will be extended
  • not use a hands-free or hand-held mobile phone, or send or read text messages
  • have a zero BAC
  • not drive a probationary prohibited vehicle (unless during work hours at employer request or you have been granted a written exemption by VicRoads)
  • drive only an automatic vehicle if you passed the drive test in an automatic

Probationary prohibited vehicles (PPV)

Vehicles manufactured on or after 1 January 2010 will be defined as a PPV if it has:

  • a power to mass ratio of greater than 130 kilowatts per tonne, or
  • an engine modified to increase performance (other than manufacturer mod)

Vehicles manufactured before 1 January 2010 will be defined as a PPV if it has:

  • 8 or more cylinders
  • a turbo or supercharged engine (except diesel powered vehicles or some exempted lower powered turbo or supercharged vehicles that can be operated by a probationary driver who has a written exemption from VicRoads)
  • an engine modified to increase performance (other than manufacturer mod) or
  • a VicRoads nominated high performance 6 cylinder engine

You may drive a PPV if you apply for and obtain an exemption from VicRoads. You should carry the VicRoads exemption letter during your probationary period.

Step 10 - Receive your full driver licence

A good driving record allows you to graduate from a P2 licence to a full licence – otherwise you might have to remain on your P2 licence for longer. Before your P2 licence expires, you will be sent a renewal notice that you must take to a listed photo point to pay the renewal fee and be photographed. You will be issued with a full licence paper receipt and your licence card will be sent in the mail. If you do not receive a renewal notice, it is still your responsibility to renew your licence before licence expiry.

Key points

The risk of being killed or injured in a crash is higher while inexperienced. Victoria’s Graduated Licensing System aims to reduce this risk by introducing new drivers to driving progressively. This ensures they can move through the licence stages without being exposed to challenging driving situations before they are ready.

The rules for drivers vary from state to state. Contact the Interstate Transport Authority to check additional rules when travelling.

The Graduated Licensing System for people under 21 when they apply for a probationary licence

LEARNER PERMIT P1 PROBATIONARY LICENCE P2 PROBATIONARY LICENCE FULL DRIVER LICENCE
Minimum age 16 years 18 years 19 years 22 years
Eligibility
  • medically fit
  • evidence of identity
  • medically fit
  • evidence of identity
  • learner permit held continuously for a minimum of 1 year
  • Learner Log Book kept with a minimum of 120 hours supervised driving including 10 night hours
  • P1 probationary licence held for a minimum of 1 year (with no licence suspension)
  • medically fit
  • P2 probationary licence held for a minimum of 3 years (with no licence suspensions)
Assessment
  • eyesight test
  • knowledge test
  • eyesight test
  • hazard perception test (Can be taken from 17 years 11 months and must be passed before the practical test)
  • practical driving test
  • good driving record
  • good driving record
Conditions
  • L plates displayed front & rear
  • must carry learner permit
  • accompanied by full licence holder
  • zero BAC
  • no mobile phone use, hands-free, hand-held, or messaging
  • no towing a caravan or trailer
  • drives a car only (not a bus, truck or motorcycle)
  • Red P plates front & rear
  • must carry licence
  • zero BAC
  • no mobile phone use, hands-free, hand-held, or messaging
  • PPV restriction
  • no towing a caravan/trailer (except for work or under instruction)
  • not carry more than 1 passenger aged between 16 and 22
  • if tested in an auto, only drives an automatic transmission
  • Green P plates front & rear
  • must carry licence
  • zero BAC
  • no mobile phone use, hands-free, hand-held, or messaging
  • PPV restriction
  • if tested in an auto, only drives an automatic transmission
  • under .05 BAC
  • must carry licence when driving if under 26
  • must not use a hand-held mobile phone while driving
Duration 10 years 1 year (P1) 3 years (P2) 3 years or 10 years

The Graduated Licensing System for people 21 and over when they apply for a probationary licence

LEARNER PERMIT P2 PROBATIONARY LICENCE FULL DRIVER LICENCE
Minimum age 16 years 21 years 22 years
Eligibility
  • medically fit
  • evidence of identity
  • learner permit held continuously for a minimum of 6 months if 21 to 24 years, or 3 months if 25 years or over
  • medically fit
  • evidence of identity
  • probationary licence held for a minimum of 3 years (with no licence suspensions)
Assessment
  • eyesight test
  • knowledge test
  • eyesight test
  • hazard perception test (Can be taken from 17 years 11 months and must be passed before the practical test)
  • practical driving test
  • good driving record
Conditions
  • L plates displayed front & rear
  • must carry learner permit
  • accompanied by full licence holder
  • zero BAC
  • no mobile phone use, hands-free, hand-held, or messaging
  • no towing a caravan or trailer
  • drives a car only (not a bus, truck or motorcycle)
  • Green P plates front & rear
  • must carry licence
  • zero BAC
  • no mobile phone use, hands-free, hand-held, or messaging
  • PPV restriction
  • if tested in an auto, only drives an automatic transmission
  • under .05 BAC
  • must carry licence when driving if under 26
  • must not use a hand-held mobile phone while driving
Duration 10 years 3 years (P2) 3 years or 10 years

 

 

Continue reading the Road to Safe Driving Summary:

1. Introduction

2. The Challenges of Driving

3. Learning to Drive

4. Managing Risk

5. Rules and Responsibilities


Check out the other resources available to help you pass the Learner Permit Knowledge Test and get your learner permit (L plates):

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