Gaining varied experience in a staged progression (from basic to more complex) helps learners acquire safer driving habits and pass the Drive Test.

This document includes assessment criteria for all items and information about test structure. The criteria focus on assessing the skills required to drive safely and have applied since 1 July 2008.

During the test, the applicant is directed around a fixed route and asked to perform specific tasks at various locations. The Licence Testing Officer (LTO) uses specific assessment items to record how well each task is performed. LTOs have passed training on the practical application of the criteria which provides the knowledge and skills to enable LTOs to apply the criteria reliably in a range of test situations.

Test route stages

The test is divided into 2 stages to ensure the safety of participants and road users.

Stage 1 involves simple tasks in a low-risk environment and takes about 10 minutes.
Stage 2 involves challenging tasks in busier situations and takes about 20 minutes.

At the end of Stage 1, the LTO directs the applicant to pull over so scores can be entered and totalled. Only applicants with a satisfactory score can proceed to Stage 2. This prevents potentially unsafe applicants creating danger in busier environments.

Both stages must be completed in a single booking (cannot be split across bookings).

Driving tasks

There are 2 types of driving tasks in the test route:

  • Assessable driving tasks - manoeuvres such as turns, lane changes, straight drives and a reverse parallel park. Each task has associated Task Assessment Items used to record how well the task was performed.
  • Linking manoeuvres - inserted between assessable tasks to create a continuous route. They do not have associated Task Assessment Items.

There are 7 assessable driving tasks in Stage 1 and between 14 - 21 in Stage 2 (some tasks can be assessed more than once). These tasks are listed in Appendix A.

Assessment items

For each assessable driving task, the route guide specifies 2, 3 or 4 Task Assessment Items that the LTO must assess and record.

For some tasks, the Stage 1 Task Assessment Items differ from those in Stage 2 because Stage 1 assessment items are designed to identify applicants who might drive unsafely and Stage 2 assessment items are designed to identify applicants ready to drive safely on a probationary licence.

3 other types of assessment are used in the Drive Test:

  • Stage Assessment Items apply to the applicant’s performance during the whole of Stage 1 or the whole of Stage 2.
  • Critical Errors are recorded at any time they occur, whether during an assessable task or not.
  • Immediate Termination Errors are recorded at any time they occur and result in immediate test termination.


Continue reading the Drive Test Criteria Summary:

1. Overview of the Drive Test

2. Drive Test Procedures

3. Understanding the Assessment Criteria

4. Task Assessment Items

5. Stage Assessment Items

6. Critical Errors

7. Immediate Termination Errors

8. Appendix: Assessable Tasks

Check out the other resources available to help you pass the Drive Test and get your probationary licence: