probationary p1 licence red ps


People under 21 move to a probationary P1 licence (Red Ps) when they progress from a learner permit. This progression requires you to take and pass first the Hazard Perception Test VIC and then the Drive Test (practical driving assessment).

Hazard Perception Test

Before attempting the Hazard Perception Test you must be at least 17 years and 11 months old. You must pass this test before you can attempt the Drive Test. As such, you should avoid scheduling these tests close together to ensure you don't have to reschedule.

Drive Test

You must be at least 18 years old to attempt the Drive Test. You must also have held your learner permit for a continuous period of at least 12 months up to the day of the test.

Before the test can begin, your Learner Log Book must be checked to confirm you're eligible to progress. You must have completed the Learner Log Book by recording at least 120 hours of supervised driving (including 10 hours of night driving between sunset and sunrise).

Interstate and overseas learner permit holders

If you are an interstate or overseas learner permit holder under 21 (permit issued after 1 July 2007), you must meet the same 120-hour (10 night hours) requirement before taking the Drive Test in Victoria.

However, previous interstate/overseas driving experience can count towards your Victorian requirement. Whether you've recorded 120 hours or more, less than 120 hours, or have experience but haven't recorded it, there are steps you can take to get this experience recognised in Victoria. Under certain circumstances, you may also be granted an exemption for a certain number of hours.

If you need more supervised hours to meet the 120-hour requirement after your interstate/overseas experience is counted, you will be issued with a Victorian Learner Log Book at no charge. Supervised hours from that point should be recorded using this log book.

For full details, please see the relevant section of the VicRoads website.

L2P learner driver mentor program

If you do not have access to a supervising driver or vehicle, meeting the 120-hour requirement can be a challenge. As such, VicRoads have put together a mentoring program that matches learner drivers with licensed volunteers and sponsored vehicles so they can get the necessary experience. 

To join the program you must be between 16 and 20, hold a current learner permit and not have access to either a vehicle, supervising driver, or both. The program is free for eligible people and funded by the Transport Accident Commission.

For full details, please see L2P page on the VicRoads website.

Licence features:

When you pass the Drive Test, your red Ps (probationary P1 licence) is valid for 12 months. As long as you have a good driving record throughout this period, you will automatically move onto your green Ps (probationary P2).

In addition to following the road rules like all road users should, there are specific rules associated with a probationary P1 licence. Disobeying these additional rules could result in heavy fines or loss of licence.

Blood Alcohol Concentration Zero (no alcohol in your system)
Demerit points 5 points in a 1-year period or 12 points in a 3-year period
Plate display Red P plates (150mm square with white P on a red background) must be displayed clearly on front and back of the vehicle (visible from 20m)
Maximum speed limit The limit as signed (no probationary limit)
Towing No towing a caravan/trailer (except for work or under instruction)
Supervision Not allowed to supervise a learner
Transmission If tested in automatic, can only drive automatic
Mobile phone No mobile phone use (including hands-free, hand-held, and messaging)
Passenger limits Not allowed to carry more than 1 passenger aged between 16 and 22. Exemptions exist for immediate family and when driving an emergency vehicle.
Licence category Licence only allows you to drive a vehicle that does not exceed 4.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass and can seat up to 12 adults including the driver
Probationary prohibited vehicles Vehicles manufactured on or after 1 January 2010 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 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 with a written exemption from VicRoads)
  • an engine modified to increase performance (other than manufacturer mod) or
  • a VicRoads nominated high performance 6 cylinder engine

Exemptions exist for driving during work hours at employer request or if a written exemption is granted by VicRoads.


Requirements to progress:

To progress to your green Ps (probationary P2) you must:

  • Have held your red Ps (probationary P1) for at least 12 months
  • Have a good driving record

A good driving record is simply avoiding licence cancellation or suspension and drink and drug offences.

A bad driving record will extend your time on a probationary P1 licence by at least 6 months and will result in a more stringent passenger limit (only 1 passenger of any age) for the rest of the P1 period.

Periods in which your licence has been suspended do not count towards the 12-month requirement. Licence cancellation will mean your probationary period starts again with any time accumulated towards the 12-month requirement void. Licence cancellation / suspension can result from:

  • a court conviction
  • a Traffic Infringement Notice
  • accumulation of demerit points
  • action taken by the Sheriff’s Office
  • action taken by VicRoads

Check out the other resources available to help you get your probationary P1 licence (red Ps):

For comprehensive information on probationary licensing, please refer to the VicRoads website. The above information is a summary of this content and although current when published may now be outdated. To ensure you are accessing the most current and accurate information, use the VicRoads website or visit your nearest VicRoads Customer Service Centre.