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Learner Drivers

What it is

What your learner permit allows you to do. 

A learner permit allows you to drive on all public roads, except motorways, for the purposes of learning to drive and only when accompanied by an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) or someone who has held a full, valid driving licence in the same category for more than two years.  

It also means that you can take Essential Driver Training (EDT) with an ADI, but you must display L-plates at all times on any vehicle you drive. 


To obtain a learner permit you must first prepare for and pass the driver theory test. This test checks your knowledge of the road, driving, and safety-related topics. 

You can apply for your driving test when you hold a learner permit. However, if you are a first-time learner permit holder you must hold your learner permit for six months and complete  Essential Driver Training (EDT) or  Initial Basic Training (IBT) before taking the driving test. 

Unaccompanied learner drivers

It is against the law for you to drive unaccompanied on a learner permit, and penalties apply if you are convicted of driving unaccompanied or you allow your vehicle to be driven by an unaccompanied learner driver.
Services Unaccompanied drivers

Answers to questions on the laws and penalties for unaccompanied drivers, driving on learner permits, driving sponsors, Clancy Amendment

What you cannot do with your learner permit

As a learner permit holder, you are not permitted to;

  • drive on a motorway in any vehicle category  
  • carry any passenger for reward 
  • drive while towing a trailer if you hold a learner permit in vehicle categories B, C1, C, D1 or D (cars, buses and trucks)  
  • carry a passenger if you hold a learner permit in vehicle categories A1, A2, A and AM (motorcycles or mopeds)  
  • carry a passenger if you hold a learner permit in vehicle category W (work vehicles or land tractors) unless the vehicle is constructed to carry a passenger and the passenger is a full licence holder for a continuous period of two years. 

How long your learner permit is valid for

A first and second learner permit are normally valid for two years. In order to get a third or subsequent learner permit you must have booked or sat and failed the driving test in the previous two years. 

If you have sat and failed a driving test in the previous two years you will be issued with a two-year learner permit.  

If you have booked or have an upcoming driving test you will be issued with a one-year learner permit. 


National Driver Licence Service (NDLS)

For more information and answers to frequently asked questions please visit the National Driving Licence Service (NDLS) website.