Learner and provisional licence laws around Australia

Last updated on June 9, 2022

As a learner (L) or provisional (P plate) driver, you must follow all relevant rules and restrictions on the road. With rules and restrictions changing as you progress through your L, P1, and P2 licence, it can be hard to keep track of exactly which rules to follow.

Each state and territory in Australia have different laws and regulations for learner and provisional drivers. These laws are often very different from each other, especially P1 and P2 licence rules.

To help you understand how they differ, we've compiled a guide of rules and regulations for each state and territory. Brush up before your next test or interstate journey.

While most L and P plate laws differ between locations, there are two laws that apply Australia wide. Learner and provisional drivers must:

  • Maintain a 0% blood alcohol level
  • Display their provisional or learner plates at all times on the front and rear of their vehicle.

dummy New South Wales (NSW) regulations are fairly restrictive, especially red P plate (P1) and green P plate (P2) rules. When in NSW,  you must follow these rules:

  • Maximum speed limit: 90 km/h (L and P1) or 100 km/h (P2).
  • Passenger limit: P1 drivers under 25 can't drive with more than one passenger under 21 between the hours of 11pm and 5am (immediate family members exempt).
  • Mobile phone: Can't be used at all. 
  • Towing: Not permitted (L), or up to 250kg (P1).
  • Prohibited vehicle classes: Some high-performance vehicles can't be driven by P plate drivers. You can dummy search for approved and banned vehicles  in NSW.

dummy Queensland (QLD) has complex P1 licence rules, especially around passenger restrictions. When in QLD,  you must follow these rules:

  • Passenger limit: P1 drivers under 25 can't drive with more than one passenger under 21 between the hours of 11pm and 5am (immediate family members exempt).
  • Mobile phone:
    • Can’t be used at all by learner and P1 drivers.
    • If you’re a learner driver under 25, your supervisor and passengers can’t use a mobile phone on speaker while you're driving.
    • P2 licence holders can only use hands-free functions on their mobile phones.

Drivers under the age of 21 in Victoria (VIC) hold their provisional licence longer than any other state, for a total of 4 years. dummy When in VIC, you must follow these rules:

  • Passenger limit: P1 drivers can't carry more than one passenger aged 16 to 22 years.
  • Mobile phone: Can't be used at all.
  • Towing: Not permitted (L and P1), or standard laws apply (P2).
  • Prohibited vehicle classes: Some high-performance vehicles can't be driven by P plate drivers. You can search for approved and banned vehicles using the VicRoadsProbationary vehicles database.
Western Australia (WA) has fairly relaxed dummy laws for learner and provisional drivers. Aside from the Australia-wide laws, there’s only one restriction to be aware of that could catch you out if you’re holidaying interstate. If you're a P1 driver, you can't drive between midnight and 5am for the first six months of your P1 licence. There's an exception for people driving to, or for, work.

dummy South Australian (SA) L and P1 laws are much more restrictive than P2. When in SA, you must follow these rules:

  • Maximum speed limit: 100 km/h.
  • Passenger limit: If you’re a P plate driver under 25, you can't drive with more than one passenger aged 16-20 (immediate family members exempt). This rule doesn't apply if a person with their full licence is sitting next to and supervising you.
  • Curfew: P1 drivers can't drive between midnight and 5am.
  • Mobile phone: Can't be used at all (L or P1) or standard rules apply (P2).
  • Prohibited vehicle classes: If you're under 25, you can't drive a high-powered vehicle.

dummy Further restrictions for provisional drivers have been implemented in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). When in the ACT, you’ll need to observe the following:

  • Passenger limit: P plate drivers can’t drive with more than one passenger aged 16-22 between 11pm and 5am, unless it’s a family member or for work. This only applies if your Ps were issued after 1 January 2020.
  • Mobile phone: Can't be used at all.
  • Towing: No more than 750kg, and it must be a trailer (P1 and P2).

The Northern Territory (NT) has few restrictions for learner and provisional drivers. When in NT, you must follow these rules:

  • Maximum speed limit: 80km/h (L) or 100 km/h (P).
  • Mobile phone: Can't be used at all.

 In Tasmania, you must follow thesedummy  provisional and learner licence laws:

  • Maximum speed limit: 90km/h in 100km/h zones and 100 km/h in 110km/h zones (L and P1), or posted limits (P2).
  • Passenger limit: From 1 December 2020, if you upgrade to a P1 licence and are under 25 you can’t drive with more than one passenger aged 16-21, unless it’s a family member or for work. This rule doesn’t apply if a person with their full licence is sitting next to and supervising you.
  • Towing: Not permitted (L), or standard rules apply (P).

As a learner or provisional driver, you’re at the start of your driving journey. At Allianz, we’re behind you for what’s ahead. Visit  Allianz Car Insurance to learn about the different types of car insurance we offer and how they can help you safely kick off your driving journey. 

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This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL 234708 (“Allianz”). In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way. 

Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.

 

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