Warning: You are using an outdated Browser, Please switch to a more modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Learner and provisional licence laws around Australia

As a learner or provisional driver, you’re expected to comply with all relevant rules and restrictions on the road. However, 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 has different laws and regulations that learner and provisional drivers must comply with. These laws are often very different from each other, especially P1 and P2 licence rules. To assist with your understanding of how they differ, we've compiled a guide of rules and regulations for each State and Territory, so you can brush up before your next test or interstate journey.
Australia-wide L and P plate laws

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.
NSW

NSW regulations are fairly restrictive, especially NSW red P plate rules and green P plate rules. When in NSW, you’ll need to observe the following:

  • Speed limit: 90 km/h (L & P1) or 100 km/h (P2)
  • Passenger Limit: P1 drivers under 25 are not permitted to drive with more than one passenger under 21 between the hours of 11pm and 5am (immediate family members excepted)
  • Mobile phone: Cannot be used at all
  • Towing: Not permitted (L), or up to 250kg (P1)
  • Prohibited vehicle classes: Some high performance vehicles cannot be driven by P plate drivers. You can search for approved and banned vehicles here.
QLD

Queensland has complex P1 licence rules, especially around passenger restrictions. When in QLD, you’ll need to observe the following:

  • Passenger Limit: P1 drivers under 25 are not permitted to drive with more than one passenger under 21 between the hours of 11pm and 5am (immediate family members excepted)
  • Mobile phone: Cannot be used at all by L and P1 drivers. In addition, if you’re a learner driver under 25, your supervisor and passengers can’t use a mobile phone on speaker while you are driving. P2 licence holders are only permitted to use hands free functions on their mobile phones
  • Prohibited vehicle classes Some high performance vehicles cannot be driven by P plate drivers. You can search for approved and banned vehicles here.
VIC

Drivers under the age of 21 in Victoria hold their provisional licence longer than any other state, for a total of 4 years. The state also has some of the harshest P1 restrictions. When in VIC, you’ll need to observe the following:

  • Passenger Limit: P1 drivers cannot carry more than one passenger aged 16 to 22 years
  • Mobile phone: Cannot be used at all
  • Towing: Not permitted (L & P1), or standard laws apply (P2)
  • Prohibited vehicle classes: Some high performance vehicles cannot be driven by P plate drivers. You can search for approved and banned vehicles here.
WA
Western Australia has fairly relaxed 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 are on your P plates, you’re not permitted to drive between midnight and 5am for the first six months of your P1 licence. There is an exception however for those driving to, or for, work.
SA

South Australian L and P1 laws are much more restrictive than P2. When in SA, you’ll need to observe the following:

  • Speed limit: 100 km/h
  • Passenger Limit: If you’re a P driver under 25, you cannot drive with more than one passenger aged 16-20 (immediate family members exempt). This rule does not apply if a person with their full-licence is sitting next to and supervising you
  • Curfew: P1 drivers cannot drive between midnight and 5am
  • Mobile phone: Cannot be used at all (P1) or standard rules apply (P2)
  • Prohibited vehicle classes: If you are under 25, you may not drive a high powered vehicle.
ACT

New restrictions for provisional drivers have just been implemented in the ACT. When in the ACT, you’ll need to observe the following:

  • Passenger Limit: P drivers are allowed to drive with only one passenger aged 16-22 between 11pm and 5am, unless it is a family member or for work. This only applies if your Ps were issued after 1 Jan 2020
  • Mobile phone: Cannot be used at all
  • Towing: No more than 750kg, and it must be a trailer (P1 and P2).
NT

The NT has few restrictions for learner and provisional drivers. When in NT, you’ll need to observe the following:

  • Speed limit: 80km/h (L) or 100 km/h (P)
  • Mobile phone: Cannot be used at all.
TAS

 In Tasmania you'll need to observe the following provisional and learner licence laws:

  • Speed limit: 90km/h in 100km/h zones or 100 km/h in 110km/h zones (L & P1), or posted limits (P2)
  • Towing: Not permitted (L), or standard rules apply (P).

Visit car insurance to learn about the different types of car insurance we offer. 

The information in this article is current as of the 23rd April 2021. Laws and penalties may have changed since this article was created.
Please note the information in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any decisions based on this article
References

The information above comes from the following sources:

Transport for NSW, Licence conditions, viewed April 2021,
https://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/drivers/youngdrivers/licence-conditions/index.html

VicRoads, P1 & P2 probationary licence restrictions, viewed April 2021, https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/licences/your-ps/p1-and-p2-probationary-licence-restrictions

VicRoads, Restrictions on learner drivers, viewed April 2021, https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/licences/your-ls/restrictions-on-learner-drivers

Mylicence.sa.gov.au, Provisional Driver’s Licence (P1&P2) conditions and laws, viewed April 2021, https://mylicence.sa.gov.au/the-driving-companion/provisional-conditions

Western Australia Government, Novice Drivers, viewed April 2021, https://www.transport.wa.gov.au/licensing/novice-drivers.asp

Canberra Times, Young Canberra drivers face new restrictions from January 1, viewed April 2021, https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6560809/young-canberra-drivers-face-new-restrictions-from-january-1/

NT Government, Road Users Handbook, viewed April 2021, https://nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/263031/section-2-licences-road-users-handbook.pdf

Transport Tas, Novice penalties, viewed April 2021, https://www.transport.tas.gov.au/licensing/demerits_and_offences/novice_penalties_and_case_management

Queensland Government, Provisional Licence Restrictions, viewed April 2021, https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/licensing/driver-licensing/applying/provisional/restrictions

Disclaimer
This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL 234708 (“Allianz”). Information contained in this article is accurate as at 23rd April 2021 and may be subject to change. 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.

Give us a call, or send us a message. 

Any advice here does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Before making a decision about this insurance, please consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)/Policy Wording and Supplementary PDS (if applicable). Where applicable, the PDS/Policy Wording, Supplementary PDS and Target Market Determination (TMD) for this insurance are available on this website.

Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFS Licence No. 234708 is the insurer of any general insurance products offered on this website.

Allianz Australia Life Insurance Limited ABN 27 076 033 782 AFS Licence No. 296559 is the insurer of any life insurance products offered on this website.