What are the rules and demerits for Learner, P1 and P2 drivers in NSW?

The New South Wales government has a three-phase process for licensing new drivers on its roads.

As a  learner, L Plate driver,  you are not allowed to drive on your own as this is a critical period when you learn to drive and start acquiring some skills and develop experience behind the wheel supervised by a mature driver.

Once you pass the driving test and get your P1, you can drive on your own, however very cautiously as you are now the most exposed driver in terms of accidents. Did you know that a 17 year old driver with a P1 license has four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash? 

These young drivers restrictions begin to fall away with a P2 Plate as you start to have experienced new situations on the road and your skills have improved since. However, remember that even when you get your full license you are expected to drive with care.

In NSW, when it comes to young drivers safety (but as well other drivers), the rules are pretty straight forward. Follow the rules and you will experience steadily increasing driving freedom. Break the rules and they will apply demerits, suspensions and even license cancellations.

You can learn those rules when you get your driving lessons or search them online. It can be a bit confusing sometimes, so we have sorted them out for you.

We decided to lay everything out in the following table, so you have an easy reference guide when you need it.


Your Essential Driverli Easy Reference Guide to NSW Driving Licenses

T = Test P = Personal R = Rules D = Demerits

P

At least 16 years old

T

PREPL Written road rules test

R

Supervision by qualified, licensed driver

R

Display L Plates at all times

R

Carry license with you at all times

R

Comply with no alcohol limit

R

Not be under influence of drugs

R

Obey speed rules, not drive faster than 80 km/h

R

Obey your stated license conditions

R

Only drive a vehicle in your license class

R

Obey the rules of the road

R

Not use a mobile phone of any kind

R

If under 25 no passenger may use a phone on speaker

D

3 demerits for using mobile (6 for future infringements)

D

4 or more demerits in 12 months – 3 month suspension

P

At least 100 hour’s driving experience

P

At least 17 years old

T

If under 25 practical driving test

R

Drive without supervision

R

May not supervise a learner driver

R

If under 21 only 1 passenger unless family member

R

Display RED P1 Plates at all times

R

Carry license with you at all times

R

Comply with no alcohol limit

R

Not be under influence of illegal or prescription drugs

R

Obey speed rules, not drive faster than 90 km/h

R

Obey your stated license conditions

R

Only drive a vehicle in your license class

R

Obey the rules of the road

R

Only use a mobile phone when parked

D

4 or more demerits in12 months = suspension  / sanctions

P

At least 18 years old

P

Held your P1 license for 2 years if under 25

P

Held your P1 license for 1 year if over 25

T

Hazardous perception test if under 25

R

Drive without supervision

R

May not supervise a learner driver

R

Display GREEN P2 Plates at all times

R

Carry license with you at all times

R

Comply with no alcohol limit

R

Not be under influence of illegal or prescription drugs

R

Obey speed rules, not drive faster than 100 km/h

R

Obey your stated license conditions

R

Only drive a vehicle in your license class

R

Obey the rules of the road

D

4 or more demerits in12 months = suspension  / sanctions

How to Go About Applying for Your Open Driving License

The rules for Learners, Provisional 1, Provisional 2 licenses are complex although they are necessary to promote young drivers safety. Fortunately after that, the young drivers restrictions relax.

You can apply for your open driving license after holding your P2 for 24 months and passing your practical driving test. However, if you were over 23 when you obtained your P1 license you may only need to have had your P2 for a year.

You can find out more about how the Learners, Provisional 1, Provisional 2 rules work by following that link. We hope you find this information truly useful. We wish you all the best for your driving career. Speak to us soon if you need a driving school and driving lessons, so you can approach your practical driving test with confidence and pass first time.

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