Australian P plate rules and restrictions

A comprehensive guide

Getting P plates is a major step towards independence for any novice driver.

However, the probationary period during which novice drivers hold their provisional licenses is also fraught with risk. Typically a single serious traffic offence is sufficient to lead to a license suspension.

Furthermore, the laws governing what is or isn’t permissible while driving on a provisional license can vary significantly depending on which state or territory a P license is obtained and used in.

NATIONAL P PLATE RULES

While P plate laws in Australia vary by state and territory, there are a few restrictions that apply to provisional drivers throughout Australia.

These include:

  • a requirement that all provisional license holders must maintain a 0% blood alcohol level whenever operating a vehicle
  • P plate drivers are required to have their provisional licenses on their person whenever driving, and display these to authorities on request
  • during the first stage of provisional licensing (P1), or where provisional licensing is not split into two stages, novice drivers are required to prominently display red and white P plates on or in their vehicles.

Several additional rules apply to novice motorcyclists across all states and territories.

These include:

  • displaying relevant plates on the rear of the motorcycle
  • wearing state approved, properly fitted motorcycle helmets
  • driving only motorcycles while on a novice motorcycle license
  • a prohibition on supervising other novice riders.

REGIONAL P PLATE RULES

Restrictions on minimum qualifying age, passengers, the types of vehicles that can be driven, maximum demerit point balances and speed limits are determined by local government authorities. The following guide to P plate laws therefore considers the restrictions and laws governing provisional driving licenses by state and territory.

Please note that the laws governing provisional license are subject to change, and that exceptions and exemptions may apply to individual restrictions. For the most up-to-date information and comprehensive details on laws applying to provisional drivers, please make use of the links to the official state or territory road agencies in each off the following sections.

NSW P Plate Laws & Restrictions

New South Wales has strict P plate laws, placing particular emphasis on preventing phone distraction and use of high-performance vehicles.

Overview of NSW P plate laws

  • Qualifying age: 17
  • P plate display: Front and rear of vehicle exterior
  • P plate specifications: Red P on white plate (P1) or green P on white plate (P2)
  • Duration: Three years: 12 months (P1) & 24 months (P2)
  • Speed limit: 90 km/h (P1) or 100 km/h (P2)
  • Demerit points: Seven: four (P1) & three (P2)

P plate qualification in NSW

You can qualify for a P plate license in NSW when you turn 17, subject to:

  • passing the Hazard Perception Test (HPT)
  • holding a learners license for 12 months
  • logging 120 hours of driving in your log book (including 20 hours of night driving)
  • passing an eye test
  • passing a practical driving test.

The NSW P plate drivers test

The NSW P Plate drivers test is taken with a Service NSW testing officer. The drivers test assesses your driving skills, decision making, awareness of other road users and ability to perceive and respond appropriately to road hazards.

NSW motorcycle P plate qualification

Novice riders can obtain a provisional license subject to:

  • being at least 17 years old
  • holding a learner licence for three months and gaining riding experience
  • attending and passing the pre-provisional training and test
  • passing the Motorcycle Operator Skills Test (MOST)

P plate displays in NSW

Both P1 and P2 drivers are expected to display P plates on their vehicles for the duration of their provisional license.

P plates must be:

  • displayed in the front and rear of a car
  • displayed on the rear of motorcycles
  • displayed on the rear of trailers, when towing a trailer
  • a red P on a white background for P1 drivers and a green P on a white background for P2 drivers.

P plate restrictions in NSW

The following restrictions apply to P plate drivers in NSW:

P plate speed limits: P1 drivers are not permitted to exceed a maximum speed of 90 km/h while P2 drivers may not exceed 100 km/h. Any speeding offence will result in a three month license suspension.

Automatic transmission vehicles: Passing the drivers test in an automatic vehicle will result in the P1 license being issued with an A034 condition. These drivers are required to drive automatic cars until they are issued with a P2 license. This condition can be removed earlier by re-taking and passing the driving test in a manual vehicle.

NSW P plate passenger rules: P1 drivers are not permitted to drive with more than one passenger under the age of 21 between 11pm and 5am. Disqualification for any driving offence while on a provisional license will result in a one passenger limit being applied at all times for the next 12 months.

NSW P plate curfew: With the exception of passenger restrictions, no further curfews apply to P plate drivers in NSW.

NSW mobile phone restrictions: Use of mobile phones in any form, including handsfree, Bluetooth or loudspeaker is prohibited while driving.

NSW P plate legal cars: NSW has strict, complex laws regarding prohibited vehicle classes for provisional license holders. To ensure you are driving an approved vehicle use the P1/P2 vehicle search tool at the Centre for Road Safety website.

NSW P Plate towing restrictions: P1 drivers can tow trailers up to a maximum unloaded weight of 250 kilograms.

NSW P plate blood alcohol rules: A zero blood alcohol limit applies to P plate drivers in NSW.

NSW driver supervision rules: P1 and P2 drivers are both prohibited from supervising learner drivers.

NSW motorcycle P plate restrictions

P plate riders in New South Wales:

  • are required to use motorcycles with the same transmission type they passed the MOST, and may then drive any transmission type on their P2 license
  • may not carry pillion passengers while on their P1 licenses
  • may not tow a trailer or any other vehicle
  • are prohibited from lane filtering
  • may not exceed 90 km/h on a P1 license, and 100 km/h on a P2 license
  • drivers may not ride any motorcycle:

NSW P plate exceptions & exemptions

Older drivers

Drivers over the age of 25 are exempt from:

  • completing a learner driver log book before applying for a P1 license
  • waiting 10 months to attempt the Hazard Perception Test after securing their Learner license
  • restrictions on carrying passengers under the age of 21 between 11pm and 5am.

Restricted P1 license

Drivers in rural and remote areas can apply for a restricted P1 license subject to:

  • passing the HPT
  • holding a learners license for 12 months
  • passing a practical driving test
  • being under the age of 25
  • residence in Brewarrina, Walgett, Bourke, Broken Hill, Balranald or Hay
  • logging 50 hours of practical driving experience (including 10 hours night driving)
  • using their license only for essential driving, such as commuting to work, places of study or medical facilities.

P1 passenger limit exemptions

A P1 license holder can apply for exemption from the restriction on carrying more than one passenger between the hours of 11pm and 5am if:

  • their work or community service requires them to carry young passengers during these hours
  • they can demonstrate a need to drive immediate family members aged 21 or younger during restricted hours.

P plate insurance in NSW

If you’re a P plate driver in New South Wales you are legally required to have Compulsory Third Party (CTP) or green slip insurance. This covers both you and any third parties against any personal injury claims that arise from a car accident. Unlike many other Australian states, New South Wales allows you to shop around for green slip insurance and get a personalised deal.

Once you have a good green slip deal, you’ll probably still want to get comprehensive insurance that will provide you with cover for damage to your, or others’, vehicles or property in a car accident. New South Wales has some of the most expensive insurance rates for under 25s in the country, but you can now get more affordable insurance by downloading UbiCar and proving you can drive safely.

Victoria P Plate Laws & Restrictions

Victoria takes novice driver safety seriously. Not only do young drivers have to be a year older than is required in most states to get their P1 licenses, but drivers under the age of 21 must hold their provisional licenses for four years. In addition P1 drivers are subject to numerous restrictions. However, P plate drivers in Victoria are free to drive at posted speed limits and have a relatively generous demerit point allowance compared to other Australian states and territories.

Overview of VIC P plate laws

  • Qualifying age: 18 years
  • P plate display: Front and rear of car (interior or exterior, clearly visible)
  • P plate specifications: White P on red plate (P1), white P on green plate (P2), 150mm x 150mm
  • Duration: Four years (one year P1, three years P2)
  • Speed limit: Posted speed limits
  • Demerit points: Five points over any 12 month period, 12 points over any three year period

P plate qualification in VIC

You can qualify for a P plate license in Victoria when you turn 18, subject to:

  • holding a Learners license for at least 12 calendar months
  • recording a minimum of 120 hours of supervised driving in your learner log book, including 10 hours of night driving
  • passing a Hazard Perception Test
  • passing a driving test.

P1 drivers automatically graduate to a P2 license after 12 months (excluding suspension periods).

The VIC P plate drivers test

The VIC P Plate drivers test is broken into three stages, starting with a pre-drive check of the car the test is taken in. Following this drivers are taken through some simple manoeuvres, which can include one or more parking manoeuvres. The driver is then taken onto a public road and may be asked to demonstrate more challenging driving skills like changing lanes and merging with traffic. The test takes a little over half an hour to complete.

VIC motorcycle learner rider qualification

Victoria does not have a provisional licensing stage for novice riders. Instead a Learners license is required before progressing to a full motorcycle license.

To qualify for a learner rider permit in Victoria you must:

  • be at least 18 or older
  • book a two day learner course which includes a theoretical test and an off-road riding assessment
  • complete a Check Ride at least once month before an on-road assessment
  • pass an on-road assessment.

P plate displays in VIC

Both P1 and P2 drivers are expected to display P Plates on or in their vehicles.

P plates must be:

  • displayed on the front and rear of the vehicle. Drivers of cars with tinted windows are advised to display P plates on the exterior of their vehicles
  • displayed on the rear of motorcycles
  • at least 150mm x 150mm in size
  • P1 plates must be a white P on a red background
  • P2 plates must be a white P on a green background
  • the background colours must comply with an accepted range of tones, which can be reviewed here.

P plate restrictions in VIC

The following restrictions apply to P plate drivers in VIC:

Automatic transmission vehicles: Drivers must drive an automatic vehicle if they passed their test in one. The only way to remove this restriction is to take, and pass, the drivers test a second time in a manual transmission car.

VIC P plate passenger rules: P1 license holders are only permitted to carry one passenger between the age of 16 and 22 at any time.

VIC P plate curfew: No curfew applies to provisional drivers in Victoria.

VIC P plate legal cars: There are strict rules governing permitted vehicles for probationary drivers in Victoria. Check the Victoria probationary vehicles database to determine the legality of specific vehicle models.

VIC mobile phone restrictions: P1 and P2 drivers may not use any mobile phone function, including any handsfree function, while driving.

VIC P Plate towing restrictions: P1 license holders may not tow any type of vehicle or trailer.

VIC P plate blood alcohol rules: All probationary drivers are required to maintain a zero blood alcohol level while driving.

VIC motorcycle learner rider restrictions

The following rules apply to learner riders in Victoria:

  • learner riders are expected to keep the motorcycle headlights on at all times
  • a high visibility vest or jacket that is securely fitted or fastened must be worn by learner riders at all times
  • learners must drive a motorcycle with the same transmission type as was used to pass the test
  • novices may not use any mobile phone function while driving
  • learner riders must drive a Learner Approved Motorcycle (LAMS)
  • carrying of pillion passengers is prohibited
  • learner riders may not tow trailers.

VIC P plate exemptions

Drivers over the age of 21

Drivers over the age of 21 are required to hold a probationary license for three years, as opposed the four required from younger drivers.

In addition:

  • drivers between the ages of 21 and 25 are required to hold a learner permit for 6 months before applying for a provisional license
  • drivers over the age of 25 are required to hold a learner permit for 3 months before applying for a provisional license.

Peer passenger exemptions

P1 drivers may apply for a peer passenger exemption on hardship grounds.

In addition P1 drivers are exempt from peer passenger rules in Victoria if:

  • they are a member of the police force or an emergency service and driving in the course of duty
  • a qualified supervising driver is sitting next to the driver or a driving coach is present in the vehicle
  • if the passenger is a spouse, domestic partner or sibling of the driver.

Prohibited vehicles

Probationary drivers may drive prohibited vehicles if:

  • they are required to drive the vehicle in the course of their employment, or to or from their place of business (the business is required to have an Australian Business Number)
  • they are being trained to drive a heavy vehicle and are supervised by a qualified driver sitting in the front passenger seat, with relevant plates visible on the front or rear of the vehicle.

P plate displays

Drivers who work for the following organizations are not expected to display P plates in the course of duty:

  • police force members
  • Country Fire Authority (CFA) members
  • ambulance of emergency service employees

P plate insurance in Victoria

Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance is a legal requirement for all drivers in Victoria and is provided by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC). This premium is automatically added on to your car registration fees whenever you renew your registration. This insurance covers you against any personal injury claims or costs that may arise if you’re in a car accident.

If you want to protect yourself against accident damage to your own car you’ll need comprehensive insurance cover. This can get quite expensive in Victoria, particularly for under 25s, who pay some of the highest insurance rates in the country. Fortunately, you can now get cheap insurance for under 25s in Victoria by downloading UbiCar, proving you’re a good driver and getting an affordable quote.

Queensland P Plate Laws & Restrictions

It’s a long road to a full license in Queensland, with young drivers expected to pass through a two stage provisional license over a period of the three years. Furthermore strict restrictions govern provisional driver conduct throughout this period.

Overview of Queensland P plate laws

  • Qualifying age: 17 years
  • P plate display: Front and rear of vehicle (interior or exterior)
  • P plate specifications: Red P on white (P1), green on white (P2), 146mm x 146mm (minimum)
  • Duration: Three years
  • Speed limit: None
  • Demerit points: Four (within any 12 month period)

P plate qualification in QLD

Novice drivers can obtain a P1 license in Queensland at the age of 17 subject to:

  • recording 100 hours of supervised driving (including 10 hours of night driving) in an approved logbook
  • passing a practical driving test.

In order to obtain a P2 license in Queensland, a novice driver must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • hold their P1 license for at least one year
  • pass the Hazard Perception Test.

The QLD P plate drivers test

The QLD P Plate drivers test was updated on 29 June 2015. The Q-SAFE driving test places a strong emphasis on enforcing safe driving behaviours and testing candidates in challenging driving situations, like high speed merging. Drivers also receive more detailed feedback from examiners at the end of the test.

QLD motorcycle P plate qualification

Novice riders can obtain a provisional license subject to:

  • being at least 17 years old
  • holding an RE learner license for at least three months (or a year if you were exempt from the pre-learner test)
  • successfully completing the Q-Ride restricted (RE) course or
  • if you live more than 100km from a Q-Ride training centre, passing the Q-SAFE riding test.

P plate displays in QLD

P plate drivers are expected to display their plates on the front and rear of their vehicles while driving.

P plates must be:

  • at least 146 mm x 146 mm
  • a red P on a white background for P1 drivers
  • a green P on a white background for P2 drivers
  • displayed in the front and rear of a car’s exterior or interior, and on the rear of motorcycles
  • clearly visible from a distance of 20 meters
  • displayed on the rear of trailers, when towing a trailer.

Failure to properly display P plates can incur a two demerit point fine. Full license holders who drive cars displaying P plates may be fined.

P plate restrictions in QLD

The following restrictions apply to P plate drivers in QLD:

P plate speed limits: P plate drivers must adhere to posted speed limits.

Automatic transmission vehicles: Drivers who pass their tests in automatic vehicles are given their license with an A class condition and may not drive another class of vehicle. In general strict license class restrictions are applied in Queensland, and can be reviewed here.

QLD P plate passenger rules: Between 11pm and 5am, P1 drivers may not drive with more than one passenger under the age of 21 who is not an immediate family member.

QLD P plate curfew: A one year night driving restriction will be imposed on drivers who accumulate excessive demerit points or who have their licenses suspended for a speeding offence while under the age of 25. In such cases drivers will be not be permitted to drive between 11pm and 5am. The restriction will continue to apply for the remainder of the 12 months even if the driver upgrades to an open license during this period.

QLD mobile phone restrictions: P1 drivers are prohibited from any form of mobile phone use while driving , including listening to a loudspeaker on a passenger’s phone. P2 license holders are only permitted to use handsfree functions on their mobile phones.

QLD P plate legal cars: P plate drivers in Queensland are restricted from driving high powered vehicles. Provisional license holders can check whether their vehicle is classified as a restricted vehicle by using the official search tool available here.

QLD P Plate towing restrictions: There are no towing restrictions for P plate drivers in Queensland.

QLD P plate blood alcohol rules: A zero blood alcohol limit applies to all P plate drivers in Queensland. Drivers are also prohibited from driving under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs.

QLD driver supervision rules: P plate drivers in Queensland are not permitted to supervise learner drivers.

QLD motorcycle P plate restrictions

P plate riders in Queensland:

  • may not use mobile phones while driving
  • may wear vests that clearly display a capital ‘P’ instead of displaying P plates on their vehicles
  • can only carry passengers after holding their provisional license for a year
  • may only ride on learner approved motorcycles.

QLD P plate exceptions & exemptions

Older drivers

Drivers over the age of 25 can obtain a P2 license without holding a P1 license, subject to holding a learner license for at least a year and passing the practical driving test after the age of 25.

High powered vehicle exemptions

Provisional license holders may apply for exemption from high power vehicle restrictions in the event that one or more of the following applies:

  • the only vehicle they have reasonable access to is a high-powered vehicle
  • their employer requires them to drive a restricted vehicle
  • failure to obtain exemption from vehicle restrictions will create severe hardship for the license holder or their family.

Late night driving restriction exemption

Provisional license holders who are restricted from driving between 11pm and 5am may apply for an exemption from this restriction if:

  • they are required to drive during these hours for employment purposes
  • refusal of exemption will cause severe hardship for the license holder or their family.

P plate insurance in Queensland

Once you’ve earned your P plates in Queensland you’re legally obligated to have Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance when driving. In the event of an accident, this insurance will cover you and other drivers for personal injury expenses. You’ll need to get CTP insurance when you register your vehicle, and will be able to choose from a selection of CTP providers.

CTP insurance won’t protect you from costs or claims arising from damage to property as the result of a car accident. For that you’ll need comprehensive insurance. The good news is that Queensland has the cheapest comprehensive insurance rates for under 25s in Australia, and you may get even cheaper insurance with UbiCar if you download the UbiCar app and prove you’re a safe driver.

WA P Plate Laws & Restrictions

Western Australia makes it fairly simple for novice drivers to progress to a full license over a period of two years. Apart from a late night curfew that applies for the first six months on P plates and a 0% blood alcohol level requirement, novice drivers in Western Australia are only required to display their plates and observe general traffic laws and regulations.

Overview of WA P plate laws

  • Qualifying age: 17 years
  • P plate display: Front and rear of car (interior or exterior, clearly visible)
  • P plate specifications: White P on red plate (P1), white P on green plate (P2)
  • Duration: Two years (six months P1, 18 months P2)
  • Speed limit: Publicly posted speed limits apply
  • Demerit points: Four (first 12 months, includes L plates), eight (including L, P1 and P2 periods)

P plate qualification in WA

Novice drivers can qualify for a P1 license in Western Australia at the age of 17. To get a P1 license, they must:

  • pass a Hazard Perception Test once their learner’s permit has been held for at least six months, and subject to being at least 16 years and six months old
  • log at least 50 hours of supervised driving experience in the Learner Guide and Log Book, including at least five hours of night driving
  • pass the Practical Driving Assessment (PDA).

P1 drivers in Western Australia get their P2s after six months, subject to maintaining a satisfactory disciplinary record.

The WA P plate PDA drivers test

A pass in the Practical Driving Assessment (PDA) is required to get a provisional license in Western Australia. The test assesses novice drivers on seven key measures which cover essential driving skills on public roads, including the ability to respond to other road users, manage their vehicle appropriately and merge comfortably with the flow of traffic.

WA motorcycle P plate qualification

Novice riders can obtain a provisional license in Western Australia subject to:

  • being at least 17 years old
  • completing a minimum of 50 supervised riding hours, including five hours of night riding
  • presenting a log book of driving hours with a signed declaration of completion
  • passing the Practical Driving Assessment (PDA).

Note that novice riders who already have a full car license can progress directly to the Practical Driving Assessment.

P plate displays in WA

Both P1 and P2 drivers are expected to display P plates on their vehicles.

P plates must be:

  • visible on front and rear of cars (interior or exterior)
  • a white P on a red background (P1) – the official printable version is available here
  • a white P on a green background (P2) – the official printable version is available here
  • displayed on the rear of motorcycles.

P plate restrictions in WA

The following restrictions apply to P plate drivers in WA:

Automatic transmission vehicles: Novice drivers who pass their PDA in an automatic vehicle are required to drive automatic vehicles until they have re-taken the PDA in a manual vehicle.

WA P plate passenger rules: No passenger limits apply to provisional drivers in Western Australia.

WA P plate curfew: P1 drivers are not allowed to drive between midnight and 5 am.

WA P plate legal cars: There are no restrictions on high powered vehicles for provisional license holders in Western Australia.

WA P plate mobile phone restrictions: General mobile phone traffic laws apply to P plate drivers, who are not permitted to handle a mobile phone other than to receive or end a call. Novice drivers are permitted to use handsfree services on their mobile phones.

WA P Plate towing restrictions: Towing restrictions do not apply to provisional drivers in Western Australia.

WA P plate blood alcohol rules: A zero blood alcohol level must be maintained at all times. Drivers found with a blood alcohol level between 0.02 and 0.05 will have their licenses suspended for a minimum of 3 months. Lower blood alcohol levels will result in a fine and 3 demerit points.

WA motorcycle P plate restrictions

In addition to observing the national requirements for novice riders, P Plate riders in Western Australia are:

  • required to drive LAMS approved motorcycles.
  • may not handle a mobile phone while driving, but are permitted to use hands-free functions
  • are prohibited from driving between midnight and 5 am.
 

WA P plate exemptions

Curfew laws

During the first six months of their provisional license, novice drivers are permitted to drive between midnight and 5am if this is in the course of employment, or travelling to or from a place of employment or schooling along the shortest practical route.

P plate insurance in Western Australia

Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance cover is acquired whenever you renew your car’s registration. This cover is a legal requirement in Australia, protecting both you and third parties from any expenses that can arise from personal injury as the result of a car accident. This cover does not, however, protect you from any expenses resulting from damage to your or others’ property.

To get cover for damage to your car in the event of an accident, you’ll need comprehensive insurance cover. Western Australia makes it much cheaper for under 25s to get comprehensive cover than other states, with some of the cheapest comprehensive insurance rates in Australia. And you may be able to get even cheaper comprehensive cover through UbiCar if you can prove you’re a safe driver.

SA P Plate Laws & Restrictions

South Australia’s P plate laws are among the more relaxed provisional driver regulations in Australia, with no P plate displays required for P2 drivers, and novice drivers permitted to drive manual vehicles if they obtain their license in an automatic. The state also offers two routes to obtaining a P1 license.

Overview of SA P plate laws

  • Qualifying age: 17 years
  • P plate display: Front and rear of car (interior or exterior, clearly visible)
  • P plate specifications: Red P on white plate (P1), 145mm x 145mm
  • Duration: Three years (one year P1, two years P2)
  • Speed limit: 100 km/h (posted speed limits may not be exceeded by more than 10km/h)
  • Demerit points: Four

P plate qualification in SA

You can qualify for a P plate license in SA when you turn 17, subject to:

  • passing a Hazard Perception Test
  • holding a Learners license for at least 12 calendar months
  • logging a minimum of 75 hours of supervised driving (including 15 hours night driving)
  • passing a practical driving test (VORT) or
  • passing the Competency Based Training & Assessment (CBT&A) log book scheme.

P1 drivers automatically graduate to a P2 license after 12 months (excluding suspension periods).

The SA P plate drivers test

You can obtain a P1 license in South Australia by taking the Vehicle On Road Test (VORT). This test lasts approximately 45 minutes and comprises a test of low speed manoeuvres as well as driving on public roads. A mark of 90% is required to pass the test.

Competency Based Training & Assessment Scheme CBT&A

The CBT&A scheme offers another way of obtaining a P1 license in South Australia. This tests for the same competencies as the VORT but over a series of practical driving sessions with a CTB licensed driving instructor.

SA motorcycle learner qualification

South Australia does not have a provisional license class for motorcyclists. Instead novices progress from a pre-learner license onto a learner license and then onto a R-Date license before obtaining a full rider license.

Novice riders can obtain a learner license subject to:

  • being at least 16 years old
  • passing a theory test or holding a full license for another class of vehicle
  • passing Rider Safe basic training.

Learner riders are required to hold their license for at least 12 months before progressing to a R-Date license which they are required to hold for another 12 months before obtaining a full R Class rider license.

P plate displays in SA

Only P1 drivers are required to display P plates in South Australia.

P plates must be:

  • clearly displayed on the front and rear of all cars (interior or exterior)
  • a red P on a white background
  • 145mm x 145mm
  • the P must be at least 105mm high and 80mm wide.
  • displayed on the rear of motorcycles.

P plate restrictions in SA

The following restrictions apply to P plate drivers in SA:

Automatic transmission vehicles: South Australia is the only state that allow drivers to pass their test in an automatic and immediately drive a manual on their provisional license.

SA P plate passenger rules: P1 license holders are permitted a maximum of one passenger aged 16-20, excluding immediately family members. This rule does not apply if a qualified supervising driver is sitting next to the driver.

SA P plate curfew: P1 drivers are not permitted to drive between midnight and 5am.

SA P plate legal cars: Driving any high powered vehicle is prohibited while driving on a provisional license. Restrictions vary depending on driver age and when the P1 license was obtained. To view the latest information on high powered vehicle restrictions in South Australia click here.

SA P plate mobile phone restrictions: P1 drivers are not permitted to use any mobile phone function, including handsfree, loudspeaker or Bluetooth functions, while driving. P2 drivers are permitted to use handsfree functions on their phones.

SA P Plate towing restrictions: No towing restrictions apply to provisional drivers in South Australia.

SA P plate blood alcohol rules: A zero blood alcohol level is required at all times. In addition provisional drivers license holders are restricted from operating a vehicle while under the influence of THC, MDMA or methamphetamine.

SA motorcycle learner license restrictions

Learner riders in South Australia:

  • must display L plates
  • may not drive between midnight and 5am
  • may not use any mobile phone functions while driving
  • may not carry pillion passengers unless they are a Qualified Driving Driver.

SA P plate exemptions

Drivers over the age of 25

Drivers over the age of 25 are exempt from:

  • high powered vehicle restrictions
  • restrictions on driving between midnight and 5am
  • the one passenger limit for non-family members aged 16-20.

Remote locations

Drivers who live more than 100km from the nearest Customer Service Centre are exempt from having to sit the Hazard Perception Test.

P plate insurance in South Australia

It is a legal requirement to drive with Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance in South Australia. You’ll be automatically charged for this cover every time you renew your car’s registration, with cover provided by the Motor Accident Commission. This will ensure you have cover for personal or third party injury expenses in the event you’re involved in a car accident.

Keep in mind that CTP insurance will not cover you for expenses associated with damage to your or other peoples property in the event of an accident. Comprehensive cover is always a good idea, especially considering that South Australia has cheaper insurance for under 25s than many other states. Download UbiCar and you may get even cheaper comprehensive insurance if you drive safely.

The Australian Capital Territory has lenient P plate laws compared to other Australian states and territories.

Overview of ACT P plate laws

  • Qualifying age: 17
  • P plate display: Front and rear of car (interior or exterior, clearly visible)
  • P plate specifications: White P on red plate, 155mm x 155mm
  • Duration: Three years
  • Speed limit: Posted speed limit
  • Demerit points: Four

P plate qualification in ACT

You can qualify for a P plate license in ACT when you turn 17, subject to:

  • holding a learners license for six months
  • passing a practical driving test or
  • passing the Competency Based Training & Assessment (CBT&A) log book scheme.

The ACT P plate drivers test

The ACT P plate drivers test will rate your performance on 22 driver competencies. You may also be required to take and pass an eyesight test.

Competency Based Training & Assessment Scheme CBT&A

The CBT&A scheme provides an alternative route to obtaining a provisional license in ACT. This requires you to be assessed by an accredited driving instructor, considering the 22 driver competencies assessed in the drivers test.

ACT motorcycle P plate qualification

Young motorcyclists can obtain a provisional license subject to:

  • being at least 17 years old
  • holding a learner licence for three months
  • completing the pre-provisional course and rider assessment.

P plate displays in ACT

Provisional drivers in ACT are expected to display P plates in their vehicles at all times.

P plates must be:

  • a white P on a red background
  • 155mm x 155mm
  • displayed in the front and rear of a car. Motorcyclists must display a single P plate on the rear of their motorcycle
  • clearly visible and not angled upwards when placed in the car’s interior or fixed to a car window. The entire ‘P’ must be clearly visible.

Note that it is an offence for drivers on other licenses to display P plates in a vehicle they are driving.

P plate restrictions in ACT

The following restrictions apply to P plate drivers in ACT:

Automatic transmission vehicles: Drivers who passed the practical test or CBT&A scheme in an automatic will be endorsed with an ‘A’ condition and may only drive automatic vehicles. After 12 months the ‘A’ condition can be removed by attending an Access Canberra Service Centre. Alternatively drivers can attempt the CBT&A scheme or test in a manual vehicle.

ACT P plate passenger rules: No passenger restrictions apply to P plate drivers in ACT. However, changes to this law have been proposed.

ACT P plate curfew: No curfews apply to P plate drivers in ACT. However, changes to this law have been proposed.

ACT P plate legal cars: P plate drivers in ACT are permitted to drive any class of car.

ACT P Plate towing restrictions: P plate drivers may not tow trailers that weigh 750 kilograms or more within the first 12 months of holding their provisional license.

ACT P plate blood alcohol rules: P plate drivers are expected to have a blood/breath alcohol concentration of zero at all times.

ACT motorcycle P plate restrictions

During the first 12 months on their P plate licence motorcyclists may not:

  • ride a bike or a trike with a power to weight ratio greater than 150kw/tonne
  • carry a pillion passenger
  • tow any kind of vehicle.

ACT P plate exceptions

Drivers over the age of 26

Drivers aged 26 or older who have held their provisional license for at least six months may attend an Access Canberra Service Centre and request that a PC condition is added to their license. This will remove the requirement to display P plates and increase their available demerit points balance by four points.

Road Ready Plus provisional driver course

P plate drivers in ACT can waive some of the P plate requirements in the territory by passing the Road Ready Plus provisional driver course once they have held their license for six months. Passing this course will provide them with four additional demerit points for the duration of their provisional license, and they will also be permitted to drive without displaying P plates.

P plate insurance in ACT

P plate drivers are required to have Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance when driving in the Australian Capital Territory. You’ll automatically get CTP cover when you register your vehicle in ACT. However, bear in mind that CTP cover only provides protection against personal injury claims, and you may still be liable for expensive property damage claims if you are involved in a car accident.

P platers should therefore consider getting comprehensive car insurance cover. This will provide cover for damage to, or loss of, both personal and third-party property in an accident. P platers in ACT are fortunate to pay some of the lowest comprehensive insurance rates in Australia, and UbiCar has made it even easier to get affordable comprehensive cover by rewarding safe driving.

NT P Plate Laws & Restrictions

The Northern Territory has the most lenient P plate laws in Australia, making it relatively quick and easy for young drivers to move through their provisional license and onto a full license.

Overview of Northern Territory P plate laws

  • Qualifying age: 16 years and 6 months
  • P plate display: Front and rear of vehicle (interior)
  • P plate specifications: Red P on white background, 150mm x 150mm (minimum)
  • Duration: Two years
  • Speed limit: 100 km/h
  • Demerit points: Five (over any 12 month period)

P plate qualification in NT

You can qualify for a P plate license in NT when you turn 16 and six months, subject to:

  • holding a learners license for at least six months
  • passing a practical driving test.

It is recommended to log at least 100 hours of supervised driving experience, including 20 hours of night driving, before attempting the drivers test.

The NT P plate drivers test

The NT P Plate drivers test takes approximately 40 minutes and assesses:

  • observation skills
  • speed management and road positioning
  • decision-making response to hazards
  • vehicle control.

NT motorcycle P plate qualification

Novice riders can obtain a provisional license subject to:

  • being at least 16 years old
  • holding a learner licence for six consecutive months
  • passing the Rider Knowledge Test
  • passing the intermediate Motorcyclist Education Trainer and Licensing (METAL) course or
  • passing the On Road Riding Test through a local MVR

Riders who already hold another type of full license qualify for a restricted license once they have passed through the steps above. They are only required to hold their restricted licence for 12 months before progressing to a full motorcycle license.

P plate displays in NT

P plate drivers in NT are expected to display P plate in their vehicles whenever driving.

P plates must be:

  • at least 150 mm x 150 mm
  • a red P on a white background
  • displayed in the front and rear of a car’s exterior or interior
  • clearly visible, with the P fully visible
  • displayed on the rear of trailers, when towing a trailer.

P plate restrictions in NT

The following restrictions apply to P plate drivers in NT:

P plate speed limits: P plate drivers must not exceed a speed of 100 km/h.

Automatic transmission vehicles: Drivers who pass their tests in automatic vehicles are not permitted to drive manual vehicles for the first 12 months of their license.

NT P plate passenger rules: Passenger limits do not apply to P plate drivers in the Northern Territory. However, all passengers are expected to wear seatbelts when a provisional license holder is driving.

NT P plate curfew: No curfews apply to P plate drivers in NT.

NT mobile phone restrictions: Any form of mobile phone use, including use of handsfree or loudspeaker options, is prohibited while driving on a provisional license.

NT P plate legal cars: There are no restrictions on car types for P plate drivers in NT.

NT P Plate towing restrictions: No towing restrictions apply.

NT P plate blood alcohol rules: A zero blood alcohol limit applies to P plate drivers in NT. This condition applies for a further 12 months after a full license is obtained, or until the driver turns 25.

NT driver supervision rules: P plate drivers are prohibited from supervising learner drivers.

NT motorcycle P plate restrictions

The following P plate laws apply specifically to riders in the Northern Territory:

  • P Plate riders may not exceed a speed of 100 km/h
  • any form of mobile phone use is prohibited while driving
  • P Plate riders are expected to drive a Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS) motorcycle (view the NT riders handbook for more information)
  • novice riders may not carry pillion passengers.

NT P plate exceptions & exemptions

Older drivers

Drivers over the age of 25 are only required to hold a provisional license for 12 months before graduating to an open license.

P plate insurance in Northern Territory

Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance is a legal requirement for all drivers in the Northern Territory. To get this cover simply register your car – the fee is included in the registration costs. You’ll then have cover against any personal claims if you become involved in a car accident. However, keep in mind that you won’t be covered for any damage to property.

For this reason, it’s advisable to sign up for comprehensive car insurance when you get your P plates. Unfortunately, comprehensive insurance in the Northern Territory costs almost double what it does in other states. The good news is that UbiCar may provide you with more affordable comprehensive car insurance for under 25s if you download the app and prove you can drive safely.

Tasmania P Plate Laws & Restrictions

While Tasmania has a two stage provisional license system, it has some of the simplest P Plate rules and in Australia. However, penalties for road law violations in Tasmania are very strict, and irresponsible novice drivers can be required to ‘restart’ their provisional licenses from scratch.

Overview of TAS P plate laws

  • Qualifying age: 17 years
  • P plate display: Front and rear of car (interior or exterior, clearly visible)
  • P plate specifications: Red P on white plate (P1)
  • Duration: Three years (one year P1, two years P2)
  • Speed limit: 90 km/h in 90 km/h – 100 km/h zone, 100 km/h in 110 km/h zone (P1 car drivers)
    80 km/h (P1 motorcycle drivers)
  • Demerit points: Four

P plate qualification in TAS

You can qualify for a P plate license in TAS when you turn 17, subject to:

  • holding a L2 learners license for nine months
  • logging at least 50 hours of supervised driving over nine months in your L2 logbook
  • passing a practical driving assessment (the P1 PDA).

P1 drivers automatically graduate to a P2 license after 12 months.

The TAS P plate drivers practical assessment (P1 PDA)

The Tasmania P1 assessment considers the same factors used to score your L2 drivers assessment. In addition the P1 PDA test focuses on responsiveness to road conditions as well as hazard identification.

TAS motorcycle P plate qualification

Novice riders can progress from learner licence to their P plates subject to:

  • being at least 17 years old
  • holding a learner licence for six months
  • attending a Check Ride
  • passing the Pre-Provisional Test.

P plate displays in TAS

P plates must be displayed on cars driven by P1 license holders. The P plate display requirement falls away for drivers on a P2 license.

P plates must be:

  • clearly displayed on the front and rear of all cars (interior or exterior)
  • a red P on a white background
  • displayed on the rear of motorcycles.

P plate restrictions in TAS

The following restrictions apply to P plate drivers in TAS:

Automatic transmission vehicles: Drivers who undertake a practical test in an automatic vehicle are given an ‘automatic only’ condition on their licenses.

TAS P plate passenger rules: No passenger rules apply to provisional drivers unless they reach four demerit points, and are place on Novice Case Management.

TAS P plate curfew: No curfews apply to provisional license holders unless they are placed on Novice Case Management.

TAS P plate legal cars: There are no car restrictions for provisional drivers in Tasmania. However, restrictions do apply to motorcyclists. These can be checked here.

TAS mobile phone restrictions: Provisional license holders are prohibited from using a mobile phone while driving.

TAS P Plate towing restrictions: No towing restrictions apply to provisional drivers in Tasmania.

TAS P plate blood alcohol rules: A zero blood alcohol level is required at all times. Driving under the influence of drugs is also prohibited.

TAS motorcycle P plate restrictions

P plate riders in Tasmania:

TAS P plate exemptions

Minimum P2 license duration

Two exemptions apply to the requirement that provisional drivers must hold their P2 license for two years:

  • drivers between the ages of 23 and 25 must hold the license for 12 months or until they turn 25 (whichever is longer)
  • drivers over the age of 25 are required to hold a P2 license for just 12 months.

P plate insurance in Tasmania

P platers in Tasmania are required by law to have Compulsory Third Party (CTP) cover. This insurance covers expenses arising from personal injuries in the event of a car accident. CTP insurance in Tasmania is issued by the Motor Accidents Insurance Board, and you’ll automatically get cover when you renew your car registration.

While CTP insurance provides necessary cover, it doesn’t protect you from any costs associated with damage to property in a car accident. For complete peace of mind you’ll need comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive insurance for P platers is cheaper in Tasmania than many other states, and you may be able to further decrease your rates by downloading UbiCar and proving you’re a safe driver.

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