Provisional Licence Restrictions Across Australia

Do you know the provisional licence restrictions state-by-state can be confusing. Which is why we have written a blog to outline the restrictions in each state.

Getting your licence is one of the most important and exciting aspects of growing up. Suddenly you’re granted a level of freedom most teens have never experienced before. But, driving isn’t all fun and games; there are restrictions and rules which new drivers must abide by in Australia. 

The trouble is, these rules and restrictions differ greatly depending on the state you’re driving in. Naturally, this can get confusing for those living or travelling across state boundaries regularly. 

To help, we’ve put together this blog outlining the current provisional licence restrictions state-by-state and covered some of the frequently asked questions about provisional licenses. 
As always, visit your state government’s website or get in touch with your local driving school for the most accurate information.

Photo by Zac Harris on Unsplash

Provisional Licence Restrictions in Queensland 

P1 or Red P Licence Restrictions

When driving in Queensland in 2021, all P1 drivers must:

  • Only drive cars you’re legally allowed to. For example, a driver with a class ‘CA’ licence is not allowed to drive a car with a manual transmission.
  • Display a red P plate at all times while driving. The plate must be visible from 20m away and displayed on both the front and rear of the vehicle.
  • Carry their licence while driving.
  • Have a blood alcohol reading of 0.00 at all times.

When driving in Queensland in 2021, all P1 drivers must not:

  • Use a mobile phone in capacity while driving, including hands-free and Bluetooth capabilities. To use a mobile phone, the P1 driver must be legally and safely parked. It’s also important to note passengers also cannot use speakerphone whilst riding in a vehicle driven by a P1 licence holder. 
  • Drive a high-powered or performance vehicle without an exemption.
  • Drive between 11pm and 5am with more than one passenger who isn’t classified as an immediate family member. An immediate family is someone who is related to the driver by blood, marriage or guardianship.
  • Get more than 4 demerit points in any 12-month period.
  • Teach a learner driver to drive.

P2 or Green P Licence Restrictions

How to get your P2 licence. 

A P1 licence holder can apply for a P2 licence after having held their P1 licence for at least 12 months. At this stage, the licence holder must pass the online hazard perception test.

When driving in Queensland in 2021, all P2 drivers must:

  • Always display green P plates on your vehicle while driving. 
  • Drive cars allowed on their licence class, including subclasses such as ‘A’ or ‘S’.
  • Carry your licence on you at all times when operating a vehicle.
  • Have a zero blood alcohol reading whenever operating a car.

When driving in Queensland in 2021, all P2 drivers must not:

  • Operate a high-powered or performance vehicle without an exemption.
  • Gain more than 4 demerit points in any 12-month period. 
  • Teach a learner driver to drive.

Provisional Licence Restrictions in the Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory ,you can apply for your learner licence from the age of sixteen. Once the driver has passed the test, they can begin learning to drive with the accompaniment of a legally licensed driver. Once the learner has held their licence for at least six months, they may apply to sit a practical driving test to obtain their provisional licence. 

Provisional drivers under the age of 25 in the Northern Territory must hold their provisional licence for 24 months before applying for an open license.

When driving in the Northern Territory in 2021, all provisional drivers must:

  • Display their provisional plate at all times while driving.
  • Have a 0.00 blood alcohol reading whenever operating a vehicle. 
  • Adhere to classes and restrictions displayed on their licence. 
  • Not exceed 100km/h, even when the sign road speed is higher.  
  • Not use a mobile phone while driving.

Provisional Licence Restrictions in South Australia

P1 or Red P Licence Restrictions

When driving in South Australia in 2021, all P1 drivers must:

  • Display red P plates visibility on the car whenever driving. 
  • Have a 0.00 blood alcohol reading when operating a vehicle.
  • Only drive the class of vehicle displayed on their licence.

When driving in South Australia in 2021, all P1 drivers must not:

  • Exceed the speed limit by 10k/h or lose your licence. 
  • Gain 4 or more demerit points during the period on a provisional licence. 
  • Drive a high-powered or performance vehicle. 
  • Drive over 100km/h, even when signed otherwise.
  • Use a mobile phone while driving, this includes hands-free capabilities and Bluetooth features. 
  • Drive between midnight and 5am, unless over the age of 25 or with an exemption.
  • Drive with more than one passenger between the ages of 16 and 20 unless they are immediate family members.

P2 or Licence Restrictions

When driving in South Australia in 2021, all P2 drivers must:

  • Have a 0.00 blood alcohol reading when operating a vehicle.
  • Only drive the class of vehicle displayed on their licence.

When driving in South Australia in 2021, all P2 drivers must not:

  • Exceed the speed limit by 10k/h or lose your licence.
  • Gain 4 or more demerit points during the period on a provisional licence.
  • Drive a high-powered or performance vehicle.
  • Drive over 100km/h, even when signed otherwise.

Provisional Licence Restrictions in Tasmania

P1 or Red P Licence Restrictions

When driving in Tasmania in 2021, all P1 or red P platers drivers must:

  • Have a 0.00 blood alcohol reading when operating a vehicle.
  • Only drive the class of vehicle displayed on their licence.

When driving in Tasmania in 2021, all P1 or red P platers drivers must not:

  • Use a mobile phone in any capacity, including hands free and Bluetooth. 
  • Gain 4 or more demerit points during the period on a provisional licence. 
  • Drive between midnight and 5am, unless over the age of 25 or with an exemption.
  • Drive with more than one one passenger between the ages of 16 and 21 unless they are immediate family members. 
  • Drive over 100km/h, even when signed otherwise.

P2 or Licence Restrictions

When driving in Tasmania in 2021, all P2 drivers must:

  • Have a 0.00 blood alcohol reading when operating a vehicle.
  • Only drive the class of vehicle displayed on their license.
  • Display green P2 plates at all times whilst driving.

Provisional Licence Restrictions in Western Australia

Provisional Licence Restrictions

When driving in Western Australia in 2021, all provisional drivers must:

  • Display red P plates for the initial six months of their provisional licence. For the remaining provisional period, green P plates must be clearly displayed. 
  • Have a 0.00 blood alcohol limit at all times when operating a vehicle.

When driving in Western Australia in 2021, all provisional drivers must not:

  •  Drive between the hours of 12am and 5am when holding a P1 licence.
  • Gain more than 4 demerit points over a 12-month period. 
  • Use a mobile phone in any capacity.

Provisional Licence Restrictions in Victoria  

P1 or Red P Licence Restrictions

When driving in Victoria in 2021, all P1 drivers must:

  • Only drive cars you’re legally allowed to. For example, a driver with a class ‘CA’ licence is not allowed to drive a car with a manual transmission.
  • Display a red P plate at all times while driving. The plate must be visible from 20m away and displayed on both the front and rear of the vehicle.
  • Carry your licence on you at all times while driving.
  • Have a blood alcohol reading of 0.00 at all times.

When driving in Queensland in 2021, all P1 drivers must not:

  • Use a mobile phone in capacity while driving, this includes hands-free and Bluetooth capabilities. This includes GPS features. 
  • Drive a prohibited vehicle without an exemption.
  • Tow a trailer or other vehicle unless there is a fully licensed driver in the passenger seat OR the tow is for work purposes.
  • Carry more than one passenger between the ages of 16 and 22 unless you have a fully licensed driver beside you or you have an exemption.
  • You may have more than one passenger between these ages if they are your immediate family.

P2 or Green P Licence Restrictions

When driving in Victoria in 2021, all P2 drivers must:

  • Only drive cars you’re legally allowed to.
  • Display a green P plate at all times while driving. The plate must be visible from 20m away.
  • Carry your licence on you at all times while driving.
  • Have a blood alcohol reading of 0.00 at all times.

When driving in Victoria in 2021, all P2 drivers must not:

  • Use a mobile phone in any capacity, including for GPS services.
  • Drive a prohibited vehicle without an exception.

Provisional Licence Restrictions in the ACT

P1 or Red P Licence Restrictions

When driving in the ACT in 2021, all P1 drivers must:

  • Have a blood alcohol reading of 0.00.
  • Display red or P1 plates on the front and back of any vehicle they are operating. 
  • Obtain no more than 3 demerit points over a 12-month period.

When driving in the ACT in 2021, all P1 drivers must not: 

  • Use a mobile phone in any capacity, including hands-free and Bluetooth. 
  • Have more than one peer-aged passenger in the vehicle between the hours of 11pm and 5am. 
  • Tow another vehicle unless it is a trailer with a GVM of less than 750kg.

P2 or Green P Licence Restrictions

When driving in the ACT in 2021, all P2 drivers must:

  • Have a blood alcohol reading of 0.00.
  • Obtain no more than 3 demerit points over a 12 month period. 
  • Clearly display P2 plates on the front and back of their vehicle.

When driving in the ACT in 2021, all P2 drivers must not: 

  • Use a mobile phone in any capacity, including hands-free and bluetooth.

Provisional Licence Restrictions in New South Wales 

P1 or Red P Licence Restrictions

When driving in NSW in 2021, all P1 drivers must:

  • Have a blood alcohol reading of 0.00.
  • Drive vehicles of the class and conditions listed on their license.
  • Display red or P1 plates at all times on the front and back of the vehicle.

When driving in NSW  in 2021, all P1 drivers must not:

  • Exceed 90km/h, even when signed otherwise.  
  • Gain more 4 or more demerit points. 
  • Drive high-powered or performance vehicles.
  • Drive with more than one passenger under the age of 21 between the hours of 11pm and 5am. 
  • Use a mobile phone in any way, this includes hands free and Bluetooth. 
  • Drive a vehicle whilst it’s being towed or tow a vehicle or trailer with an unladen mass of more than 250kg. A P plate must be displayed on the back of the trailer or vehicle in tow.

P2 or Green P Licence Restrictions

When driving in NSW in 2021, all P2 drivers must:

  • Have a blood alcohol reading of 0.00.
  • Drive vehicles of the class and conditions listed on their licence. 
  • Clearly display green or P2 plates on the front and back of their car.

When driving in NSW in 2021, all P2 drivers must not:

  • Exceed 100km/h, even when signed otherwise. 
  • Be caught exceeding the speed limit twice or risk losing their licence.  
  • Drive high-powered performance vehicles. 
  • Use their mobile phone in any capacity, this includes handsfree and Bluetooth.

Frequently Asked Questions About Provisional Licenses

1. When traveling interstate, do the provisional restrictions of the foreign state apply to the driver?

According to the New South Wales Department of Transport and Road Safety, when travelling interstate you must continue to obey the restrictions of your home state. For example, provisional licence holders in NSW must obey speed restrictions and cannot exceed these speeds even when traveling in Queensland.

2. Can P-platers drive a car with a turbo?

In Queensland, a P plater can drive a turbo as long as the power to mass ratio is less than 130kW. Each state and territory has different restrictions relating which vehicles are allowed to be driven by provisional licence holders. For the most accurate information tailored to your state visit your state government website.

3.  Can a P plater use Google Maps while driving? 

In most Australian states, including Queensland, it is illegal for a provisional licence holder to use their phone in any capacity while driving — including for navigation purposes. It’s recommended provisional licence holders use a GPS (such as Navman) to avoid high penalties.

4. What age can you apply for a learner or provisional licence in Australia?

The minimum age for learner and provisional drivers varies between Australian states. In the ACT the minimum age to apply for a learner permit is 15 and 9 months, in all other states you must be 16 before applying. In Victoria, you must be at least 18 years of age before applying for your provisional licence. This age decreases to 16 and 6 months for Northern Territory residents and 17 for all other Australian States. 

Get in contact with your local driving school. 

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      Katrina Stapleton

      Digital Content Specialist

      Katrina Stapleton is a Digital Content Specialist at Localsearch with a background in social media and marketing. Although most of her experience lies in the entertainment sector, Katrina has written content for a vast array of industries including tourism, hospitality, retail and property development. Katrina is an avid dog lover, who finds a way to weave her fur-baby, Mylo, into most conversations. Aside from being a self-confessed bookworm, Katrina can often be found checking out the Gold Coast's latest coffee nook, paddle-boarding or baking up a storm in her free time — all with Mylo by her side, of course! As a Digital Content Specialist, Katrina enjoys sharing her knowledge and passions on the Localsearch Blog.