Novice Drivers

We know that getting your licence is important. You can keep yourself and your mates safe by learning the road rules, getting as much supervised driving experience as possible, hosting safe parties and keeping distractions to a minimum.

hours of supervised driving for novice drivers.

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BAC is what L and P plate drivers must have at all times when driving.

p-plates are issued every day in WA - that's 52,000 every year!

star rated cars provide much better protection in the event of a crash.

Getting your licence

The Department of Transport website has a comprehensive list of the steps you need to take to get a driver’s licence in Western Australia.
 

Licence rules

Freedom comes with responsibility. To reduce the risk of novice drivers being involved in road crashes, there are safety measures and restrictions in place.

  • The appropriate L or P plate must be displayed at all times. Plates can be purchased or printed at home. 
  • All L and P plate drivers must drive with a zero blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at all times. 
  • Provisional licence holders are not permitted to drive between 12am and 5am, however employment and education exceptions may apply. Learner drivers are not subject to night time restrictions.
  • Novice drivers must complete 50 hours of supervised driving including 25 hours once you have passed the theory test and paid a driver’s licence application fee, and a further minimum 25 hours over a six month period once you have passed the PDA.
  • Novice drivers are subject to a graduated demerit point system. You are classified as a Novice Driver Type 1 if you’ve held a driver's licence for a period of at least one year or periods adding up to one year, and includes a first time learner's permit holder. These drivers can have 3 demerit points against their licence. A Novice Driver Type 2 is a person who has held a driver's licence for more than 1 year but less than two 2 years. This driver can have 7 demerit points against their licence.

Your first car

You've passed your driver's test, you've got your licence and now it’s time to purchase your first car. There are a few things you need to consider before you get behind the wheel.

New Cars
If you’re buying a new car, check its safety rating on the ANCAP website. Cars with a five star rating provide much better protection in the event of a crash, compared to those with a lower star rating.

Used Cars
For some novice drivers, a second-hand car is a more viable way of getting on the road. The Used Car Safety Ratings Guide lists ‘Safe Picks’ that are not only safe for you, but safe for other road users as well.

Alcohol and driving

As an L or P plater, you are not allowed to have any alcohol in your system. So, if you're going to drink anything at all, plan not to drive. 

  • Arrange a skipper 
  • Ask someone to collect you 
  • Call a cab 
  • Take public transport 
  • Stay overnight

Even though L and P platers must have a zero blood alcohol concentration (BAC) when driving, you should be aware of standard drinks information for when you become a full licence holder.

Driving instructors, including professionals and parents, must not have a blood alcohol content of or above 0.05. Penalties for those caught drink driving while supervising a learner driver faces a fine from $300 to $500.

Frequently asked questions by learners

How many passengers can be in the car with a learner driver?

A learner driver must have a supervising driver sitting next to them, however there are no additional restrictions on passengers other than those rules that apply to all ‘Car-unrestricted’ C class licences.

A ‘Car-unrestricted’ (C) licence allows you to drive any motor vehicle, other than a motor cycle or motor carrier, equipped to seat not more than 12 adults (including the driver).

Additionally, only passengers that are sitting in a seat that is fitted with a seat belt or child restraint suitably fastened may be carried in the vehicle.
In other words, if your car has 5 seats (with seat belts) you may carry up to 5 people (including the driver).

Is there a limit on how many hours can they drive in one day?

There are no limits on hours driven per day but it is recommended that even if you are not tired, to stop at least every one and a half hours or 150 kilometres.

Can L platers drive on the freeway?

Learner drivers are allowed to drive on the freeway and are encouraged to complete their supervised driving experience in a range of traffic and weather conditions.

What is the maximum speed limit for a learner driver?

The highest speed allowable for learner drivers is 100 km/h.

What is the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for learner drivers?

Learner drivers must not drive if they have a blood alcohol concentration greater than 0.00 per cent.

What other restrictions are placed on learner drivers?

Learner drivers are not allowed to drive within the boundaries of Kings Park or wherever signs prohibit learner drivers.

How many years does a "supervising driver" need to have held their licence?

A person instructing a learner driver must have held a current and valid driver's licence (for the class of vehicle in which you are teaching someone how to drive) for at least 4 years.

In the case of instructing a person to ride a moped, you must have held a current and valid driver's licence for at least 2 years.

You must ensure the vehicle you are instructing in has 'L' plates displayed at all times.

Be aware of the rules for novice drivers (includes 'L' and 'P' platers).

High powered vehicles 

There are no power-to-weight vehicle restrictions for novice drivers. A report from the Curtin-Monash Accident Research Centre found that only a very small number (0.2%) of serious crashes involved young drivers in high performance vehicles. Following consideration of the report, Government announced that power-to-weight restrictions would not be enforced.