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Steps to getting your licence – for the learner driver

Step 1 – before you get behind the wheel

Make sure you:

Who should I drive with?

You can drive with anyone you choose, provided they hold a current open licence and have held this licence for at least 12 months for the type of vehicle you will be driving.

An ideal way for you to learn is to combine professional driving lessons with regular practice sessions with parents or friends.

Most young drivers find drawing on their parents' experience will make all the difference. Keep in mind who you would feel most comfortable driving with.

Learning with a parent or friend

Road Trip for learner drivers brochure coverParents or friends:

  • provide a wide range of practice opportunities
  • allow learners to proceed at their own pace
  • provide a relaxed and familiar environment to learn in
  • promote a safer driving attitude.

If you are also being taught by a professional driver trainer, they can add to this teaching by providing a range of good practice opportunities.

Make sure you record all the details of your driver training (including the time and conditions) in your learner logbook, issued to you when you obtained your learner licence. You need to complete 100 hours of on-road supervised driving, including 10 hours of night driving before you can submit the logbook for approval (you must be 17 years of age). A one hour lesson with an accredited driver trainer will count towards three hours in your learner logbook (up to a maximum of 30 hours, for example, 10 x one hour lessons). 

Step 2 – hitting the road

Safe driving tips

  • Familiarise yourself with the basic controls. Make sure you have passed the checklist for car controls.
  • Take the time to adjust to different vehicles – some may have power steering, different brakes or mirrors.
  • Avoid getting behind the wheel when your mind is not on the driving task.
  • If you become tired while driving, stop for a break.
  • Try not to turn the radio on as it may distract you and your tutor.
  • Always allow extra time for travelling so you don't have to rush.
  • Keep left unless overtaking.
  • Remember to be considerate of other road users and how your driving affects them.

Step 3 – practice

You should spread your practice and driving lessons over the entire learner licence period rather than concentrating your lessons just prior to the driving test.

Your learner licence period is for a minimum 12 months. The more you practice, the more skills you will gain and the better driver you will become. Practice will improve your chance of passing your practical driving test on your first attempt.

Safe driving tips

  • Weekly practice in a variety of situations is important in developing good driving skills.
  • Make every effort to drive in different conditions – in the dry, in the wet, during peak hour, at dusk and at night.
  • When driving in wet weather, take special care by keeping more than a two second following distance, driving at a slower speed and braking smoothly to prevent a skid.
  • Always plan regular two-hourly breaks on a long journey.
  • Drive at a speed appropriate for the conditions.
  • Don't drive if you are tired or have been drinking. You must comply with the no alchol limit (0.00).
  • Obey any conditions stated on your learner licence.
  • Medication can affect your driving. Do not drive under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs. Check the effects of medication with your doctor or chemist.


Step 4 – the test

The practical driving test usually takes about half an hour but you will need to get there at least 10 minutes before your appointment to enable paperwork to be checked and completed. You'll be assigned a driving examiner and they'll ask you to perform a number of driving tasks. Allow time after your test for your driver licence to be processed and issued.

Book the test

If you have a driver trainer, they may book you into a testing centre. If not, you'll need to do this yourself.


Last updated
31 December 2013