Learner and P-Plate Rules in NT

In the Northern Territory (NT), the journey to becoming a fully licensed driver is structured through a series of stages, each with specific regulations and requirements. This guide offers a comprehensive overview of the rules for learner and provisional drivers in the NT.

Obtaining a Learner Driver Licence in NT

The process of obtaining a learner licence in the NT begins when an individual reaches the age of 16. At this stage, the aspiring driver is required to provide proof of identity and residency at an NT Motor Vehicle Registry (MVR) office. Additionally, they must pass an eyesight test and a multiple-choice driver knowledge test focused on the road rules of the territory.

For those seeking additional education and training, the NT government runs the DriveSafe NT program. Though enrollment in this program involves a small fee, it offers more than $600 in subsidies towards obtaining a driver's licence, including access to theory classes and road safety education lessons.

The learner's licence is initially valid for six months, but can be extended for another two years by retaking the theory test if the individual is not yet ready to sit for the P-plate driving test.

Learner Driver Licence Restrictions in the Northern Territory

Learner drivers in the NT are subject to several restrictions to ensure safety on the roads. These include:

  • Speed Limit: Learner drivers in the Northern Territory are restricted to driving speeds of no more than 80km/h.
  • Alcohol Concentration: There is a zero-tolerance policy for blood alcohol concentration, requiring learners to have a BAC of 0.0%.
  • Supervised Driving: A fully licensed driver must accompany the learner at all times while driving. This supervisor must have a zero BAC if they are a professional driving instructor, or no more than 0.05% BAC otherwise.
  • Mobile Phone Usage: Learner drivers are prohibited from using any function of a mobile phone, including hands-free or loudspeaker options, while driving.
  • L-Plate Display: L-plates must be displayed at the front and rear of the car, and on the back of the trailer if towing.
  • Demerit Points: Accumulating five or more demerit points within 12 months, or 12 points within three years, leads to licence suspension.

Obtaining an NT Provisional Licence

To progress to a provisional licence, learners must have held their learner licence for a minimum of six months and successfully pass a practical driving test. This test, which is approximately 40 minutes long and video-recorded, assesses the learner’s driving skills in various situations. The provisional licence period varies based on the driver's age: two years for drivers under 25 and one year for those aged 25 and over.

NT P-Plate Licence Restrictions

Upon obtaining a provisional licence, drivers experience some changes in their driving conditions:

  • Solo Driving: Drivers are now permitted to drive without a supervisor.
  • Speed Limit: The maximum speed limit is increased to 100km/h, where legally permitted.
  • P-Plate Display: P-plates must be clearly displayed on both the front and rear of the car, and on the back of any trailer being towed.
  • Alcohol and Mobile Phone Use: The same zero-tolerance policy for alcohol applies, as does the prohibition on mobile phone usage while driving.
  • Transmission Type: If the driving test was passed in an automatic vehicle, the driver is restricted to automatic vehicles for the first 12 months unless supervised by a full licence holder. This restriction can be removed by passing a driving test in a manual vehicle.
  • Demerit Points: The provisional licence will be suspended for incurring five or more demerit points within 12 months, or 12 points within three years.

Obtaining a Full NT Drivers Licence

To advance to a full licence, drivers must be at least 18 years and six months old and have fulfilled the requirements of the provisional licence period without significant violations.

The learner and provisional licensing system in the NT is carefully designed to ensure that new drivers gain essential experience and exhibit responsible driving behavior before being granted full driving privileges. Adherence to these rules and regulations is crucial for learner and provisional drivers as they progress towards their full driver's licence, ensuring their safety and the safety of others on the road. Compliance with these guidelines is key to becoming a competent and responsible driver in the Northern Territory.

Start Your Journey with OnlyCars.com.au

Now you know what is required to obtain a learners, provisional or full licence in the Northern Territory, it's time to start your journey with OnlyCars.com.au. For more information on the various licence types and how to apply, visit the Northern Territory government website

If you'd like to know more about other state laws, select your preference from the list below:

Australian Licence Laws

Learner and P-Plate Rules WA

Learner and P-Plate Rules ACT

Learner and P-Plate Rules Tasmania

Learner and P-Plate Rules SA

Learner and P-Plate Rules Victoria

Learner and P-Plate Rules NSW

Learner and P-Plate Rules QLD