Learner and P-Plate Rules SA

In South Australia, the process of obtaining a learner's permit and progressing to a full driver's licence is structured through specific stages, each with its own set of rules and regulations. This guide provides an in-depth overview of the requirements and restrictions for learner drivers and provisional drivers in SA.

Obtaining a Learner Permit in SA

Individuals in South Australia can start their journey to becoming licensed drivers at the age of 16 by applying for a learner's permit. To acquire this permit, they must successfully pass a theory test focusing on road rules and road safety. This test can be taken online through the myLs course or in person at a Service SA centre. The test is designed to ensure that prospective drivers have a foundational understanding of safe driving practices and road laws.

Learner Driver's Licence Restrictions in SA

Once a learner's permit is obtained, the learner driver must adhere to specific restrictions to ensure safety on the road. These include:

  • L-Plate Display: L-plates must be clearly visible on both the front and rear of the vehicle, signalling the driver's learner status to other road users.
  • Supervised Driving: The learner must always be accompanied by a qualified supervising driver. This qualified supervising driver must have held an unconditional Class C vehicle licence for at least two years and must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Speed Limit Compliance: Learner drivers are permitted to drive up to a speed of 100km/h, where the speed limit permits it.
  • Zero Tolerance Policy: Learners must have no alcohol or drugs in their system while driving.
  • Mobile Phone Usage: Complete prohibition on the use of mobile phones, including hands-free devices, while driving.
  • Demerit Points: Accumulating four or more demerit points during the learner's permit period can lead to penalties.

Learner Licence SA Requirements

Learner drivers have specific requirements based on their age:

  • Under 25 Years: A Learner driver under the age of 25 must hold the learner's permit for at least 12 months and complete a minimum of 75 hours of supervised driving, including 15 hours at night. These hours must be recorded in a logbook or an approved phone app.
  • 25 Years and Older: The requirement for a learner driver over the age of 25 is reduced to holding the learner's permit for six months.
  • Hazard Perception Test: All learner drivers, regardless of age, must pass the Hazard Perception Test (HPT), which assesses their ability to recognize and respond to hazardous situations on the road.

Obtaining a P1 Provisional Licence (Red P-plates) in SA

To transition to a P1 provisional licence (also known as red Ps), applicants must be at least 17 years old and have completed the learner licence requirements, including the compulsory driving hours and the hazard perception test. There are two pathways to obtaining a P1 licence:

  • Vehicle On Road Test (VORT): This practical driving test evaluates the driver's skills in real-world scenarios and is conducted by a qualified assessor.
  • Competency-Based Training (CBT): This involves a series of practical driving sessions assessed by a licensed motor driving instructor.

P1 Provisional Licence Holder Restrictions in SA

P1 provisional licence holders are subject to several restrictions:

  • P-Plate Display: P1 drivers must display the correct-size P-plates on their vehicle.
  • Mobile Phone and GPS Usage: Similar to the learner licence restrictions, the use of mobile phones is prohibited, but the use of a dedicated navigational system is allowed under specific conditions.
  • Speed and Alcohol Restrictions: P1 drivers must adhere to speed limits and maintain a zero blood alcohol concentration. They are not allowed to supervise learner drivers.
  • Curfew and Passenger Restrictions: Drivers under 25 are subject to a curfew between midnight and 5am and can only drive with one passenger aged 16 to 20, unless certain conditions are met.
  • High-Powered Vehicle Ban: There's a restriction on driving high-powered vehicles for those under 25.

Obtaining a P2 Provisional Licence SA

After 12 months on a P1 licence without suspensions and if they are at least 18 years old, the P1 licence will automatically upgrade to a P2 provisional licence, also known as green Ps. P2 drivers enjoy fewer restrictions compared to P1: they no longer need to display P-plates and can use mobile phones in a hands-free mode. The curfew and passenger age restrictions are lifted.

P2 Licence SA Restrictions

While P2 drivers have more freedom, some restrictions continue:

  • Speed and Alcohol Compliance: P2 drivers must still adhere to speed limits and maintain zero alcohol and drug levels in their system.
  • Demerit Points: Accumulating four or more demerit points still leads to penalties.

Obtaining a Full SA Driver's Licence

After completing a total of three years on a provisional licence – one year on P1 and two years on P2 – and reaching 20 years of age, drivers are eligible to apply for a full licence.

The learner and provisional licensing system in South Australia is designed to ensure that new drivers gain essential driving experience and skills in a controlled and safe environment. Adhering to these rules and regulations is vital for learner and provisional drivers as they advance towards full driving privileges, ensuring their safety and the safety of other road users. Compliance with these guidelines is key to becoming a responsible and proficient driver in South Australia.

Start Your Journey with OnlyCars.com.au

Now that you have a clear understanding of the requirements and restrictions for learner drivers and provisional licence holders in South Australia, it's time to start your journey with OnlyCars.com.au. For more information on the various licence types, as well as safe driving tips and refreshers on South Australia's road rules, visit My Licence. 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 NT

Learner and P-Plate Rules Victoria

Learner and P-Plate Rules NSW

Learner and P-Plate Rules QLD