Learner and P-Plate Rules in Victoria

In Victoria, the path to obtaining a driver's licence is structured to gradually introduce new drivers to the road through a series of stages, each with its own set of rules and requirements. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the regulations governing learner and P-Plate drivers in Victoria.

Obtaining a Learner's Licence Victoria

The journey begins with obtaining a learner permit, which is available to individuals who are at least 16 years old. Prospective drivers are required to pass a multiple-choice learner permit knowledge test that assesses their understanding of road rules. Applicants can test online, or at their local VicRoads customer service centre. After passing the test, the applicant must visit a VicRoads centre to complete an identity verification process and an eyesight test. Once these steps are successfully completed, the learner's permit is issued, valid for a period of 10 years.

L-Plate Rules VIC

Learner drivers are subject to several restrictions to ensure their safety and that of other road users. They must display L-plates on the front and rear of their vehicle, which should be visible from a distance of 20 metres. A supervising driver, who holds a full, non-probationary driver’s licence, must accompany them at all times.

Learner drivers are prohibited from using mobile phones in any capacity while driving, and this restriction includes hands-free and hand-held devices, as well as messaging. They are also required to maintain a zero blood alcohol concentration and are not allowed to tow trailers or other vehicles. Additionally, they are limited to driving cars and are not permitted to drive heavy vehicles such as buses or trucks.

Requirements While on a Learner Permit VIC

For learners under the age of 21, there are additional requirements to enhance their driving experience. They must accumulate at least 120 hours of supervised driving, including 10 hours of night driving. These hours must be recorded, either in the official printed learner logbook available from VicRoads or through the digital logbook app and website, myLearners. Before they can progress to a P1 probationary licence, these learners must hold their learner permit for a minimum of 12 months. For those aged 21 to under 25, the required duration on L-plates is reduced to six months, and for those aged 25 or older, it's further reduced to three months.

Obtaining a P1 Probationary Licence in Victoria

To transition to a P1 probationary (red P-plates) licence, applicants must be at least 17 years and 11 months old. They are required to pass a hazard perception test, which assesses their ability to identify and respond to potential hazards on the road. This test must be passed before they are eligible to take the practical driving test. The practical test, which lasts about 30 minutes, evaluates the applicant's driving skills in real-world conditions and is conducted by an official assessor. Successful candidates of the practical test are issued a four-year probationary driver's licence, with the first year of this period spent on red P-plates (P1), followed by three years on green P-plates (P2).

P1 Licence Restrictions VIC

P1 licence holders must comply with specific restrictions to ensure their continued development as safe drivers. Red P-plates, measuring approximately 150mm square and bearing a white letter P on a red background, must be displayed on both the front and rear of the vehicle, and be clearly visible from 20 metres away.

P1 drivers are required to maintain a zero alcohol level in their bloodstream and are prohibited from using mobile phones in any form while driving. Additionally, they are limited to driving with only one passenger aged between 16 and 22 years, unless they are exempt from this rule. They are also not allowed to drive probationary prohibited vehicles (PPVs), defined as vehicles with certain power-to-mass ratios or engine modifications. There are, however, exemptions available under specific circumstances, such as for employment or family reasons.

Towing is generally not permitted, except in certain situations such as for work or agricultural purposes. If the P1 test was taken in an automatic transmission vehicle, the driver is restricted to driving automatic vehicles only, unless they pass another driving test in a manual car. Additionally, they cannot accumulate five demerit points or more over a 12-month period.

P2 Licence Restrictions VIC

Upon advancing to a P2 licence (green P-plates), drivers enjoy slightly more freedom, though several restrictions from the P1 stage still apply. Green P-plates must be displayed on the vehicle, but there are no longer restrictions on the number of passengers. The prohibitions on mobile phone usage, driving high-performance vehicles, and the zero alcohol requirement continue to apply. Like P1 licence holders, P2 drivers must also keep their demerit points below five over a 12-month period.

Obtaining a Full Victorian Driver's Licence

After completing three years on a P2 probationary licence without any suspensions or cancellations, drivers are eligible for a full Victorian driver’s licence. It is important to note that any periods of licence suspension do not count towards the provisional licence period.

This graduated licensing system in Victoria is designed to ensure that new drivers gain the necessary experience and skills to navigate the roads safely. Adhering to these rules and regulations is crucial for learner and P-Plate drivers as they progress towards full driving privileges, ensuring their safety and the safety of others on the road. Compliance with these guidelines is key to becoming a responsible and skilled driver in Victoria.

Embark on Your Journey with OnlyCars.com.au

Now that you understand what is required to obtain each licence in Victoria, and their respective restrictions, it's time to start your journey with OnlyCars.com.au. For more information about the various licence types, or to renew, replace or update your licence, or to enquire about test fees, head to the VicRoads website by clicking this link. 

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 NT

Learner and P-Plate Rules NSW

Learner and P-Plate Rules QLD