My car licence

P1 provisional licence

With a P1 provisional licence you can drive independently, without a qualified supervising driver or driving instructor.

But remember, your P-plates must be on, your licence handy, and the road rules and P licence rules must be followed.

Heads up!

If you were issued a provisional licence on or after 4 September 2010 and are under 25 you must not drive a high-powered vehicle unless you have an exemption certificate.
pre learner

Driving on your own can test all the skills you learned on your L's without having the safety net of a qualified supervising driver with you.

Speeding, driving at night, or when tired or distracted are dangerous mistakes to be avoided.  

Stay safe. Always wear your seatbelt and stay focused on driving.

Provisional licence laws and conditions (P1 and P2)

Provisional licences are issued subject to conditions. If you breach a condition you will lose your licence and be disqualified from driving. This is in addition to any other penalty.

The conditions are:

  • You must not drive a motor vehicle with any concentration of alcohol in your blood or the presence of cannabis, speed or MDMA (ecstasy) in your blood or oral saliva.
  • You must not exceed any speed limit by 10km/h or more.
  • You must not accumulate four or more demerit points during the provisional licence period.

The following laws also apply. If you breach any of these laws you may incur penalties such as fines, demerit points or loss of licence.

  • You can only drive the class of vehicle stated on your licence.
  • You must carry your provisional licence at all times whilst driving.
  • You must not drive a high-powered vehicle while you are under the age of 25 (unless you have an exemption certificate).
  • You must not drive over 100 km/h even if the local speed limit exceeds 100 km/h.

Laws that only apply to holders of P1 provisional licences (these laws do not apply to P2) include:

  • You must display the correct size ‘P’ plates so that they are clearly visible from the front and rear of the vehicle (rear only for motorcycles).
  • You must not use any mobile phone function while driving, including hands-free mode and Bluetooth technology or loud speaker operation.

From 28 July 2014, P1 licence holders under the age of 25 years must not drive:

  • between midnight and 5am, or
  • with more than one passenger aged 16 to 20 years (excluding immediate family members)
  • unless a Qualified Supervising Driver is seated next to you or you meet the exemption criteria.
Heads up!

From 28 July 2014, new rules are being introduced to protect P-platers.

Breaking the rules

On 28 July 2014, changes are being introduced for provisional licences.

Penalties that apply before 28 July 2014:

  • If you get any demerit points while under 19 years of age, you'll need to hold the provisional licence until you're at least 20.
  • If you are disqualified while you hold a P1 licence you'll lose your licence for at least six months and if you return to driving before 28 July 2014, you will need to regress to your previous licence stage, which means that you will need to:
    • Re-apply for a learner's permit and
    • Pass a practical driving test again (VORT or CBT or Advanced RiderSafe for motorbikes)

Penalties that apply from 28 July 2014:

  • If you are disqualified and return to driving on or after 28 July 2014 you will need to re-apply for your provisional licence. If you are returning at the P1 stage, you will need to hold your new provisional licence for three years (one year on P1 and two years on P2), or if you are returning at the P2 stage you will need to hold it for two years.

Safer Driver Agreements

If your licence is disqualified you may be able to elect to enter into a Safer Driver Agreement instead of serving the six month disqualification period. The Safer Driver Agreement will apply for the duration of your provisional licence.

If you breach the Safer Driver Agreement you will be disqualified for twice the period of your original disqualification (12 months). You must sit out the disqualification. No further Safer Driver Agreements or appeals will be available to you.

A Safer Driver Agreement will not be available:

  • If you commit one of the serious disqualification offences listed below, or
  • you have either successfully appealed a disqualification or previously entered into a Safer Driver Agreement within the last five years.

Serious disqualification offences

  • Criminal driving offences e.g. causing death by dangerous driving.
  • An offence that incurs four or more demerit points.
  • A second speeding offence that incurs three or more demerit points.
  • A red light offence and a speeding offence from the same incident.
  • Any offence committed by a person previously disqualified from driving.

Find out more about driving laws, offences and penalties

High powered vehicle restrictions apply:

  • if you hold a provisional licence and are under the age of 25
  • if you obtained your P1 on or after 4 September 2010
  • if you were disqualified and returned to driving on a P1 licence on or after 4 September 2010.

More details on the rules, definitions and exemptions for high powered vehicles see Safe Driving Tips.

If you're driving with a P1 provisional licence you need P-plates on the vehicle so other drivers know you're an inexperienced driver. P-plates must meet these requirements:

  • The minimum size is shown in the diagram below. P-plates must have the letter P printed in red on a white background.
  • P-plates must be clearly visible from the front and rear of the vehicle (rear only for motor bikes).
P plate 

Other styles of plates are not acceptable in South Australia. Buy your P-plates at Service SA customer service centres, at Service SA's online shop or retail outlets.

Heads up!

Penalties apply for not displaying P-plates.

What you need to do
To apply for your P2 licence, you must:

Heads up!

From 28 July 2014 the provisional licence period will be extended from two to three years ( one year on P1 and two years on a P2 licence).  This will not apply to a provisional licence that was issued before 28 July 2014.  Read more

If you've incurred 1-3 demerit points, you must either:

  • be demerit point free for a full 12 months at the time of application for P2 OR
  • have held a P1, without disqualification, for a minimum of 2 years.

For example, if a person is issued with a P1 licence on 12 November 2011 but incurs a demerit point on 12 December 2011 then they will be eligible to apply for a P2 licence on 12 December 2012.

If you have gained 1, 2 or 3 demerit points before turning 19 you'll need to:

  • wait until you have no demerit points on P1 for 12 months, or
  •  
  • hold a P1 for at least two years.
  •  
  • pass a Hazard Perception Test

If you have any questions on exactly where you sit with your P1 licence and want to upgrade to P2, call customer service on 13 10 84, as each individual may have different circumstances.

Applying for your P2 provisional licence

You'll need to take the following to a Service SA customer service centre

  • your P1 licence.
  •  
  • Your Hazard Perception Test certificate (given to you when you pass the test).
  •  
  • The fees for the P2 licence .

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