The Driver's Handbook
Obtaining a Provisional Licence
Obtaining a P1 Provisional Licence
Before you can apply for a P1 provisional licence you must:
- be at least 17 years old
- pass a Hazard Perception Test
- have held the learner's permit for a minimum of 12 full calendar months if under the age of 25
- have held the learner's permit for a minimum of six full calendar months if aged 25 or over
- have a minimum of 75 hours of supervised driving (including 15 hours of night driving) recorded in your driving companion (not required for learner motorcycle riders) and
- pass a practical driving test (VORT) conducted by an instructor or Accreditation Auditor or
- complete a CBT&A course with an instructor. see here
If you fail a practical driving test, you are not allowed to do another practical driving test for at least 13 clear days. This is to allow you to practise your driving skills in preparation for the next practical driving test. Alternatively, you may complete the Competency Based Training & Assessment (CBT&A) method instead.
After passing a practical driving test or completing the Competency Based Training & Assessment, a Certificate of Competency will be issued to you by the Authorised or Accredited Instructor. You can then apply to be issued with a licence that is subject to provisional licence conditions (a P1 provisional licence). To apply for your P1 provisional licence, you must present the Certificate of Competency and your completed Log Book (75 hours of supervised driving) and declaration at a Customer Service Centre, together with the appropriate fee.
The Certificate of Competency does not authorise you to drive. Only when you have obtained the P1 provisional licence are you authorised to drive while under P1 provisional conditions.
A P1 licence is issued for at least two years or until you reach 19 years of age, whichever period is longer. If you accumulate one or more demerit points for an offence committed while under 19 years of age, your provisional licence period will be extended until you are at least 20 years of age.
The Hazard Perception Test
To progress from a Learner's Permit to a P1 licence you must pass the hazard perception test, which is a computer-based test, that measures your ability to recognise and respond to potentially dangerous situations and react appropriately. Research has shown that a lack of these skills is a major factor in crashes involving young novice drivers.
A hazard perception test can be booked and undertaken in any Customer Service Centre. A fee is payable for each attempt. If you live more than 100 kilometres (as the crow flies) from a place where the test is conducted, or on Kangaroo Island you are exempt from having to sit the hazard perception test.
For Hazard Perception Tests at Service SA, bookings may be required, telephone 13 10 84 for further information and have your Learner's Permit number handy.
The minimum size for the 'P' plate sign is shown in the diagram right and consists of a red letter 'P' against a white background. The sign must be displayed and clearly visible from the front and rear of the vehicle (rear only for motorcycles).
Provisional driver's 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 when there is any concentration of alcohol in your blood or the presence of THC (Cannabis), Methylamphetamine (Speed) or MDMA (Ecstasy) in your blood or oral fluid (saliva)
- you must not exceed any speed limit by 10 km/h or more
- you must not accumulate four or more demerit points during the provisional licence period.
The following laws also apply to the holder of a provisional licence, if you breach any of these laws you may incur penalties such as fines, demerit points or loss of licence:
- you must only drive the class of motor 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 a P1 Provisional Licences (These laws do not apply to P2)
- You must display the correct size "P" plates so they are clearly visible from the front and rear of the vehicle (rear only for motorcyclists)
- you must not use any function of a mobile phone including hands free mode, blue-tooth technology and loudspeaker operation.
- If you are under the age of 25 you must not drive
- between midnight an 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
- Holders of a motorcycle P1 Provisional Licence must not lane filter.
Obtaining a P2 Provisional Licence
You will automatically progress to a P2 provisional licence after you have held your P1 provisional licence for 12 months.
Please note; these changes apply to provisional licences gained on, or after, 28 July 2014. If you obtained a licence before that date your individual circumstances may vary. Please telephone 13 10 84 for details.
High-powered vehicle restrictions apply:
- if you are a provisional licence holder under the age of 25 and 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.
High-powered vehicle restrictions do not apply:
- if you are 25 years of age or older
- if you obtained your P1 or P2 licence before 4 September 2010
- if you have an exemption certificate.
Also, if you are under 25 and hold a full licence the high-powered vehicle restrictions do not apply.