WA has a graduated licensing system. Novice drivers must complete assessments and gain experience in different conditions before being granted a provisional licence.

Getting Your C (Car) Licence

Before you can learn to drive on the road, you must have a valid learner’s permit for a vehicle of a specified class. The minimum age to obtain a ‘C’ class learner’s permit is 16 years except where the denial of a licence would cause undue hardship.

You may apply for a learner’s permit at any Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) centre or regional DVS agent. The permit is valid for 3 years and can be replaced free of charge.

When applying for the first time you must provide evidence of your age, identity and residence. You will be charged a fee to undertake a theory test on the road rules and an application fee that allows you to take one practical on-road driving assessment.

Fees must be paid on application and will not be refunded if your application is refused.

The Graduated Driver Training and Licensing System

The system is designed to ensure learner drivers get a range of supervised experience under different conditions over a long period before driving solo. The system helps you acquire the skills, habits and responsible attitudes essential to safety on our roads.

THE SIX STEPS TO A PROVISIONAL LICENCE

Step 1 - Learner’s permit

Before you are issued with a learner’s permit you will have to:

  • pay for and pass a computerised theory test
    A computerised, multiple-choice test on the road rules and safe driving practices (as outlined in this handbook).
  • pay for and be issued a Learner Guide and Log Book
    If you pass, you will need to pay for your permit, Learner Guide and Log Book. Then you must complete at least 25 hours of supervised experience in a range of traffic and weather conditions before you sit a practical driving assessment.
  • pass an eyesight test
    If you need glasses or contact lenses to pass the test, your permit and licence will show that these must be worn when you drive.
  • pass a medical test (if required)
    If you have a medical condition and/or take medication, you MUST declare this on the licence application. The DVS staff will advise whether or not you need to have a medical assessment before you can obtain a learner’s permit.

Step 2 - Learning to drive

Once you have your learner’s permit you can drive with a supervising driver. You must complete at least 25 hours of supervised driving in a range of conditions to be eligible to sit a practical driving assessment. The supervising driver can be:

  1. a holder of an instructors licence issued under the Motor Vehicle Drivers Instructors Act 1963
  2. an instructor in a youth driver education course conducted or supervised by a body authorised by the Department of Transport for that purpose
  3. a licensed driver authorised to perform driving of a kind for which the instruction is to be given* and has had that authority for periods adding up to:
    1. at least 2 years, in the case of driving of a moped
    2. at least 4 years, in any other case

*A person authorised to drive a ‘C’ class vehicle with an ‘A’ condition (automatic only) cannot supervise a learner driver in a manual vehicle.

You must drive within the conditions shown on the permit and display ‘L’ plates on the front and rear of the vehicle when driving.

The highest speed allowable for learners is 100 km/h. Learners are not allowed to drive within the boundaries of Kings Park or wherever signs prohibit learners. Learners must not drive if they have a BAC greater than 0.00%.

Step 3 - Practical driving assessment (PDA)

When you can control a vehicle safely, have at least 25 hours of supervised driving, and are at least 16 years and 6 months old you can book and sit a PDA.

The assessment looks at quality of driving rather than the performance of individual skills. When a learner shows signs of quality it means they have enough practice and different driving experiences. To be ready for the PDA you will need to be able to handle many different situations without relying on your supervisor’s help.

If you don’t pass the PDA you will have to pay another fee to take it again. It is in your interest to make sure you have enough experience before booking a PDA.

Give more than 2 working days’ notice to change/cancel an appointment or you forfeit your PDA and have to pay for another one.

On the day of your PDA:

  • arrive at least 10 minutes before the appointed PDA time
  • provide a roadworthy vehicle of the correct class with a central handbrake
  • as soon as you arrive at the DVS centre inform the staff you will sit a PDA
  • take your Learner Guide and Log Book with you. The assessor will check you have completed the 25 hours of supervised driving before your PDA
  • you will need to produce your learner’s permit, primary and secondary identification prior to taking the PDA

Note: If you are late or your log book has not been completed correctly or signed you will not be assessed, have to pay for and book another PDA.

During your PDA, you will be given clear directions (there are no tricks). Every effort is made to make all PDAs consistent, regardless of location. The route is chosen to give a fair evaluation of your driving ability.

The assessor will be understanding, but won’t discuss your driving to stop distraction. Long periods of silence do not mean the assessor disapproves or is unfriendly. It is not the assessor’s job to teach you to drive.

Listen carefully to what the assessor asks and carry out the instructions as well as you can. After the PDA, if there is enough time the assessor may discuss your driving.

Assessors are subject to regular auditing and training. The auditor, trainer or trainee sits in the rear seats observing and recording the assessor’s role in the assessment.

Step 4 - Gain experience

Once you have passed your PDA, you must complete a further 25 hours of supervised driving experience. The 25 hours is a minimum - try to get as many hours as possible.

Young novice drivers who gain at least 100-120 hours of supervised experience are better prepared for a lifetime of safe driving and are less likely to be in serious crashes.

During this stage you must still display ‘L’ plates and drive within any permit conditions.

Getting experience in varied conditions will better prepare you for solo driving and will help you pass the Hazard Perception Test. Your supervised experience should include:

  • driving on freeways, highways and/or major roads
  • driving at night time
  • driving at speeds between 80km/h and 100km/h on permitted roads

Take care of your Learner Guide and Log Book – keep it in a safe place.

Only driving properly recorded in the log book will be credited. If your log book is lost, or destroyed you must pay for a new one and previous experience will not be credited.

The log book sections of the Learner Guide and Log Book are legal documents. False or misleading information will mean those that have signed will be liable to prosecution.

Step Five - Hazard Perception Test (HPT)

6 months after passing the PDA, and once your log book has been verified to show you have completed at least 25 hours post-PDA supervised driving, you can sit the HPT to obtain your provisional licence. This computerised test will assess your ability to respond to different traffic situations and to make safe driving decisions.

The test consists a series of moving traffic scenes. You respond to each scene by clicking a mouse to indicate when it is safe to commence a manoeuvre or when it is necessary to take the appropriate action to reduce the risk of a crash situation.

The recorded response time, or lack thereof, will be compared to the recommended response (or no response) times required, to determine if you’ve passed the test.

You will be charged a fee prior to sitting the HPT. When you pass the HPT and pay relevant licence fees, you will be issued with a provisional licence.

Step Six - Provisional Licence

On your provisional licence, you can drive solo. You must display ‘P’ plates for 2 years.

A person will be issued with a provisional licence if they:

  • have not previously held a valid driver’s licence (issued in either WA or another State or Country) for an aggregate period of 2 years
  • are younger than 19

If you hold a provisional licence and you are convicted of any of the following, you may be fined and your provisional licence will be automatically cancelled:

  • failing to stop after a crash
  • failing to report a crash
  • dangerous or careless driving
  • stealing a motor vehicle
  • unlawfully killing a person while driving
  • dangerous driving causing injury/death
  • driving or attempting to drive a vehicle with a BAC equal to or more than 0.02%
  • failing to supply your correct name and address when required by police
  • failing to stop when called upon to do so by a police officer
  • applying for or obtaining a licence while disqualified
  • forging or altering any driver or vehicle licence document, or number plate
  • unlawfully possessing and using false number plates
  • unlawfully interfering with the mechanism of a vehicle
  • being in possession of false driver or vehicle licence documents
  • lending someone any driver or vehicle licence document, or number plate.

Important:

  • While on ‘P’ plates it is illegal to drive with any alcohol in your blood
  • You will be subject to night driving restrictions for the first 6 months of your provisional period. You are unable to drive between the hours of 12am-5am.
  • Night driving restrictions do not apply to people travelling for paid or voluntary work or for training or education purposes. If you do drive between 12am-5am for these reasons, we suggest you carry proof, such as an employer letter.
  • You will also be subject to demerit point restrictions until you have held a driver’s licence for periods adding up to 2 years.
  • During your provisional period, display P plates in a visible position at the front and back of your vehicle at all times.
 provisional_p1_red_p_125  provisional_p2_green_p_125
130mm high by 125mm wide

Must be displayed For the first 6 months of your provisional licence period

130mm high by 125mm wide

Must be displayed for the remaining 18 months of your provisional licence period

Getting a Motorcycle Licence

To get a class R-N (moped), R-E (motorcycle restricted) or R (motorcycle) licence, you must obtain a learner’s permit. You can apply to drive a moped at 15 years 6 months - you must answer questions on road rules and specific motorcycle questions.

You can’t ride on the road unless you have an instructor with you. This can be a driving instructor or someone who currently holds a licence for the same motorcycle class as your learner’s permit and has held that class of licence or equivalent for 4 or more years. For a moped, your instructor must have held a class C, R-E or R licence (or equivalent) for at least 2 years. Your supervisor can be carried on the pillion seat, in the sidecar, or they may ride another motorcycle. You must display ‘L’ plates on the front and rear of the motorcycle. You must carry your permit and drive within its conditions.

Getting a Heavy Vehicle Licence

Before you get a heavy vehicle licence class LR (light rigid), MR (medium rigid), HR (heavy rigid), HC (heavy combination) or MC (multi-combination), you must meet the experience requirements for that class.

You may need to obtain a learner’s permit prior to taking lessons for a heavy vehicle. You cannot learn to drive unless an instructor is with you. Your instructor can be a professional driving instructor or someone who currently holds a licence for the same class as your learner’s permit and has held that class of licence for 4 years or more.

Assessment for Heavy Vehicles

If the vehicle used for your assessment is fitted with a non-synchromesh gearbox, you must change gears using the double de-clutch method. If you pass with an automatic or synchromesh gearbox, you will be granted a licence stating such conditions.

To obtain an MC class licence, you have to meet the class eligibility requirements and successfully complete an industry training course.

Seniors Assessments

Persons aged 85 and over are required to undertake a driving assessment to retain the authority to drive/ride heavy vehicles or motorcycles each year before licence renewal. When multiple entitlements are held for various vehicle licence classes an assessment must be undertaken for each class to be retained.

Annual medical reviews are required for all licence holders 80 years and over. Doctors concerned about a person’s fitness to drive may recommend a driving assessment.

Bribery

It is a serious offence to offer any gift or payment to obtain a licence. Any person who makes such an offer will be prosecuted.

Organ Donation

When you reach the age of 16, you can register to make an organ or tissue donation if an unexpected event takes your life. Registering means that if you are declared dead, your family will be asked to allow your wishes to donate organs for transplantation.

The importance of organ donation

There are a considerable number of people desperately waiting for transplants. Donations can be a life saving or a life enhancing procedure.

The organs that can be donated are kidneys, heart, lungs, liver and pancreas. Tissue donations include corneas, heart valves and long bones. You can choose all of these, or select individual organs or tissue. You can indicate that you do not wish to donate.

Circumstances of organ and tissue donation

Donation only take places after you are certified dead and family has given approval.

Tissue donation takes place after clinical death when the heart and breathing has stopped. Tissue donation can take place up to 24 hours after death. Organ donation can take place under certain circumstances where someone is declared ‘brain dead’ in hospital. This usually occurs in intensive care and the donor is always on a ventilator.

Medical procedures in organ donation

Donated organs are removed by some of Australia’s leading surgeons. Once the organs are removed, the operation is complete. The donor’s body is not disfigured and can be seen by the family after the procedure. Funeral and burial arrangements are not affected by organ donation, and remain the responsibility of the family.

Becoming a registered organ donor

To register as an organ donor you need to complete an Australian Organ Donor Register (AODR) form (available at www.DonateLife.gov.au).

Both young children and elderly adults can register on the AODR.

You must also talk to your family because they are the people who must give final approval. If they are not aware, they may not give permission. Their decision is much harder if unaware of your wishes so family discussion is very important.

Blood Donation

Every single day someone needs blood to help them with cancer, organ diseases, pregnant women and babies, road trauma victims and many other medical situations.

The importance of blood donation

1/3 people are likely to need blood at some stage and yet only 1/30 donate. Once you reach your 16th birthday you can start saving lives by giving blood.

Are you eligible?

Blood donors need to be between 16 and 70 years old, weigh over 45kg, feel fit and healthy, not had a tattoo or body piercing in the last 12 months and not lived in the UK between 1980 and 1996 for 6 months or more. Special criteria applies to donating blood to ensure the safest blood supply for the Australian Health System.

 

Continue reading the Drive Safe: A Handbook for WA Road Users Summary:

1. Safe Driving

2. How to Obtain a WA Driver's Licence

3. Major Road Rules and Additional Safety Advice

4. Emergencies and Crashes

5. The Law and You

6. Cycle Safe


Check out the other resources available to help you pass the Learner's Test WA and get your learner permit (L plates):

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