Driving as a learner driver

Getting your learner’s licence is an exciting time.

You are one step closer to being able to drive out in the open road with your Spotify playlist blaring through the speakers. And to top it off, you can drive to Maccas whenever you want.

However, though you’re very much on your way to making this experience a reality, following the road rules while being a learner driver is vital to progressing in your driving journey.

This article will answer some of the important questions you have about driving with your learner’s licence.


Driving in Queensland v Other Australian Jurisdictions

Which department handles Queensland learner licences?

The Department of Transport and Main Roads issues licences for vehicles.

Visit here, to view the steps for getting your car learner licence in Queensland.


Are the road rules and licencelicence conditions the same in all Australian states and territories?

The road rules for licence conditions differ within the eight different states and territories in Australia.


Why are the road rules different in the various Australian jurisdictions?

In the Constitution, the responsibility of transport falls to the States and territories.

Therefore, each state and territory is responsible for managing and administering its own road licence and rules.


Are the road rules very different in the other Australian jurisdictions?

The road rules are similar from state to state, however there are some minor differences.

For example, the validity of a learner’s permit differs slightly.

Here’s an illustration, the length your learners licence is valid varies from state to state:

    • in New South Wales your learner’s licence is valid for 5 years
    • in Queensland your learner’s licence is valid for 3 years
    • in South Australia your learner’s permit is valid for 2 years

To find out about learner conditions in other states:

Queensland Learner Licence Basics


What personal information is stored on my Queensland learner’s licence?

Your Queensland licence will include:

    • Photo of your face
    • Name
    • Date of Birth
    • Residential Address

It will also include information relating to your licence including:

    • Class of Vehicle
    • Type of Licence
    • Length of Licence
    • Conditions
    • Licence Number

The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads Website provides this image below as sample Learner Driver Licence:


What personal information is NOT stored on my licence?

Your licence will not hold information relating to your:

    • Gender
    • Height
    • Eye color
    • Hair Colour


What is the difference between licence type and class?

CLASS relates to the type of vehicle you can drive.

Your licence will indicate the highest class of vehicle you can drive.

TYPE relates to rules affecting the when you drive (as a P1 driver you can’t drive between 11pm and 5am with more than one passenger under 21 is not an immediate family member) or how you drive (as a learner driver, you can’t drive without an appropriately licenced supervisor).


What is a licence type?

There are four different licence typestable

How long will my learner licence last?

In Queensland, your learner licence will be valid for three years. You will need to renew your licence after this period.



Checklist for Driving as a Learner Driver (C Class)

1 – PASS PrepL or Written Road Rules Test

You must be at least 16 years old to apply for your learner licence.

To get your licence, you can follow two pathways:

    1. PrepL Online – PrepL is an online interactive program which you can enrol when you are 15 years and 11 months old. This program involves various interactive online activities. This program takes approximately 4-6 hours. To pass this program, you must get 90% of questions correct in a 30 question multiple choice.
    • Written Road Rules Test – You must attend a licence issuing centre and be at least 16 years old to sit the written road rules test.

It is anticipated that this test will be replaced completely by the PrepL online test


2 – Log Book & Physical Licence 

You must have your learner licence at all times when driving. If you are awaiting your licence in the mail, you must have your Drivers Licence Receipt.


Do I have to keep a log book?

If you are under 25, you will need to complete 100 logbook hours.


If I’m over 25, can I go straight from my learners to my P1 licence?

If you are over 25, you won’t need to record 100 hours of driving.


If I’m over 25, can I go straight from my learners to my Provisional licence? 

If you are over 25, you won’t need to record 100 hours of driving.

However, you will need to wait at least 12 months and pass the hazard perception test before you can apply for a provisional licence.


3 – Supervisor

The supervisor must:

    1. Sit beside you while you operate the vehicle
    2. Have a valid open licence (their licence should be current – not suspended or expired)
    3. Have held the licence for at least 1 year


What if my supervisor isn’t seated beside me?

If you don’t have an appropriately licenced supervisor or if your supervisor is not seated beside you, you can incur a fine of $230 and 4 demerit points. [1]


4 – L Plates

Your L plates must be clearly displayed.


Can I make my own L Plates?

Yes. Click here, for a template of the Queensland Transport Approved L Plates.

If making your own, ensure they are the right colour and size.


What if my L plates are not correctly displayed?

You may be fined $230 and incur 2 demerit points if the L plates are not displayed in the correct manner at the front and rear of the vehicle. [2]


What is the correct manner to display my L plates?

An L plate must be displayed on the front and back of the vehicle and be seen clearly from 20m away.

Click here, to read more about the rules for your L Plates.



Learner License Fines

What if I’m caught with a mobile phone while driving?

Under Driver Licensing Reg—Section 228(2), if you’re under 25 and using a mobile phone when driving (Class C) you may be fined up to $1078 and incur 4 demerit points. 


What if someone in my car doesn’t wear their seatbelt?

Under Queensland Road Rules—Section 264A(1), you may be fined up to $1078 and incur 4 demerit points. 


When can I use my phone?

If you have come to a safe stop, you are able to use a phone when:

    • Paying for goods and services – EG. At a drive through
    • Gaining access to or from a road-related area – EG. Car park
    • Presenting a digital driver licence or other document to police when asked

Visit here, for more information about mobile phone usage when driving.


Need Legal Advice?

It is important to seek legal advice if you are charged with driving related offenses, especially if you would like to contest your charge. Contact our client engagement team and speak with one of our traffic lawyers today.


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[1] Driver Licensing Reg—Section 216(2)

[2] Driver Licensing Reg—Section 221(b)

Visit Here, for the most up to date information about QLD Road rules and Fines,