NSW Graduated Licencing Scheme: A Comprehensive Guide

The NSW Graduated Licencing Scheme a comprehensive guide to attaining your full drivers licence in New South Wales.

Learning to drive in NSW is a pivotal milestone in one’s journey toward independence and
mobility. The NSW Graduated Licencing Scheme is a structured pathway that guides aspiring drivers
through progressive stages of skill development, including road awareness.

In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about getting your provisional licence in
NSW, including how the NSW Graduated Licensing System works.

How to stay calm when driving

NSW Graduated Licencing Scheme

NSW’s Graduated Licencing System is a progressive framework that helps drivers acquire road
skills and confidence gradually, fostering safe, responsible driving behaviour. The system
consists of several stages, each with specific requirements and restrictions.

Drivers have to navigate two stages before qualifying for their full licence in NSW. Drivers hold
a learner driver’s licence for 12 months, where they have to log 120 hours of driving and pass a
Hazard Perception Test before obtaining their provisional licence. Learners need a qualified
supervisor in the car with them at all times, can’t exceed 90 KM/hr and have to display L-plates
at all times or face fines and demerits

The provisional stage is split into two licences:

  • Provisional licence (P1): This initial provisional phase imposes certain restrictions, such
    as a cap on the number of demerit points and restrictions on high-performance vehicles.

    • P1 licence holders are encouraged to develop essential driving skills and adapt to various road conditions while fostering a heightened awareness of road safety.
    • Held for 12 months.
  • Provisional licence (P2): Advancing to the P2 stage signifies a driver’s increased experience and maturity. While some restrictions remain, P2 licence holders enjoy greater driving privileges.
    • Focus shifts toward fine-tuning skills and continuing the development of responsible driving habits.
    • Held for 24 months.

Once a P2 driver has held their licence for 24 months and met requirements like passing an
eyesight test, they’ll be able to obtain their full NSW driver’s licence. An unrestricted full licence
recognises the driver’s experience and maturity on the road, and licence holders are able to
drive over 100km/hr and drive performance vehicles.

How do I get my Provisional Licence in NSW?:

The steps to gain a provisional licence in NSW can be summarised as follows:

Obtaining a Learner Drivers Licence:

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Individuals must be at least 16 years old.
  • Pass the Driver Knowledge Test (DKT) to show understanding of road rules.

Documents Required:

  • Proof of identity and residential address.
  • Completed application form.
  • Learner Driver Logbook:
    • Keep a detailed log of supervised driving hours.
    • Complete a minimum number of supervised driving hours, including night hours.

Completing the Hazard Perception Test:

Successfully pass the Hazard Perception Test (HPT) to assess your ability to identify and respond to potential hazards.

Transitioning to Provisional License (P1):


  • Hold learners for a minimum of 12 months.
  • Individuals under 25 years old must complete at least 120 hours of supervised driving
    (including 20 hours at night).
  • Complete a practical driving test.


  • Display red P plates.
  • A maximum speed limit.
  • Limited demerit points.
  • Restrictions on high-performance vehicles.

Advancing to Provisional License (P2):


  • Hold the P1 License for a minimum of 12 months.


  • Display green P plates.
  • Fewer restrictions than P1 but still subject to certain limitations.
  • Continued adherence to safe driving practices.

Converting Overseas Licence to NSW Licence:

If you are moving to New South Wales from another country, you may be able to convert your
overseas driver’s licence to a NSW one. Usually, if you have an unrestricted full licence from an
approved country, you can easily switch it over to an Australian licence without taking a test.

The rules change slightly if you’re coming from a non-approved country. You’ll have to pass
certain tests before you can get a NSW licence, including a practical driving test. Working with a
qualified, local driving instructor can help make the testing experience stress-free for you, and
help you build your confidence on Australian roads.

Familiarise yourself with the specific requirement for converting your overseas licence to a NSW
licence. The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) office will be able to provide tailored advice
for individual circumstances to clarify the process.

Tips to get drivers licence:

  • Practise your Hazard Perception Test (HPT) online for free and take the time to learn crucial hazard perception skills. Here are some reputable practice HPT test providers online:
  • Take the NSW Safer Driver Course to boost gap selection, speed management, hazard
    awareness and other driver skills.
  • Build defensive driving skills to anticipate and respond to potential hazards.
    • Advanced driving lessons build situational awareness and will help you develop
      evasive techniques to prevent accidents.
  • Practise safe driving behaviour and read up on NSW road laws and regulations.
  • Invest in a skilled driving instructor who will walk you through the steps to getting your full licence and help you build your road confidence and driving skills with ease.
    • Book your NSW driving lessons with our professional, friendly and patient
      instructors and start building your driving skills today!


Mastering driving in New South Wales is a journey of progressive skill development and
responsible road behaviour. The NSW Graduated Licensing Scheme guides learners through
crucial stages towards a full licence. From the Learner Licence to provisional stages (P1 and
P2) and the coveted Full License, each phase nurtures safe and responsible drivers.

Ready to embark on your journey? Learn to Drive Driving School is here to help. Our local
instructors specialise in Western Sydney’s test centres and serve Camden, Liverpool, Penrith, Richmond, Springwood, St Marys, Wetherill Park and surrounding areas. Whether you’re converting your overseas licence or starting as a learner driver, Learn to Drive Driving School supports you every step of the way. Get started now.