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New rules for young drivers

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Novice drivers need to know about three changes to graduated licensing in NSW starting from 20 November 2017. These changes apply to learner, P1 and P2 drivers.


  • Learner drivers must sit the hazard perception test before they can take their driving test
  • P1 drivers do not have to sit the hazard perception test to get their P2 licence
  • P2 drivers do not have to take the driver qualification test but must stay on that licence an extra 6 months if suspended for unsafe driving.

Perhaps the most crucial change to graduated licensing was in December 2016. P2 drivers are no longer allowed to use their mobile phones for any purpose at all while driving, or when stationary but not parked.

Why graduated licensing?

Graduated licensing gives novice drivers experience and skills gradually over time in low risk environments. There are three types of licence – learner, provisional and unrestricted – with various restrictions and privileges at each level.

New Zealand was the first country to adopt it in 1987. Now Australia, Canada and the USA all have graduated licensing.

Does it work?

While P-platers make up 8% of licence holders, their road crashes make up 15% of all deaths. Fortunately, since graduated licensing began in NSW in 2000, deaths of young drivers have halved.

Meanwhile, young drivers have to pay a lot more for their green slips and any demerit points or suspensions will boost their premiums. By any measure, it makes sense to drive safely.

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Corrina Baird

Writer and Researcher, greenslips.com.au

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years in financial services and over 8 years with greenslips.com.au, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

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