Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Access responses to the most commonly asked questions about changes to the Tasmanian graduated licensing system.

An average of 48 young drivers and passengers die or are seriously injured on our roads every year. This is 48 too many.

The Tasmanian Government is committed to improving the safety of young drivers.

That’s why we have strengthened Tasmania’s Graduated Licensing System. Young people will now get more on-road driving experience and skills. This will keep new drivers and their passengers safer when they first get their Ps and start driving solo.

Tasmania now meets the “enhanced” model, which closely align us with Victoria and New South Wales who are at the forefront of safe practices for young drivers.

The improved Graduated Licensing System helps protect young drivers and make them and their passengers safer. Young drivers will get as much supervised experience as possible. They will have less distractions during a high-risk driving period of their lives. The new rules for novice drivers will improve the safety of everyone on the road.

To help new drivers, we have created a better licensing system.

We will provide more online services during the licencing process, and have reduced the number of times you need to pay fees or visit Service Tasmania.

The improved Graduated Licensing System includes reduced licensing fees by creating:

  • A single learner licence card (combining the previous L1 and L2 cards).
  • A single provisional licence card (combining the previous P1 and P2 cards).
  • A Safer Driver Reward for drivers and riders who complete their P1 and P2 stages offence-free. This will provide a full three-year licence valued up to $75.75.

Further changes we are making include:

  • A digital learning platform which will be launched in 2021 with all the resources learners need in one place, which can be accessed using any device at any time.
  • The digital platform will include computerised tests (the Driver Knowledge Test and Hazard Perception Test) that can be taken at any time online.

These GLS changes are primarily focused on drivers, but there are a couple of changes for motorcycle riders to provide consistency with new driver requirements and reduce the visits required to Service Tasmania and licence costs.

New motorcycle P2 licence holders will also be required to display a green P2 plate and riders now have a single licence card for both their learner and provisional periods. Motorcycle riders are now also able to receive the Safer Driver Reward.

Consideration will be given to further changes from the review of the motorcycle Graduated Licensing System under the Towards Zero Strategy Action Plan (2020-2024).

See how the changes will affect you based on the stage you were at when the changes were introduced on 1 December 2020.

No. If you held your P2 licence (for car or motorcycle) before 1 December 2020 you do not need to display green P plates.

The previous offence free reward needed to be applied for manually by submitting a form to State Growth.

The safer driver reward is easier to apply for and provides eligible recipients with a free three-year full licence. This reward is worth up to $75.75.

For more information see the page.

Eligible recipients under the offence free reward will still have 12 months from 1 December 2020 in order to claim a refund under that scheme.

The improved GLS has not changed:

  • the age you can get a learner or provisional licence
  • the minimum time you have to hold a learner licence
  • earliest eligible P1 testing dates for existing L1 and L2 licence holders
  • the minimum time you have to hold a P1/P2 licence
  • P1 driving assessments
  • the zero BAC requirement for all learner and provisional licence holders.

The Tasmanian Government removed the requirement for the L2 assessment in response to COVID 19. To further streamline the learner stage, the existing L1 and L2 periods have been replaced with a single learner period.

This saves Tasmanians time and money as they will no longer need to purchase two licences over the learner period, and it will reduce the visits to Service Tasmania.

There is no change to the minimum time you have to hold a learner licence, and for existing L1 and L2 licence holders there is no change to their earliest P1 testing dates.

International research and Australian evaluations show the more supervised driving experience a person gets, the safer they will be when they start driving on their own.

Gaining 80 to 120 hours of driving practice significantly reduces a learner’s risk of a crash when they start driving solo.

Driving is a complex skill and the more practice a learner gains, the safer they will be when they start driving solo. There is no substitute for on-road practice.

It was already recommended that L1 learners do at least 30 hours of supervised driving to make them road ready and capable of progressing through the next stages of the Graduated Licensing System.

Now there is one learner licence stage, combining the previously 30 hours recommended in L1 and mandatory 50 hours in L2 to create 80 mandatory hours for the single learner stage.

The Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) program is a one-day road safety course offered in schools throughout Tasmania.

RYDA is designed for Year 10 students. A licence provides independence, social mobility and a lot of responsibility. The program ensures students are aware of their responsibilities as a road user and teaches safe driving practices.

RYDA is offered at seven different locations throughout Tasmania, including Smithton, Queenstown and King Island.

Only students attending a participating school can participate in RYDA. You can contact your school to find out if they participate in RYDA.

The Tasmanian Government has provided additional funding for the RYDA program of $300 000 over four years.

The Keys2drive program provides all learners with a free driving lesson which, in addition to the time spent on-road during this lesson, will give you a credit hour towards your compulsory hours. An additional one hour on-road Keys2drive lesson is now available to Tasmanian novice learner licence holders only. This additional lesson, known as the Plates Plus free lesson gives you two hours credit towards your compulsory hours www.keys2drive.com.au.

The Government also funds the Learner Driver Mentor Program (LDMP). LDMPs assist disadvantaged learner drivers who don’t have access to a supervisory driver or vehicle and who are not able to afford professional driving lessons to gain their supervised driving hours. An additional $4 million over four years will continue to support the program.

To find out more go to: https://drivermentoringtasmania.org.au/.

If you are an L1 licence holder or new learner your participation in the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) program will give you five hours supervised driving credit towards your compulsory hours. Participation will be counted from 2020 onwards.

Keys2drive is an Australian Government-funded initiative providing learner drivers and their parents/supervisors a free driving lesson with a Keys2drive accredited professional driving instructor.

The Keys2drive lesson provides information and strategies for managing the early solo driving stage. During this lesson the driving instructor explains the Keys2drive learning approach including what it means to self-assess, self-instruct and self-supervise. The lesson also includes a practical demonstration of these skills being used and taught.

For more information on the Keys2drive initiative visit www.keys2drive.com.au.

In support of the changes to Tasmania’s Graduated Licensing System a Plates Plus free lesson is now available to Tasmanian learner licence holders. This lesson is an additional one hour on-road lesson building on the learnings of the first Keys2drive lesson in a practical environment.

For more information on the Plates Plus free lesson visit www.keys2drive.com.au/plates-plus-faqs.

To register for the Keys2drive and/or Plates Plus lesson visit https://www.keys2drive.com.au/.

The free Keys2drive lesson is for anyone on their L Plates, together with their parent/supervisor (the supervisor is the fully licensed driver who usually accompanies the learner when they drive).

Only learner drivers who have never driven solo before are currently eligible to apply.

To be eligible for a Keys2drive free lesson the learner driver MUST hold an Australian learner permit. Holders of international driving permits upgrading to an Australian licence are NOT eligible for a Keys2drive free lesson.

To be eligible for the Plates Plus free lesson you MUST hold a Tasmanian novice learner licence. More information on the Plates Plus free lesson is available at www.keys2drive.com.au/plates-plus-faqs.

You can also find your local Keys2drive Instructor here.

Both the Keys2drive free lesson and Plates Plus free lesson will count towards your logbook hours. If you participate in either or both lessons from 1 December 2020, they will provide you with an additional credit hour each for your learner logbook.

Both free lessons will count towards the 10 lessons of credit hours that you can claim in your learner logbook.

For more information on the Keys2drive initiative visit www.keys2drive.com.au.

If you’d like to know more about the Plates Plus free lesson visit www.keys2drive.com.au/plates-plus-faqs.

Evidence shows that young drivers have an increased crash risk at night as it requires more skills, concentration and ability to identify risks. The safest time to develop these skills is during the learner period.

A minimum of 15 night-time hours will help improve young drivers’ skills and reduce their crash risk when they start driving on their own.

When a young driver gets their P1 licence the community expects them to be ready for different driving conditions. This change will ensure our young drivers have varied experience and are road ready when they get their Ps.

One of the most effective ways to improve safety and reduce risk is to ensure learners get as much supervised driving experience as possible in a range of conditions. Making night-time driving compulsory will ensure learners get a minimum amount of experience at night and have an opportunity to develop safe night-time driving skills.

Risks faced by new drivers are being addressed in other ways by the Graduated Licensing System including:

  • Introduction of a Hazard Perception Test (HPT) in 2021 to help new drivers identify and respond to hazards.
  • Peer passenger restrictions during P1 to help young drivers avoid distractions.
  • Mobile phone bans during the learner and P1 periods to help new drivers avoid distraction and focus on driving.

The 15 hours of night-time driving may be hard for people who don’t have access to a supervisor or vehicle at night, or can’t go driving for other reasons such as work or family responsibilities.

We will work closely with communities and service providers to look at ways of helping people get valuable night-time driving experience.

The total mobile phone ban on learner and P1 drivers will be enforced by Tasmania Police. Penalties will apply to these licence holders caught using a mobile, even hands free, while driving. This does not include using the mobile phone to play music or use the GPS function so long as it is set up prior to commencing driving and the driver does not interact with it in any way while driving.

Most other jurisdictions have a similar ban on mobile phones. Young drivers face increased risk of distraction. Minimising the risk of distraction will help keep our young drivers and other road users safe.

The Tasmanian Road Rules regulate mobile phone use for all drivers as it is a cause of driver distraction.

The Road Rules also require you to drive with due care and attention. This means, if you are distracted and not driving responsibly then Tasmania Police may pull you over.

Peer passenger restrictions during the P1 stage have also been introduced to limit distractions and protect new drivers and their passengers.

The Tasmanian Road Rules only regulate the use of mobile phones. There are road rules that apply to all drivers that require due care and attention to be taken when driving. Anyone who is distracted by using a smart watch, or any other reason, could face penalties under this rule.

There is a national project, led by the National Transport Commission (NTC), reviewing the laws around driver distraction, including the current road rules for mobile phone use. Further information can be accessed here - https://www.ntc.gov.au/current-projects/developing-technology-neutral-road-rules-for-driver-distraction/?modeId=1064&topicId=1083

We will consider the outcomes of the NTC review in the context of any changes to the Tasmanian Graduated Licensing System.

Young drivers are at the highest risk of a crash when they first start driving on their own (P1 stage).

P1 drivers have limited experience and still need to devote most of their attention to the task of driving. Removing distractions like peer passengers is one proven way we can help protect new drivers.

Targeting young people in this highest-risk group enables a balance between safety and social mobility. The restriction only applies to P1 drivers under the age of 25 and passengers who are aged 16-21 (inclusive). See the Peer Passenger Restrictions Factsheet for more information.

The restriction will only apply for 12 months while a driver is on their P1 licence. This is a small amount of time out of a lifetime of driving.

Restricting passengers won’t eliminate all the risks that P1 drivers face, but it has been proven to reduce crashes. In Victoria the full-time peer passenger restrictions have contributed to a 70 per cent decrease in 18 to 23 year olds involvement in serious casualty crashes.

The risks faced by young drivers are being addressed in other ways by the Graduated Licensing System including:

  • the introduction of a HPT to help young drivers identify and respond to hazards
  • a mobile phone ban during the learner and P1 periods to help young drivers avoid distraction.

The changes are aimed at protecting new drivers and their passengers. Getting a driver licence is one of the riskiest things a young person will do. The changes aim to reduce this risk.

Mobility and convenience must be balanced with saving young people's lives. For example, the peer passenger restriction will apply for only 12 months out of a person’s entire driving career, but will significantly reduce their risk of crashing.

The P1 peer passenger restriction will have minimal impact on how many cars are on the road. It is aimed at limiting the number of peer passengers a young P1 driver can have in the car and reducing their risk of crashing during their first 12 months of driving.

There are exemptions for peer passenger restrictions for young drivers on P1 licences under the age of 25.

Exemptions will apply for the following reasons:

  • employment
  • essential activities (e.g. education or medical purposes)
  • family circumstances.

See the Peer Passenger Restrictions Factsheet for more information and example scenarios.

You do not need to complete an application to get an exemption, but you must be able to satisfy the police that you meet the relevant exemption criteria each time you drive – as a P1 driver, this is your responsibility. We have developed a Peer Passenger Exemption Form to help you to demonstrate you meet the exemption criteria.

Learners are able to drive at a maximum of 90km/h, including in 110km/h zones.

P1 licence holders are able to drive at a maximum of 100km/h, including in 110km/h zones.

This removes the confusion of different top speeds applying to different speed limits and will allow learners to practice travelling at a higher speed whilst in a supervised environment.

Speed limits for P2 drivers have not changed. They can still drive up to the posted limit.

Remember, a speed limit is the maximum speed you can drive in good road and weather conditions. You should always adjust your speed to suit the road, weather and vehicle conditions.

Displaying P plates in the P2 stage has been found to reduce offence rates and can assist police in enforcing the zero blood alcohol requirement.

Tasmania is one of two states that did not require P2 drivers to display plates.

Hazards are a risk area for young drivers. The hazard test is an additional step in the licensing system but it will help make young drivers safer.

The test will be online and free of charge, making it easy and convenient to take the test when you are ready and you will have three months before your earliest P1 assessment date to complete the test.

Those without access to a device or internet will be able to complete the test at a Service Tasmania shop.