WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW LICENSING SCHEME
There are plenty of ways to learn something new but when it comes to driving, experience is the best teacher. Typically the journey to earning your drivers licence takes place over four years – the system was designed to give learners plenty of time to gain confidence on the road and develop safe driving habits. Four types of testing modules were also in place to ensure drivers were ready to be on the road. But despite these precautionary processes, provisional 1 (P1) and provisional 2 (P2) drivers accounted for 15% of fatalities in NSW last year.
The alarming numbers prompted a revision to the way drivers were taught and tested.
As of November 20th 2017, the Roads and Maritime Services will introduce pivotal changes to the way drivers in NSW are tested for a full, unrestricted licence.
IN A NUTSHELL
Drivers on their learner licence will need to pass a Hazard Perception Test (HPT) before booking a driving test for a P1 licence.
Drivers are only required to take the HPT once – before the P1 driving test. Drivers who have held their P1 licence for more than 12 months can now simply apply for their P2 licence without the HPT.
WHAT ELSE IS NEW?
Previously the Driver Qualification test was a prerequisite to a full, unrestricted licence. After November 20th, drivers who have completed the HPT test and have held a P2 licence for at least 24 months, can apply for a full licence without sitting the Driver Qualification test.
But, if a P2 licence holder has collected too many demerit points or has had their licence suspended, there is a possibility that drivers will have an extra six months added to their P2 licence.
HOW WILL THE NEW GRADUATED LICENSING SCHEME AFFECT ME?
Drivers applying for their P1 licence after November 20th will pass through the new Graduated Licensing Scheme – but drivers who are currently on their P1 or P2 licence will not be part of the new changes. Here’s a detailed breakdown:
- Current learner licence holders (including 25 year olds and older) will need to pass the HPT test before they are eligible to book the P1 driving test
- Drivers with a learner licence will need to hold their licence for at least 10 months before they can take the HPT test. This doesn’t apply to learner drivers who are 25 years or over.
- Don’t forget the HPT test is valid for 15 months. Learners will have to take the HPT test again if they are unsuccessful in passing their driving test within that time.
- Drivers with a P1 licence before November 20th will still need to sit the HPT.
- Renewing a P1 licence after November 20th? You still need to pass the HPT test to progress to a P2 licence if the test hasn’t been successfully completed beforehand.
- Drivers who hold a P2 licence before 20 November 2017 will still need to pass the Driver Qualification Test before applying for a full licence.
- Drivers who renew or apply for a P2 licence after the 20th of November 2017 do not need to do the Driver Qualification Test.