South Australia Learner Licence

The South Australia Graduated Licensing Scheme & Learners Permit

by Zutobi · Updated Sep 30, 2021

The Graduated Licensing Scheme used in South Australia is designed to provide a progressive learning experience that’s safe for you and other road users.

What the progressive learning experience means is that new drivers have to complete a number of assessments and accumulate plenty of driving experience under different conditions before being allowed to progress to a full licence.

The first step in the Graduated Licensing Scheme is the Learner’s Permit. Below, we’ll go through:

  • Important Learner’s Permit Info
  • How to Progress to a Provisional Licence
  • Minimum Holding Periods
  • Learner’s Permit Restrictions

The Learner’s Permit

In order to get a learner’s permit, you must first pass a multiple-choice theory test, often referred to as the ‘Knowledge Test’ or ‘Learner’s Permit Knowledge Exam’. The test is about safe driving practices and road rules and consists of a total of 50 questions. You need to get all 8 give-way questions correct & at least 32 of the 42 multiple-choice questions.

Once you have completed the learner’s test, congrats! You can now begin driving under supervision.

How to Progress to a Provisional Licence

There are two ways you can advance to a Provisional P1 Licence:

  • Option 1 is the Vehicle On Road Test (the VORT method), which means you must undertake a practical driving test to prove you are a safe and competent driver.
  • Option 2 is the Competency Based Training & Assessment (the CBT&A method), which is to complete all tasks listed in the Driving Companion (a free booklet given to you when you receive a learner’s permit) with an Accredited Instructor. If choosing this option, you do not have to undertake the practical driving test.

Regardless of which option you choose, you must pass the Hazard Perception Test and keep a record of at least 75 supervised driving hours (including at least 15 night hours) before being allowed to progress to the P1 Provisional Licence. The Hazard Perception Test will test your ability to respond and react to hazardous situations.

Minimum Holding Periods

There are different minimum holding periods depending on your age. In order to advance to the P1 Provisional Licence, a learner’s permit must be held for a minimum of 1 year by those under 25 years of age, or for 6 months by those over 25.

Learner’s permits are valid for 2 year periods and issued subject to restrictions and conditions.

Learner’s Permit Restrictions

There are several restrictions for drivers on a learner’s permit. Breaching a restriction will incur penalties (e.g. fines, demerit points or even loss of licence).

The restrictions include:

  • You must have your learner’s permit with you at all times
  • You must have clearly visible L plates on the front and rear of the vehicle
  • You are not allowed to drive faster than 100 km/h
  • You are only allowed to drive the vehicle class stated on your permit
  • You must not use any function of a mobile phone, including hands-free and Bluetooth

There are also conditions placed on your permit that you must not breach. Breaching a condition will result in you being disqualified from driving and in turn lose the learner’s permit.

The conditions state that you must not:

  • Exceed the speed limit by 10 km/h or more
  • Drive with a BAC other than zero.
  • Drive with drugs in the system
  • Accumulate 4 or more demerit points during your learner’s permit period
  • Drive without a qualified supervising driver in the front passenger seat.

If you need additional info about the learner’s permit theory test or the Graduated Licensing Scheme, be sure to check out our Learner’s Permit Prep Courses that contain all the info you need about driving and passing the Theory Test.

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