Novice drivers

There are a number of restrictions that novice drivers must comply with to assist them while they are developing the skills required to become safe drivers.

  Who is a novice driver?

For the purposes of the Graduated Demerit Point system, a person is a Novice Driver until they have held a driver's licence for at least two (2) years or periods adding up to two (2) years. This may include:

  • A first time learner's permit holder.
  • The holder of a provisional driver's licence.
  • A driver from overseas who has not held a driver's licence for at least two years.
  • The holder of an extraordinary driver's licence.

  There are two types of novice drivers

Young driver holding up a set of car keys

Novice Driver Type 1

A person is a Novice Driver Type 1 from the time they are first issued with a learner's permit, and then once they are granted a provisional driver's licence, they will continue to be a novice driver type 1 for a period of at least one year or periods adding up to one year.

Up until the end of the first year of holding a provisional licence a person will only be able to have three (3) demerit points recorded against them. If four (4) or more demerit points are recorded against a person, they will be disqualified for at least three months and any driver's licence held will be cancelled. Please see the table below for details as to how this works.

Novice Driver Type 2

A Novice Driver Type 2 is a person who has held a driver's licence for more than one (1) year but less than two (2) years.

Up until the end of the second year of holding a driver's licence, a person will only be able to have seven (7) demerit points recorded against them in total. If eight (8) or more demerit points are recorded against the person, they will be disqualified for at least three months and any driver's licence held will be cancelled.

The Novice Driver concept aims to ensure that a driver gains at least two years experience before they are able to hold an unrestricted licence or what is colloquially called an ordinary or full licence.

The Graduated Demerit point system aims to reduce the crash risk of Novice drivers by limiting their driving to safer, lower risk conditions, progressively lifting these restrictions as they move through successive stages of driving and develop more experience.

How do I know which limit applies to me?

The table below shows when the different demerit point limits apply.

Remember any demerit points you get as a learner will also count towards the 4 and 8 point limits.

There are two types of novice drivers
LBU_DL_FAQ_Graduated_DP.pdf icon Kb
Opens in a new window Road Safety Commission: Annual crash statistics

  Why introduce a graduated novice driver demerit point system?

Novice driver demerit points artwork

Safer drivers mean safer roads for all Western Australians. To achieve this, the Government is introducing a new Graduated Demerit Point system for Novice Drivers.

  • This system took effect on 1 December 2010.

Research has found that novice drivers who get demerit points for breaking the road rules were 66 per cent more likely of being involved in a crash. It also shows that these drivers, who break the road rules as a novice, are more likely to be involved in crashes later in life. Early intervention is critical if we are to reduce the number of new/inexperienced driver's being killed or seriously injured in traffic crashes.

  • Every year more than 50 young people aged 17-24 years die on our roads.
  • This makes them twice as likely to be killed as other licence holders.

In an effort to reduce traffic related mortality and morbidity rates, the Road Safety Council developed a number of recommendations based on international research and best practice. Through these recommendations it is estimated that the lives of up to 28 West Australians will be saved each year, plus result in a significant reduction in the number of serious injuries.

One of the key recommendations was a Graduated Demerit Point system to deter unsafe driving practices. Research shows that infringements and convictions received as a novice are good predictors of future crash involvement and that the most effective time to motivate drivers to develop safe driving behaviours is when they first gain their Provisional licence.

Essentially, influencing driver behaviour at an early stage of the driving experience helps Novice Drivers to develop safe driving practises that they will keep with them throughout their driving life.

LBU_DL_FAQ_Graduated_DP.pdf icon Kb

  Related documents

The following resources are designed to explain how the Novice Driver reduced demerit point laws operate.

LBU_DL_B_DriveSafeFull_c.pdf icon Kb
LBU_DL_FAQ_Graduated_DP.pdf icon Kb
LBU_DL_B_RideSafeAll.pdf icon Kb

  Demerit point check (online)

Demerit points are issued by the WA Police or an authorised officer for motoring offences. The points can vary anywhere from one to six points depending on the type of offence, except during long weekends and holiday seasons when the allocated demerit points for the offence will be double.

If you are the holder of a phase 2 learner's permit please call 1300 720 111 for details of your demerit points.

This enquiry is for Western Australian licences only.

Demerit point check (online)

  Novice driver's graduated demerit points quiz

Learn about novice driver graduated demerit points and how they impact upon drivers and riders.

The quiz consists of 10 multiple choice questions. Select the answer that you think is correct. After you have made your selection, select Next to proceed.

  • The quiz contains 10 questions.
  • Some questions require more than one answer.
  • You must attempt all 10 questions in order to review your results.
  • The pass rate is set at 100%.

Please select the following button to get started.

Novice driver's graduated demerit points quiz
LBU_DL_FAQ_Graduated_DP.pdf icon Kb
External Link Adobe: Flashplayer
External Link Road Safety Commission: Games and quizzes

  What if the quizzes don't work for me?

The quizzes have been tested on most of the common web browsers in use today. Each quiz is available in both Flash and HTML5 format.

  • Your web browser will automatically determine the best format to use.

If the quizzes still fail to work, please consider updating your web browser. Most common web browsers are free to download and use.

External Link Adobe: Flashplayer

  Display your 'L' plates

While learning: You must display 'L' plates in a visible position at the front and back of your vehicle or motorcycle at all times

Learner drive plate

LBU_DL_I_Lplatelearner.pdf icon Kb

  Display your 'P' plates

You will have a provisional licence until you have ceased to be a novice driver and have reached 19 years of age during which time you have to display red and then green 'P' plates.

During your provisional licence period, you must display 'P' plates in a visible position at the front and back of your vehicle or motorcycle at all times.

In order to assist the Police (and other drivers) identify if someone is subject to night-time restrictions, the driver is required to display the correct coloured 'P' plates.

Any period where the driver is excluded by law from driving does not count towards their provisional period.

Plate style Time period Description
Red P Plate First six months You must display white on red 'P' plates and will be subject to night-time driving restrictions.
Green P Plate Remaining period You must display white on green 'P' plates.
LBU_DL_I_PplateNightRestrction.pdf icon Kb
LBU_DL_I_PplateNoNightRestrction.pdf icon Kb

  Night time driving restrictions

Except in the circumstances listed below, provisional driver's licence holders are not permitted to drive between midnight and am for the first 6 months that they hold a driver's licence (or periods amounting to an aggregate of six months) unless the driving is:

  • In the course of employment; or
  • For the purpose of travelling to or from employment and by the shortest practicable route for achieving that purpose; or
  • For the purpose of travelling to or from schooling and by the shortest practicable route for achieving that purpose; and
  • In the case of travel from employment or schooling, the travel commences as soon as is practicable after the employment or schooling ceases.

Provisional licence drivers stopped by police between midnight and am will need to demonstrate they meet these exceptions. If they cannot, their licence will not be valid (i.e. they will be deemed to be driving unlicensed) and subsequent penalties will apply.

Night time driving restrictions come into effect immediately upon the applicant passing their Hazard Perception Test (HPT) and paying for the granting of their provisional driver's licence.

  0.00% (zero) Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), first and subsequent offences

Drink driving penalties for novice drivers exceeding a 0.00% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) are:

  • A fine and accrual of demerit points.
  • A disqualification may also be applied.

Drink driving penalties for the below licence holders (a disqualification will result in a licence suspension):

  • Extraordinary licence holders and recently disqualified drivers.
  • Drivers of heavy vehicles.
  • Drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous or explosive goods.
  • Bus drivers.
  • Small charter vehicle drivers, and
  • Taxi drivers.

Zero BAC, first and subsequent offences

BAC % Infringement Minimum court penalty Maximum court penalty Action
> 0 but < 0.02 $100 $150 $300 3 demerit points *
0.02 to < 0.05 - $150 $300 3 months disqualification: minimum

* At certain holiday periods (e.g. Easter and Christmas) and on long weekends, demerit points are doubled for alcohol, speed and some other offences.

  What is the difference between zero and non-zero BAC?

Zero BAC

The following drivers are subject to a zero (0.00%) Blood Alcohol Content limit:

  • Novice drivers.
  • Taxi drivers.
  • Drivers of passenger vehicles with capacity to carry more than 12 adult passengers, including the driver.
  • Drivers of omnibuses.
  • Heavy vehicle drivers.
  • Drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous goods.
  • Extraordinary licence holders, and
  • Recently disqualified drivers.

The following drivers are exempt from the zero (0.00%) Blood Alcohol Content limit:

  • Emergency Services employees and volunteers in the course of responding to an incident.

Non-zero BAC

All other drivers are subject to a maximum 0.05% Blood Alcohol Content limit.

  Remote Areas Licensing program

Remote Licensing logo

As part of an ongoing commitment to substantive equality, the Department of Transport has introduced a Remote Areas Licensing program to implement practical solutions to overcome, or minimise, the barriers faced by people living in remote areas when attempting to obtain and retain a driver's licence.

The Remote Areas Licensing service provides mobile service delivery to regional and remote locations in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid West and Goldfields regions. This service includes:

Contact us

For more information about the Remote Areas Licensing program or upcoming visits, please contact us by email.

Street address Postal address Telephone Fax Email

Remote Areas Licensing program resources

There are a range of resources that can help you prepare and give you some helpful information regarding licensing, your vehicle and proof of identity.

It's a good idea to take a look at some of the below publications before you come see us when we visit so you know what to bring and what the process will be.

DVS_P_POI_RemoteLicensing.pdf icon Kb
LBU_DL_FS_6Steps_English_remote.pdf icon Kb
LBU_DL_FS_RegoNumberPlates_remote.pdf icon Kb
Opens in a new window Equal Opportunity Commission: Substantive equality
Opens in a new window Road Safety Commission: Indigenous Road Safety


Page last updated: Mon Sep 5 2016 7:43:49 AM