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.

  What and 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 driver:

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
There are two types of novice drivers
Opens in a new window Road Safety Commission: Annual crash statistics

  Why introduce a graduated novice driver demerit point system?

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, and 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 the most effective time to motivate drivers to develop safe driving behaviours throughout their driving life is when they first gain their Provisional licence.

  Related documents

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

DVS_DL_B_DriveSafeFull_i.pdf icon Drive Safe handbook Kb
LBU_DL_B_RideSafe_d.pdf icon Ride Safe handbook Kb

  Demerit point check (online)

Demerit points are issued by the WA Police or an authorised officer for traffic offences. The points can vary anywhere from one to seven 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 15 multiple choice questions. Select the answer that you think is correct. 

  • You must attempt all 15 questions in order to review your results.

Please select the following button to get started.

Novice driver's graduated demerit points quiz
External Link Road Safety Commission: Games and quizzes

  What if the quizzes don't work for me?

These quizzes have been tested on all common web browsers in use today, including mobile devices.

Which format?

  • Each quiz is available in both Flash and HTML5 format.
  • Your web browser will automatically determine the best format to use.


  • If images within a quiz appear to be mixed up, please refresh [F5] your web browser and recommence the quiz.

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

  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.

A person is a provisional driver's licence holder for the first two years that they hold any driver's licence (i.e. period or periods adding up to 730 days) or until they are 19 years of age (whichever is the longer period).

LBU_DL_I_PplateNightRestrction.pdf icon 'P' plates: red (printable) Kb
LBU_DL_I_PplateNoNightRestrction.pdf icon 'P' plates: green (printable) 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 Practical Driving Assessment (PDA) 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):

  • Bus drivers.
  • Drivers of heavy vehicles.
  • Drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous or explosive goods.
  • Extraordinary licence holders and recently disqualified 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:

  • Alcohol Offenders and Interlock-restricted drivers.
  • 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.

  Forms and documents used on this page: Novice drivers


Page last updated: Wed May 29 2019 2:01:04 PM