The driving age in the Australian Capital Territory is 17 years, but after obtaining a licence, a driver is subject to restrictions during a three-year probationary period.
The minimum age for obtaining a Learner Licence is 15 years and 9 months. The applicant for a Learner Licence must have completed a road safety program, called Road Ready, that is taught in many secondary schools or at a Road Ready Centre and pass a computerised road rules test.The Road Ready course at a Road Ready Centre is a minimum of ten hours, during which an applicant learns the road rules, undergoes alcohol education and hazard perception training.
A Learner Licence is valid for two years. Learners must display black on yellow “L Plates” and drive under the supervision of a full Australian licence holder, who has held their licence for at least four years.
A learner driver can apply for a Provisional Licence if they are at least 17 years of age, and have held a Learner Licence for at least six months. They must complete a competency-based scheme with an ACT government-accredited driving instructor and during their accredited instructor driving lessons, complete a logbook containing 22 driving proficiencies. After a learner has passed all proficiencies, the logbook is turned over to RTA, which issues a provisional licence.Alternatively, a provisional licence may be obtained by recording driving experience in the same logbook, with a supervisor who has held an open licence for 12 months for the class of vehicle used. The difference in using this method to obtain a provisional licence is that the logbook only records time spent driving, and not the learner’s ability to drive. While no minimum number of hours are required, Learners are advised when obtaining their Learner’s Licence, that 50 or more practical hours are recommended before attempting the practical test. Using this method, provided the driver has held their Learner’s licence for at least 6 months, they may book with RTA for the practical driving test.
If the driver has obtained a licence in an automatic transmission vehicle, an “A” is placed on the licence which restricts the licence holder to driving automatic transmission vehicles for 12 months. To remove the restriction before 12 months, the provisional driver must pass the practical driving exam in a manual transmission vehicle.
A Provisional Licence is valid for three years. Provisional drivers must display red on white “P Plates” for three years unless: (a) they take an additional road safety program Road Ready Plus after six months of obtaining the Provisional Licence; or (b) they are over 26 years of age and held their licence for six months. Provisional licence holders who have taken the Road Ready Plus (RRP) course, (commonly called a “P-off” course), or are over 26 years of age also get an additional four demerit point allowance. A “PC” condition is displayed on the licence, which indicates that the provisional driver can drive with “P plates not displayed”. Provisional drivers must have a zero blood-alcohol limit.
No speed restrictions are imposed on ACT learner or Provisional drivers, and they are permitted to drive the posted speed limit.
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