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Licences

Northern Territory

 

Driving without a licence

It is against the law to drive a car or ride a motorcycle on a public street or in a public space if you do not have a licence. (This includes driving in car parks and on private property that the public has access to.) You could be fined or for really serious offences be imprisoned for up to twelve months. 

It is also an offence for anyone to employ you or give you permission to drive or ride if you do not have a licence. This includes employers, parents and guardians.  

If you have been disqualified from holding or getting a licence for a certain period you cannot drive. If you are caught driving while disqualified you could be stopped from holding or getting a licence for an even longer period or for serious offences you could be imprisoned for up to 12 months. 

 

Learners (L’S)

How old do I have to be to get my L’S? 

To get your L’s for driving a car or riding a motorcycle you need to be at least 16 years old.  

To get your L’s for driving you must also: 

  • Pass a theory test based on NT Road Laws;
  • Complete the L1 Application form; 
  • Prove your identity and residency using specified documents;
  • Pass an eyesight test. 

To get your L’s for riding a motorcycle you must do the same things you need to do to get your L’s for driving a car, except:

  • You do not need to do the theory test again if you already have a car licence.   

But you must also do:

What special rules apply to L-platers?

If you are driving a car: 

  • the car must be the same kind of vehicle that your licence says you can drive;
  • You must have someone sitting in the front seat beside you that has a full driver’s licence. It can’t be someone that has a “P”or “L” license;
  • You must put your “L” plates on the car where they can clearly be seen from both the front and the back;
  • If you drive without your “L”plates you could be charged $100 and lose 2 demerit points; 
  • You must not drive faster than 80 km/h (unless you are under the supervision of a person conducting an authorised training program and have their permission);  
  • You must not use your mobile phone including things like hands free devices when the vehicle is not parked.  

If you are riding a motorcycle: 

  • You must only drive a motorcycle of the class that you are permitted to drive under your license;
  • You must have an "L" plate clearly displayed on the back of your motorcycle; 
  • You must wear a helmet; 
  • If you don’t wear an approved helmet that is fastened correctly you could be fined $60 – 100;
  • You must not carry a passenger; 
  • You must not ride faster than 80 km/h (unless you are under the supervision of a person conducting an authorised training program and have their permission);  
  • You must not use your mobile phone, including things like hands free devices, when the vehicle is not parked;
  • You must also obey the rules that normally apply to people driving cars and riding motorcycles. For example, you must carry your license at all times when driving  and you must not have any alcohol or prohibited drugs in your blood or breath while you are driving.    

There can sometimes be other conditions placed on your license. For example a motorcycle licence will show that you are not allowed to have a pillion passenger. These extra conditions will be shown on your license card.   

 

Provisional (P’S)

How can I get my P’S?

For car drivers, you can go for your Ps once you have held your learner’s licence for a continuous (without any breaks)  period of six months. You must pass a driving test at the MVR or complete an approved training course.

For motorcycle riders, you must have held your learner licence for a continuous period of six months before you can go for your P’s. There are three ways you can get your P’s. You can:

  • pass a driving test at the MVR; or
  • complete an approved training course; or
  • complete both the Basic and Intermediate Motorcycle Education, Training and Licencing (METAL) courses. 

What special rules apply to P-platers?

If you are a provisional licence holder for motor vehicles: 

  • you must not drive faster than 100km per hour (unless you are under the supervision of a person conducting an authorised training program and have their permission)
  • you must have your “P” plates clearly displayed on the front and back of your car, or at the back of your motorcycle. 
  • if you drive without your ‘P’plates you could be charged $100 and lose 2 demerit points 

If you are a provision licence holder for motor cycles: 

  • You must not drive a motor cycle at a speed greater than 100 km/h (unless you are under the supervision of a person conducting an authorised training program and have their permission).
  • You must drive for a continuous period of 12 months before you can drive a motor cycle with a passenger.
  • You must have your P-plate clearly visible from the rear of the motor cycle.
  • You must wear a helmet 
  • If you don’t wear an approved and securely fastened helmet you could be charged $60 – 100 depending on the offence. 

You must also obey the rules that normally apply to people driving cars and riding motorcycles. For example, you must carry your license at all times when driving and you must not have alcohol or drugs in your blood or breath.

     

Full licence

You can get a full licence after you have been on your P’s for at least 2 years. If your license is suspended or cancelled while you are on your P’s, the 2 year period will start from the time your provisional license was reinstated. 


What if I'm from interstate or another country?

Coming from another state or territory

If you are visiting the NT temporarily and you have a current licence from another state or territory, you can continue to drive a car, ride a motorcycle, or learn to drive or ride in the NT for three months. 

However, after you have been in the NT for three months your interstate license becomes invalid.  To continue driving in the NT you will need to get your licence transferred. This will not cost you any money as long as you are holding a valid license. This includes learners’ licences. 

You cannot hold a licence in more than one Australian state or territory at one time, so your old licence will automatically be cancelled once you get a NT licence. 

Coming from another country  

If you are visiting the NT temporarily and you have a current licence from another country, (and an international driving permit if your license is not in English), you can continue to drive a motor vehicle in the NT for three months. This includes tourists, people visiting the NT on business, and people studying temporarily in the NT.

If you get stopped by the police, you will need to show your overseas licence (and international driving permit if you require one), and you may need to prove that you have not been in the NT for more than three months.

You can also continue to learn to drive a car or ride a motorcycle in the NT if you have a current learner's licence from another country. The same rules for learners in the NT will apply to you, as well as any restrictions which are on your overseas learner’s licence. 

If you wish to drive in the NT after being there for 3 months, you must apply for an NT Driver License or apply for an Exemption (this is special permission allowing you to drive without a NT license).

 

Demerits 

Demerit points are penalties for committing driving offences, such as going through a red light, not stopping at a stop sign, or speeding. 

All drivers start with zero demerit points. If you have moved to the Territory from another state then getting a Territory licence will not create a blank slate. Any demerit points incurred in other states or territories that have not expired will be carried over to your Northern Territory license.  

When you are on your L’s or your P’s, if you get 5 or more demerit points in 12 months or 12 or more demerit points in 3 years your license will be suspended. This means that you won’t be able to drive. You will receive a notice that will tell you how long you can’t drive  unless you are eligible for a 12 month Good Driving Behaviour Period.   

If you have a full licence and you get 12 or more demerit points  in 3 years  you will have to choose between having your licence suspended  unless you are eligible for a 12 month Good Driving Behaviour Period.   

If you receive a Good Behaviour Period you will need to drive very carefully. If you get 2 or more demerit points during a Good Driving Behaviour Period your license will be suspended for twice as long as it would have been, if you hadn’t chosen the Good Driving Behaviour Period option. 

 

For more information on licences

Contact your nearest Motor Vehicle Registry (MVR) Customer Service Centre.

NT Department of Transport Motor Vehicle Registry

Phone: 1300 654 628

Email: mvr@nt.gov.au  

Website: www.transport.nt.gov.au/mvr/licensing 


If you have a question that we haven't answered here please send us a Lawmail.

This page was last reviewed on 13 March 2015. 


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