Got a question? Ask Lawmail

Send your questions to Lawmail

Can't find the info you are looking for?Got a problem you can’t solve?

If you're under 25, or an adult asking on behalf of a person under 18, you can send your questions to Lawmail and we will email an answer to you in under 10 days. Urgent matters are dealt with more quickly.

Go to Lawmail. It’s free and confidential.

All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Licences

 

Driving without a licence

It is against the law to drive a car or ride a motorcycle if you do not have a licence. The penalties for this can range from having to pay a fine to being disqualified from getting a licence for a certain period.

If you have never held a valid Australian driver’s licence before and you are repeatedly caught driving without a licence, the penalty is even harsher. You could be fined up to $4000 or imprisoned for up to 12 months, or both, and you will be automatically disqualified from obtaining a driver licence for a minimum period of 9 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. 

It is against the law to drive if you have been disqualified from holding or getting a licence, or if your licence has been cancelled or suspended. If you drive while disqualified or suspended the police have the power to arrest you and you could be fined heavily or even imprisoned for committing this offence.

A restricted licence may be granted in exceptional circumstances by the Magistrates Court to someone who has been disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence. “Exceptional circumstances” may include the situation where you need to drive to work, there is no other form of transport available and you would suffer unreasonable inconvenience and loss if a restricted licence was not granted to you. Strict conditions apply to this type of licence and it is an offence to break any of the conditions on a restricted licence. You could be fined and have your restricted licence cancelled if you break the conditions of this licence.

Learners (L’s)

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

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

You’ll also need to:

  • Get at least 80% on the theory test;
  • Fill out an application form;
  • Have proof of identity;
  • Pay the license fee.

To take motorcycle riding lessons in WA you need to be at least 15 years and 6 months old for a moped, or 16 years old for a Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS) motorcycle.   When undertaking riding lessons you must have a tutor accompany you at all times either as a pillion passenger, in a sidecar or on another motorcycle.

To get your L’s for riding a moped you need to be at least 16 years old.  To get your L’s for riding a Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS) motorcycle you need to be at least 17 years old.

What special rules apply to L-platers?

If you are driving a car:

  • You must have a zero blood alcohol limit; 
  • The appropriate “L” plates must be displayed at all times on the front and back of the vehicle; 
  • You must not exceed a maximum speed limit of 100 km/h;
  • You must be accompanied by a fully licenced instructor.

If you are riding a motorcycle on a learner moped (R-N class) licence:

  • You must have an “L” plate on the back of your motorcycle;
  • You must have a zero blood alcohol limit;
  • You must be accompanied by a supervisor at all times;
  • You must ride a vehicle designed not to exceed 50km/h;
  • You must not exceed 100km/h at any time; 
  • You must ride a vehicle with an engine capacity not exceeding 50cc.

If you are riding a motorcycle on a learner motorcycle (R-E class) licence:

  • You must have an “L” plate on the back of your motorcycle;
  • You must have a zero blood alcohol limit; 
  • You must be accompanied by a supervisor or instructor at all times;
  • You must not exceed 100km/h at any time;
  • You must ride a LAMS approved motorcycle.

If you fail to meet any of the above requirements you are committing an offence and may face heavy penalties, including fines and the loss of your licence.

 

Provisional (P’s)

When can I go for my P’s?

For car drivers you can go for your P’s once you reach 17 years of age, have met the minimum supervised driving hours and have successfully completed both the Practical Driving Assessment and the Hazard Perception Test.

For motorcycle riders on a learner moped (R-N class) licence, you can go for your P’s once you reach 16 years of age and have successfully completed the Practical Driving Assessment.

For motorcycle riders on a learner motorcycle (R-E class) licence, you can go for your P’s once you reach 17 years of age, have met the minimum supervised driving hours and have successfully completed both the Practical Driving Assessment and the Hazard Perception Test.

What special rules apply to P-platers?

If you are driving a car:

  • You must have a zero blood alcohol level; 
  • You must display the appropriate “P” plates on the front and back of the vehicle or back of a motorcycle.  Red “P” plates must be displayed for the first 6 months and green “P” plates for the remaining 18 months; 
  • For the first 6 months you cannot drive between the hours of midnight and 5:00am (unless driving to or from or in the course of work or for training and education purposes). 

If you are riding a motorcycle on a provisional moped (R-N class) licence:

  • You must display the appropriate “P” plates on the front and back of the vehicle or back of a motorcycle. Red “P” plates must be displayed for the first 6 months and green “P” plates for the remaining 18 months; 
  • You must not ride between midnight and 5am for the first 6 months; 
  • You must have a zero blood alcohol limit; 
  • You must ride a vehicle designed not to exceed 50km/h; 
  • You must ride a vehicle with an engine capacity not exceeding 50cc.

If you are riding a motorcycle on a provisional motorcycle (R-E class) licence:

  • You must display the appropriate “P” plates on the front and back of the vehicle or back of a motorcycle. Red “P” plates must be displayed for the first 6 months and green “P” plates for the remaining 18 months; 
  • You must not ride between midnight and 5am for the first 6 months; 
  • You must have a zero blood alcohol limit; 
  • You must ride a LAMS approved motorcycle.
 

Full licence

You will get a full car licence after holding a Provisional licence for a period of 2 years.  Unless otherwise stated, a driver’s licence is for a fixed period of one or five years.

You can progress to a full motorcycle licence after 2 years on a Provisional riders licence.

What if I'm from interstate or another country?

Coming from another state or territory

If you are visiting WA temporarily and you have a current licence from another state or territory, you can drive a car or ride a motorcycle in WA.  However, if you are moving to WA permanently, then you will need to get your licence transferred.  You must do this within 3 months of moving to WA.

A current licence (or a licence that expired less than 5 years ago) from another state or territory, can be transferred to a WA licence as long as it is the same as a WA provisional or full licence.
You cannot hold a licence in more than one Australian state or territory at one time, so the Department of Transport will tell the state or territory where your old licence was issued to cancel your old licence.

Coming from another country

If you are visiting WA temporarily and you have a current licence from another country, or an international driving permit, you may continue to drive a motor vehicle in WA.  This includes tourists, people visiting WA on business, and people studying temporarily in WA.

If you get stopped by the police, you will need to show your overseas licence or international driving permit. If the document is not in English, an approved translation is required.    You may also need to prove that you are a genuine visitor and have no intention of living in WA.

If you are moving to WA permanently, you will have to get a WA licence. If you hold a permanent resident visa you can only drive on your overseas licence for 3 months. 

Demerit points

Demerit points are penalties for committing driving offences, such as going through a red light, not stopping at a stop sign, or speeding. They stay on your licence for 3 years after the date of the offence.
A Novice Driver Graduated Demerit Point System has been introduced, which means all Novice Drivers are subject to reduced demerit point limits.  The demerit point limit applied to Novice Drivers is dependent on the length of time a person has held a Drivers Licence.

There are two types of novice drivers :

  • Novice Driver Type 1 – A person is a Novice Driver Type 1 until they have held a driver’s licence for a period of one year or periods up to one year. A Novice Driver Type 1 also includes first time learners permit holders and persons who have never held a driver’s licence.
  • Novice Driver Type 2 – A person is a Novice Driver Type 2 when they have held a driver’s licence for at least one year but less than two years or periods adding up to two years.

If you are a Novice Driver Type 1 and you get 4 or more demerit points you will lose your licence or it may be suspended. 
If you are a Novice Driver Type 2 and you get 8 or more demerit points you will lose your licence or it may be suspended.   
 
If you have a full licence and you get 12 or more demerit points in 3 years, you will lose your licence or it may be suspended. As a fully licenced driver you may be eligible for an election to avoid disqualification, for a period of 12 months if you do not receive more than one demerit point during that period. If so the original suspension period will be extended. 

For more information on licences

Contact your nearest Driver and Vehicle Services Centre or check out the Department of Transport web site.

Department of Transport
Phone: 13 11 56
Website:www.transport.wa.gov.au

This page was last updated 16 March 2015.

***************************************************************************************
  Insert text regarding ALL STATES here.
  You can choose to insert either:
     · Content that directly applies to ALL STATES of Australia.
     · A footnote that will be seen below the existing content of each state.
**************************************************************************************
*