About driver licences


Stage 2 – restricted licence

Who can apply for a restricted licence?

You can apply for your restricted licence once you have mastered the driving skills you will need to pass the restricted licence test.

You must:

  • be at least 16½ years of age, and
  • hold a current learner licence, and
  • have held a current learner licence for at least six months.

How do I apply for a restricted licence?

To get your restricted licence you need to pass the restricted licence practical driving test.

To book your restricted licence practical driving test you must:

OR

  • book your restricted licence practical driving test over the phone or internet. For information and instructions on how to book by phone or internet, see About the practical driving tests.

    If you choose this option, you must complete the application process at a driver licensing agent before your new licence can be issued. You should allow approximately 30 minutes to do this. Check the agent opening hours, as they may not be open 30 minutes before your test appointment. In that case you can complete the application process before the day of the test or after the test.

For more information about what the restricted licence practical driving test involves, see Booking practical driving tests via phone or internet.

What are the conditions of a restricted licence?

  • You must always have your restricted licence with you when you're driving.
  • You can drive on your own, but not between 10pm and 5am.  If you drive between these times you must have a supervisor in the front passenger seat who holds a full New Zealand car licence with no supervisor condition, and has held it (or an equivalent overseas licence) for at least two years.
  • If you sat the restricted test in an automatic vehicle, your restricted licence will say that you can only drive automatic vehicles (unless accompanied by a supervisor).
  • You cannot normally carry passengers, unless you have a supervisor with you.  The only passengers you can carry without a supervisor are:
    • your spouse, or the person you live with as if you were married or with whom you are joined in a civil union
    • children who live with you and are under the care of you or your spouse (that is, you or your spouse are their parent or guardian
    • your parent or guardian
    • relatives who live with you and who are on a social security benefit
    • someone you look after as their primary caregiver.
  • There is a zero alcohol limit if you are under 20. That means if you drive after consuming even one drink you can be charged with drink driving. If you have an alcohol level of less than 150 micrograms per litre of breath and less than 30 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood you could be fined and given 50 demerit points. If your alcohol level is higher, you could be disqualified from driving, given 50 demerit points and either fined or imprisoned.

    If you’re 20 or older, the legal alcohol limit is 250 micrograms per litre of breath or 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. If you have an alcohol level of more than 250 but not more than 400 micrograms per litre of breath, or more than 50 but not more than 80 milligrams per 100 mililitres of blood, you could be fined and given 50 demerit points. If your alcohol level is higher, you could be disqualified from driving and either fined or imprisoned.
  • Breaching the restricted conditions of your driver licence could result in you receiving 35 demerit points and a fine of $100. If you breach any other conditions of your driver licence you could receive 25 demerit points and be subject to a fine of $400. See page 142 for more information on demerit points.

Your new restricted licence will be valid for five years. You now need to add the skills and experience you have to enable you to progress to a full licence.  When you feel you are ready you can apply for your full licence at a licensing agent. 

If you do not progress during the five year period, you will need to pass a theory test once your licence has expired before your restricted licence can be issued for a further five years.     

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Last updated: 4 May 2015