About the practical driving tests

The full licence practical driving test

What is the full licence practical driving test?

The full licence practical driving test is designed to assess whether the skills of the driver are at a level where they can safely drive a heavy vehicle without a supervisor.

The things you will be asked to do during the test are designed to see if you can safely handle situations that present the greatest crash risk to drivers in their first five years of driving.

The test is conducted in a vehicle provided by you.

The full licence practical driving test will take about 30 minutes. This time allows for vehicle checks before the test, the driving test itself and time for the testing officer to give you feedback on your performance after the test.

When can I apply to sit the full licence practical driving test?

You can apply to sit the full licence practical driving test after you have held the corresponding learner licence for at least six months.

You should also:

  • have had lots of driving practice
  • be a skilled and confident driver.

How should I prepare for the full licence practical driving test?

You should make sure that you know all the road rules in the Road code and can apply them in everyday driving situations.

What does the full licence practical test involve?

The driving part of the full licence test will take about 20 minutes. The test is designed to measure your ability to operate the controls of the vehicle and drive safely on the road in traffic.

The testing officer scores your performance under the following headings:

  • before starting
  • starting
  • gears
  • steering
  • normal driving
  • backing
  • stopping or starting on a hill
  • stopping
  • turns
  • lane driving
  • overtaking
  • approaching intersections
  • priority rules
  • driver signals
  • traffic signals
  • traffic signs
  • railway level crossings
  • demeanour.

It may not be possible to test all of these aspects in some areas, for example, there may be no railway level crossings nearby.

What the testing officer will be observing

What's being observed What you must to do meet the criteria
Mirror use (using mirrors both inside and outside the vehicle) Check appropriate mirror(s) before and after moving, including when you are:

  •   turning
  •   changing lanes
  •   driving in a straight line
  •   stopping or slowing down
  •   pulling out or returning to the kerb.
Position on road Position your vehicle in a safe and legal position on the road at all times.
Braking Brake smoothly and effectively.

Don't drive with the vehicle in neutral or coast unnecessarily with your foot on the clutch.
Head checks Look over your shoulder in the appropriate direction before moving, including when you are:

  •   leaving the kerb
  •   parking
  •   turning
  •   changing lanes
  •   merging with other traffic.

Always check your blind spots.
Signal use Put your indicators on for at least three seconds before changing your position on the road. This includes when you are:

  •   turning
  •   changing lanes
  •   merging
  •   negotiating a roundabout
  •   pulling out or returning to the kerb.
Speed control Don't exceed the posted speed limit.

Drive at a speed that is suitable for the conditions (ie, slow down in poor conditions, such as when it's raining).

Drive at a speed that means you are not holding up traffic behind you.
Gap selection Select a safe gap, where you will not place other road users at risk, before moving into traffic flows. This includes when you are:

  •   leaving the kerb
  •   merging
  •   changing lanes
  •   at intersections.
Search Look to the front, both sides and to the rear to identify any potential hazards.

What could cause me to fail the test?

Class 2-5 drivers are expected to have a high standard of driving. You will fail the test for major lapses in driving, such as failing to give way, exceeding the speed limit or changing lanes without checking first.

You could also fail the test (with the test being terminated) if you:

  • drive recklessly, dangerously or inconsiderately
  • are involved in a crash for which you are wholly or partly responsible
  • are unable to carry out the instructions given by the testing officer because of lack of driving ability
  • exceed the speed limit
  • fail to comply with give way rules or Give Way signs
  • fail to comply with traffic signals or Stop signs.

What happens at the end of the test?

At the end of the test, the testing officer will tell you whether or not you have passed. They will also go over any errors you made.

If you pass the test, you will have earned your full licence. The testing officer will keep your learner licence and give you an interim full licence. This temporary licence is valid for 21 days and must be carried with you when you drive. Your full photo driver licence will be mailed to you.

If you fail the test, the testing officer will return your learner licence to you.

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Last updated: 22 July 2014