Restricted licence test guide
Overview of the structure of the restricted licence test
The test takes a total of one hour to administer. This time allows for:
- meeting the applicant
- conducting the pre-drive vehicle safety check
- conducting a 45 minute practical drive
- adding up the test score sheet at the end of each stage
- providing feedback to the applicant on their performance at the end of
Test route stages
The test comprises two stages.
- Stage 1 of the test takes 10 minutes and is a set of relatively simple
driving tasks conducted in a less complex traffic environment
designed to assess the applicant’s driving ability. This stage is
conducted in speed zones of up to 60km/h and determines whether
the applicant is a sufficiently skilled and safe driver to proceed to the
more challenging driving tasks and environments of Stage 2 of the
An applicant who does not achieve a satisfactory score in Stage 1 is
not permitted to undertake Stage 2 of the test. In this way, applicants
who are not ready to tackle the more challenging tasks in Stage 2 are
screened out before they can pose a danger to themselves and other
- Stage 2 of the test takes 35 minutes and is designed to assess the
applicant’s ability to perform more challenging tasks in moderately
challenging environments within speed zones of 60km/h and over.
There are two types of driving tasks in the RLT:
- Assessable tasks include left and right turns, lane changes (or turning
right across traffic where lane changes are not available), merging
with other traffic, straight drives, straight or right at a roundabout and
a reverse parallel park. The applicant’s performance on each
assessable task is assessed according to predetermined task
- Linking manoeuvres join up the assessable tasks into a complete
driving route that begins and ends at the car park of the testing office
or other suitable location for the start. Linking manoeuvres include
similar driving manoeuvres to the assessable tasks but do not have
associated task assessment items assigned to them.
There are seven assessable tasks in Stage 1 and 18 assessable tasks in
The assessable tasks used in the RLT are described in Assessable tasks
During the test the applicant will be assessed against three different
- Task assessment items assess one aspect of driving performance
during the execution of each assessable task. The task assessment
items are described in section 5.
- Critical errors which are recorded at any time they occur during the
RLT, whether during an assessable task or not. The critical error types
are described in section 6.
- Immediate failure errors are also recorded at any time they occur and
result in the immediate failure of the test. The immediate failure error
types are described in section 7.
Note that this guide does not cover the number of driving faults that are
permitted during the test as the pre-test preparation should not be
focused around how many driving faults may be made during the test, but rather whether the novice driver has the necessary skills to be a safe
driver (ie they can consistently perform the driving tasks to the required
If the novice driver is making any critical errors or immediate failure
errors in training then they are clearly not yet ready to attempt this test.
Before beginning the RLT, the testing officer will:
- check the candidate’s identity
- conduct a pre-drive safety check
- conduct an in-vehicle safety check.
Prior to commencing the test the testing officer will:
- sight the applicant’s learner licence to ensure it is current and to
confirm their identity
- check the vehicle to be used in the test for:
- a current warrant of fitness or certificate of fitness label
- two learner licence plates (L plates) displayed correctly
- a current vehicle licence (registration) label
- a current road user charges (RUC) label if it is a diesel vehicle
- sufficient fuel to complete the test.
If any of these requirements cannot be met, the test will be cancelled.
Vehicle roadworthiness and controls
The vehicle to be used for the test must comply with the legal provisions
that govern its use on the road. While testing officers do not examine the
vehicle in detail, they will check the items listed below to ensure that all
safety items are in a roadworthy state. Applicants will be requested to
assist with the pre-drive check.
If the vehicle is not roadworthy, the test will not proceed.
|The vehicle is sitting square to the road, indicating all tyres
have equal or close to equal pressure.
||The vehicle has no obvious damage that could be considered
|Tyres and wheels
||Tyres should have the required tread depth and no uneven
wear, and wheels should appear undamaged (visual inspection
only). Winter and summer tyres are not mixed. The test cannot proceed if a space-saver tyre is fitted to the
|Indicators and brake
||Indicators and brake lights (to meet equipment requirements)
operate correctly and all lenses are intact.
||Lenses must be intact and high and low beams operate if the
test is to take place in low light conditions.
||Wipers must operate satisfactorily if the test is to take place in
rain or fog.
||The horn must operate.
||Mirrors are checked for position and seatbelts are in safe and
Vehicle roadworthiness and controls
The testing officer will check the applicant is able to identify where the
following controls are located in the vehicle:
- windscreen demister
- rear window demister (where fitted).
If the applicant is unable to identify the items above they will be pointed
out to them and the applicant will still be able to undertake the test.
However if it becomes necessary to use one of the controls during the
test and the applicant requires assistance to operate the control, an
immediate failure error would result.
The pre-drive safety check and in-vehicle check do not contribute to the
applicant’s test score.
< previous | next >
Last updated: 26 February 2015