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You must be at least 16 years old
You must hold it for 6 months

This page tells you the process to get your motorcycle learner licence, and what you need to know about holding a learner licence.

You must pass a basic handling skills test first

Before you can apply for a learner licence you must pass a basic handling skills test, conducted by an approved motorcycle riding instructor.

Find a motorcycle riding instructor in your area

Before your test you can practise basic motorcycle handling skills on your own private property or at a motorcycle training school. You can't ride on a road - as you don't yet hold a learner licence.

More information about the basic handling skills test

You must be 16

You must be at least 16 years old to apply for your learner licence.

How to get your motorcycle learner licence

To get your learner licence, you must apply at a driver licensing agent.

List of driver licensing agents

You will need to:

Learner licence theory test

The learner licence theory test is a computer-based, 35-question, multi-choice test that assesses your knowledge of road rules and safe driving practices. You will need to get at least 32 questions right to pass.

Everything you need to pass the test is in The official New Zealand road code. You can buy the road code at most bookstores and driver licensing agents, or it’s available online.

Find out more about theory tests
Read The official New Zealand road code for motorcyclists

Once you have passed your theory test, the agent will give you a temporary learner licence so you can start practising your driving. Your photo driver licence will be posted to you.

There are conditions you have to follow when driving

  • You must not ride between 10pm and 5am.
  • You must not carry any passengers on your motorcycle or moped or in any sidecar.
  • You must not tow another vehicle.
  • You must always have a learner (L) plate attached to the rear of your motorcycle or moped.
  • You must only ride a LAMS approved motorcycle.
  • You face severe penalties if you ride outside your licence conditions.

Learner (L) plate requirements
List of LAMS approved motorcycles

Practise your riding

Once you’ve got your learner licence, get in as much riding practice as you can. It is recommended that you get plenty of practice (at least 120 hours) before you sit a practical test.

Your learner licence will expire

Your learner licence will expire after 10 years.

Check the back of your photo driver licence to see when your licence expires. 

Note: if your learner licence was due to expire between 30 November 2019 and 1 December 2021, your expiry date may have been extended. 

More information about learner licence extensions

If you're ready for your restricted licence

If you’ve held your learner licence for at least six months and you’re a confident, safe rider, you can apply for your restricted licence.

Getting your restricted, if you’re ready, will give you a bit more independence. It shows that you’ve gained some riding experience and you’re becoming a responsible rider to help keep everyone safe on our roads.

How to get a restricted licence

If you want to stay on your learner licence

If you haven’t got your restricted before your learner licence expires, you’ll need to renew your learner licence if you want to keep riding. 

How to renew your licence

'Getting your motorcycle licence' brochure [PDF, 425 KB]