About the practical driving tests

On the day of your practical driving test

The information in this section relates to the full practical driving tests for classes 2-5.

Note: you need to provide the vehicle to sit the test in, so if you don't own one of the right class, you'll need to borrow or hire one. You'll also need to organise for a supervisor to accompany you to the test site as you are not legally allowed to drive alone on a learner licence.

Test day checklist

On the day of your test you should:

  • check that your driver licence is still current and that you have it with you (you must always carry your driver licence with you when you drive). If you are using your current temporary licence, you also need to provide acceptable photographic ID (eg 18+ card, student ID card, current or expired passport).
  • make sure the vehicle being used for the test has:
    • a current certificate of fitness (COF)
    • a current licence label
    • a current road user charges (RUC) licence (if you are driving a diesel vehicle)
  • get someone to help you to do a pre-drive check of the vehicle you will be using for the test to make sure it is in good working order
  • make sure you know how to get to where your test will start
  • check that your vehicle has enough fuel to get there, complete the test and get back home
  • wear your corrective lenses, if you need to when driving
  • ensure your supervisor is available to accompany you when driving the vehicle to the test site
  • make sure you give yourself enough time to get to the test location on time for the test (if you are late, your test will be cancelled and you will need to book another time and pay another test fee)
  • ensure the passenger seat is in a clean and tidy state for the testing officer to sit on.


Because you are on a learner licence, if you are driving the test vehicle to the test site you need to be accompanied to the test site by a supervisor, as you are not legally allowed to drive alone.

Taking a support person

Before the start of the practical driving test, you can request to have a support person accompany you during the test, provided the vehicle has rear seats. Children or infants cannot accompany you during the test.

If you choose to have a support person in the vehicle with you, the support person:

  • must be a person over 20 years of age
  • must not be accompanied by any other person or animal (except a guide dog)
  • must supply their name and contact details to the testing officer prior to the test beginning
  • must not talk, offer assistance to, or distract the driver or testing officer at any stage during the test (should this occur, the testing officer will terminate the test and you would need to book and pay for another test)
  • must not interrupt the testing officer as they are providing feedback at the end of the test.

The testing officer may refuse to accept any person as a support person if the testing officer believes on reasonable grounds that:

  • his or her personal safety could be, or is, threatened or endangered, or
  • the support person appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or is noisy or violent, or
  • there is no suitable seating available in the rear of the vehicle presented for the test.

Note: if you don't comply with any of the points mentioned above, the testing officer won't be able to take you for your test, and you will need to rebook and pay another fee.

Taking an interpreter

During the practical tests the testing officer will give you instructions in English. The testing officer may also ask you questions in English.

The Transport Agency does not provide interpreters. Therefore, should you require an interpreter, it is your responsibility to arrange this.

When you get to the test location

When you first arrive at the location of your test, the testing officer will need to check your driver licence to make sure of your identity and see if you have any special requirements on your licence. The testing officer will hold on to your licence during the test.

The testing officer will do a pre-drive check of the vehicle you have provided for the test. They will check that:

  • there is no obvious damage to the vehicle that could be considered dangerous
  • the tyres have a legal tread depth and have no uneven wear, and the wheels appear undamaged
  • the indicators and brake lights work correctly and all lenses are intact
  • the high and low beams of the headlights operate, if the test is taking place in poor light conditions
  • the windscreen washers and wipers work, if the test is taking place in rain or fog
  • the horn works
  • the vehicle licence, registration and CoF are current (as well as the RUC licence if you require one)
  • the mirrors are in the correct position for you to see behind the vehicle if you are sitting in the driver’s seat
  • the safety belts are in good condition
  • the vehicle is sitting square to the road, indicating that all tyres have equal pressure

Before the test, the testing officer will run through some basic instructions for the test and ask you if you have any questions.

Note: before your restricted or full licence practical test, your testing officer may ask for your permission to have an observer accompany you on your test. You can decline the request, but remember that the observer would be there to observe the testing officer and not you.

Role of the testing officer

A testing officer undertakes many tasks during the test including directing you around the route, observing and marking driving behaviour and keeping an eye on safety. Because of this it is unlikely they will have time to engage in conversation with you. So please do not be offended or surprised if the testing officer does not engage in casual conversation during the test.

In-car video cameras

The testing officer may attach a small video camera to the front windscreen at the beginning of your practical test.

The camera records the test and enables the testing officer’s performance to be audited. It also assists in investigating complaints where the result is disputed.

If you do not wish for your test to be recorded, please advise the testing officer.

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Last updated: 26 January 2016