Restricted licence test guide
Tasks assessment items
Each task assessment item assesses one aspect of driving performance
during the execution of an assessable task at a specific location on the
test route. For example, observation might be assessed when turning right
from Smith Street into Jones Road.
Task assessment items are not assessed while driving between
assessable tasks. They contribute to the applicant’s point score for stage
1 or for the entire test.
There are 10 task assessment items that may be assigned to an
assessable task, as follows:
- gap selection
- speed choice
- following distance
- lateral position
- parking observation
- parking movement
- leaving park
- turning movement.
Observation - explanation
Safe, effective driving is achieved when drivers observe and assess the
ever-changing driving environment in front of, to both sides and to the
rear of their vehicles. Throughout the test the applicant must
demonstrate thorough observation skills. This includes using mirrors and
performing head checks (as appropriate).
Observation - requirements
- Maintains a continuous lookout ahead of the vehicle, except when
making brief checks of the mirrors and other directions.
- When driving straight, checks the mirrors often enough to maintain
awareness of surrounding traffic. The required frequency varies with
- When required to give way to other traffic (such as when facing a Give
Way sign, turning across oncoming traffic, approaching a pedestrian
crossing or entering a roundabout), looks in the direction(s) from
which conflicting traffic (or pedestrians) might approach before
- Checks the relevant mirror(s) immediately before braking.
- Prior to turning or diverging (including when entering or crossing a
special vehicle lane in preparation for a left turn):
- checks the relevant mirror(s) immediately before signalling
- performs a head check immediately before moving laterally (if
- When turning, looks in the planned direction of travel (ie in the
direction of the turn) before making the turn.
- When making a three-point turn, looks in both directions along the
road and does head check immediately before moving across the road
(before and after reversing) and immediately before reversing away
from the kerb.
- When reversing as part of a three-point turn, looks in the direction of
travel while reversing.
- Prior to driving over a railway crossing, looks in both directions for
approaching rail vehicles.
Signalling - explanation
Communication with other road users is an important aspect of safely
sharing the road. A vehicle’s indicators provide the main means of
communicating a driver’s intention to change direction. The applicant
needs to demonstrate their ability to apply the appropriate signals
throughout the test, irrespective of traffic conditions.
Signalling - requirements
- Activates the turn indicator for the appropriate direction (left or right)
for at least three seconds (even if no other traffic is present) before:
- pulling out from the kerb
- pulling into the kerb
- changing lanes
- diverging left or right by at least the width of the car (other than
pulling out from the kerb)
- diverging by less than the width of the car in circumstances where
it is necessary to warn other road users of the intended movement
(eg to indicate that the applicant intends to overtake a parked car
before allowing an oncoming vehicle to pass)
- stopping next to a parked vehicle to commence a reverse parallel
- When turning at a roundabout:
- activates the turn indicator in the appropriate direction (left or
right) for at least three seconds prior to entering the roundabout
- activates the left turn indicator before leaving the roundabout.
- When travelling straight ahead at a roundabout:
- does not signal prior to entering the roundabout
- activates the left turn indicator before leaving the roundabout.
- When turning left or right, does not activate the turn indicator so early
that it might mislead other road users about which street the applicant
intends to turn into.
- Maintains the turn signal until the turn or diverge has been completed.
- Cancels the turn indicator if necessary when the turn or diverge has
||Figure 23 Signals when changing lanes.
||Figure 24 If turning left, signals left on approach and
leaves on until roundabout has been exited.
||Figure 25 If moving straight ahead signals left to exit (if
practicable to do so) when passing the entry point
immediately before the required exit.
||Figure 26 If turning right, signals right on approach and
in the roundabout, then signals left to exit (if practicable
to do so) when passing the entry point immediately
before the required exit.
Gap selection - explanation
Correct gap selection should allow any manoeuvre to be completed safely
without causing other road users to adjust their speed or direction.
Drivers who reject safe gaps increase congestion and delays, leading to
frustration for other road users. The applicant must demonstrate safe and
appropriate gap selection consistently throughout the test.
Gap selection - requirements
- Selects the first available safe gap in traffic after an initial period of
observing approaching traffic to identify a gap.
- Rejects any unsafe gaps.
Speed choice - explanation
The applicant must observe the speed limit at all times. The applicant
also needs to adjust the vehicle’s speed to suit the prevailing driving
conditions (road, weather, light, driver, vehicle or traffic conditions).
Speed choice - requirements
- Does not exceed the speed limit by 5km/h or more at any time.
- When driving straight, drives at or close to the speed limit when
conditions are suitable, but at a lower speed if road, weather or traffic
conditions (eg driving on a wet or unsealed road, or in congested or
slow traffic) make it unsafe to travel at the speed limit.
- When merging, adjusts speed if necessary to choose a safe gap in the
Following distance - explanation
The applicant needs to maintain a safe following distance between the
car being driven and the vehicle in front by applying the appropriate
2-second or 4-second rules throughout the test.
Following distance - requirements
- When driving straight in good conditions, maintains a following
distance of at least 2 seconds behind the vehicle ahead.
- When driving straight in poor conditions (eg on a wet or unsealed
road), maintains a following distance of at least 4 seconds behind the
- After changing lanes, resumes the applicable following distance (2 or
4 seconds, depending on conditions) behind the vehicle in front as
soon as practicable.
Lateral position - explanation
The applicant must position the vehicle in a safe and legal position
throughout the test.
Lateral position - requirements
- On roads with more than one lane marked for the applicant’s direction
of travel, selects an appropriate lane for the driving task.
- When turning left or right from a road with marked lanes, commences
the turn from a lane from which the relevant turn (left or right) is
- When turning into a multi-lane road, turns into the nearest lane, and
does not mislead other drivers by turning towards one lane and then
changing direction to finish in a different lane.
- When travelling on a road with a flush median, uses the flush median
- wait before turning right (see Figure 27)
- wait to move into a gap in the traffic flow after you have turned
right (see Figure 28).
- When travelling straight through an intersection, does not select a
lane marked for turning traffic only.
- Does not drive in a special vehicle only lane (eg bus or bicycle), except
- entering or leaving the road
- pulling over to or out from the kerb
- passing a right-turning vehicle
in which cases the applicant is permitted to drive in a special vehicle lane
for up to 50 metres.
Note: This exception does not apply in the case of a cycle lane where the
applicant has a separate marked lane for their intended direction of travel
which is clearly differentiated from the cycle lane.
- Where there is more than one lane available, selects the appropriate
lane to travel in (eg does not travel in the left lane if it is intermittently
blocked by parked vehicles and another lane is available).
- When turning right:
- keeps left of the centre line (if any) or centre of the road (if no
centre line) when entering the intersection and when leaving the
intersection (see Figure 29, Figure 30 and Figure 31)
- if turning from a road without marked lanes, enters the intersection
as near as practicable to the centre line (if any) or the centre of the
- if turning right at an intersection other than a T-intersection or a
roundabout, passes to the right of the centre of the intersection,
unless road markings impose a different requirement.
- When turning left:
- does not cross the centre line of either the road the applicant is
turning from or the road the applicant is turning into
- if turning left from a road without marked lanes, commences the
turn from as near as practicable to the left side of the road.
- Positions the vehicle wholly within the lane (except when changing
lanes) and does not wander from side to side within the lane.
- When driving along a road with only one lane or line of traffic for the
applicant’s direction of travel, positions the vehicle as near as practicable to the left side of the road. Note that it is not considered
practicable to drive close to the left side of the road if this would
require the applicant to diverge frequently around parked vehicles.
- Maintains a lateral clearance of at least 1.2 metres from parked
vehicles, whenever possible.
- Maintains a lateral distance of at least 1.5 metres from cyclists,
- Maintains a safe lateral clearance from vehicles travelling in other
||Figure 27 Using a flush median to wait before turning
||Figure 28 Using a flush median to wait to move into a
gap in the traffic flow after you have turned right.
||Figure 29 Correct lateral position on a right turn, keeping
left of centre when entering and leaving the intersection.
||Figure 30 Correct lateral position for a right turn into a
||Figure 31 Correct lateral position for a left turn from a
road with no marked lanes, entering the intersection as
near as practicable to the left side of the road.
||Figure 32 Correct lateral position when cars are parked
at the left side of the road (note: ‘P’ indicates a parked
Parking observation - explanation
Reversing is a necessary driving skill which will be tested during the test.
The preferred option is a reverse parallel park but applicants may be
asked to conduct a three-point turn in areas where no suitable spaces are
available to conduct a reverse parallel park.
Parking observation - requirements
- Checks the relevant mirror(s) and does head check immediately
- When reverse parking, maintains observation to the rear.
Parking movement - explanation
The applicant must be able to satisfactorily manoeuvre the vehicle when
completing a reverse parallel park.
Parking movement - requirements
- Completes the reverse parallel park in no more than four vehicle
movements (note: the first movement is from 2-3 in Figure 33) and in
no more than two minutes (unless traffic conditions make this
- Does not reverse more than 7 metres behind the rear of the vehicle in
front (measured from the rear of the parked vehicle to the front of the
- Finishes with the vehicle parallel to and within 300mm of the kerb.
- Finishes 1–2 metres from the vehicle in front.
- Does not hit the kerb heavily enough to cause discomfort to vehicle
- Does not allow any wheel to mount the kerb while parking.
||Figure 33 Correct parking movement (note: the
applicant is required to maintain a turn signal – assessed
under Signalling – at positions 1 and 2) (note: ‘P’
indicates a parked vehicle).
Leaving park - explanation
Marking of the reverse parallel park manoeuvre will include the applicant
exiting the park and rejoining the traffic flow.
Leaving park - requirements
- Checks in the relevant mirror(s), if safe signals and makes a head
check immediately before pulling out from the kerb.
- Pulls out from the kerb in either one or two movements (ie one reverse
movement if required, and one forward movement).
||Figure 34 Leaving parking, using one reverse movement
and one forward movement (note: ‘P’ indicates a parked
Turning movement - explanation
On those occasions where the testing officer may be unable to find a
suitable location for the reverse parallel park the applicant will be
requested to conduct a three-point turn.
Parking movement - requirements
- When performing a three-point turn, the applicant must not make use of
driveways on either side of the road nor may they complete the
manoeuvre as a U-turn.
- Positions the car parallel to and within 300mm of the left kerb.
- Moves across the road to the right kerb without hitting any kerb hard
enough to cause discomfort to vehicle occupants and without allowing
any wheel to mount a kerb.
- Does not use a driveway and does not allow the vehicle to enter
- Reverses away from the kerb without hitting any kerb hard enough to
cause discomfort to vehicle occupants and without allowing any wheel
to mount a kerb.
- Returns to the correct side of the road when driving off as the
manoeuvre is completed.
- Completes the manoeuvre in no more than two minutes and without
moving across the road to the right more than once.
||Figure 35 Three-point turn movements, including pulling
over to the left kerb.
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Last updated: 27 February 2015