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P1 provisional licence

With a P1 provisional licence you can drive independently, without a qualified supervising driver or driving instructor.

But remember, your P-plates must be on, your licence handy, and the road rules and P licence rules must be followed.

Heads up!

If you were issued a provisional licence on or after 4 September 2010 and are under 25 you must not drive a high-powered vehicle unless you have an exemption certificate.

Driving on your own can test all the skills you learned on your L's without having the safety net of a qualified supervising driver with you.

Speeding, driving at night, or when tired or distracted are dangerous mistakes to be avoided.  

Stay safe. Always wear your seatbelt and stay focused on driving.

pre learner

P-platers need to follow these P1 provisional licence conditions

Heads up!

If you have a P1 provisional driver's licence you must comply with these rules or you could be fined or disqualified from driving.

Provisional licence conditions
You can only drive the class of vehicle stated on your provisional licence, under the following conditions:

  • You must not drive a motor vehicle with any concentration of alcohol in your blood or the presence of cannabis, speed or MDMA (ecstasy) in your blood or oral saliva.
  • A speeding offence of 10 km/h or more over the speed limit is a breach of your provisional licence conditions.

Other rules...

  • You must display P-plates so that they're clearly visible from the front & rear of the car. (P2 drivers do not need to display P-plates) Motorcycles, back only.
  • You must carry your provisional licence at all times whilst driving.
  • You must not drive over 100 km/h even if the local speed limit exceeds 100 km/h.
  • You must not accumulate four or more demerit points during the provisional licence period.
  • You must not drive a high-powered vehicle while you are under the age of 25 until you get your full driver's licence (unless you have an exemption certificate).
  • You must not use any mobile phone function while driving, including:
    • Hands-free mode and Bluetooth technology
    • Loud speaker operation
    • Text messaging.
Heads up!

From 28 July 2014, night driving and passenger restrictions will apply for all P1 licence holders under the age of 25 for the duration of the P1 licence.

Breaking the rules
If you break any of the P-rules you could get a fine, demerit points, be disqualified from driving and have to go to court. The penalties for breaking the rules.

If you get any demerit points while under 19 years of age, you'll need to hold the provisional licence until you're at least 20.

If you are disqualified while you hold a P1 licence you'll lose your licence for at least six months… and when you return to driving you'll have to go back to:

  • Re-apply for a learner's permit and
  • Pass a practical driving test again (VORT or CBT or Advanced RiderSafe for motorbikes)
  • Curfew and passenger restrictions may apply if you have committed an offence for serious disqualification.

Safer Driver Agreement
If you are disqualified you may be able to elect to enter into a Safer Driver Agreement instead of serving the 6 month disqualification period (unless it was a serious disqualification offence or within the last 5 years you have either successfully appealed a disqualification or entered into a Safer Driver Agreement).

The Safer Driver Agreement will apply for the duration of your provisional licence.

Heads up!

If you breach the Safer Driver Agreement you will be disqualified for twice the period of your original disqualification (12 months). You must sit out the disqualification. No Safer Driver Agreements. No appeals.

Serious disqualification offences
You'll get a curfew condition for 12 months with your next licence. No driving from 12:00 am to 5:00 am without a Qualified Supervising Driver seated beside you and it will also mean no other passengers can travel with you.

Serious disqualification offences include:

  • criminal driving offences e.g. causing death by dangerous driving
  • an offence that incurs four or more demerit points
  • a second speeding offence that incurs three or more demerit points
  • a red light offence and a speeding offence from the same incident
  • any offence committed by a person previously disqualified from driving.

More about driving laws, offences and penalties

High powered vehicle restrictions apply:

  • if you hold a provisional licence and are under the age of 25
  • if you obtained your P1 on or after 4 September 2010
  • if you were disqualified and returned to driving on a P1 licence on or after 4 September 2010.
More details on the rules, definitions and exemptions for high powered vehicles see Safe Driving Tips.

If you're driving with a P1 provisional licence you need P-plates on the vehicle so other drivers know you're an inexperienced driver. P-plates must meet these requirements:

  • The minimum size is shown in the diagram below. P-plates must have the letter P printed in red on a white background.
  • P-plates must be clearly visible from the front and rear of the vehicle (rear only for motor bikes).
P plate

Other styles of plates are not acceptable in South Australia. Buy your P-plates at Service SA customer service centres, at Service SA's online shop or retail outlets.

Heads up!

Penalties apply for not displaying P-plates.


What you need to do
To apply for your P2 licence, you must:

The Hazard Perception Test is a computer-based ability test to recognise dangerous situations when driving and to react safely.

Heads up!

From 28 July 2014 the provisional licence period will be extended from two to three years ( one year on P1 and two years on a P2 licence).  This will not apply to a provisional licence that was issued before 28 July 2014.  Read more

If you've incurred 1-3 demerit points, you must either:

  • be demerit point free for a full 12 months at the time of application for P2 OR
  • have held a P1, without disqualification, for a minimum of 2 years.

For example, if a person is issued with a P1 licence on 12 November 2011 but incurs a demerit point on 12 December 2011 then they will be eligible to apply for a P2 licence on 12 December 2012.

If you have gained 1, 2 or 3 demerit points before turning 19 you'll need to:

If you have any questions on exactly where you sit with your P1 licence and want to upgrade to P2, call customer service on 13 10 84, as each individual may have different circumstances.

Applying for your P2 provisional licence
Book a Hazard Perception Test at a Service SA customer service centre.

You'll need

  • to take your P1 licence.
  • Your Hazard Perception Test certificate (given to you when you pass the test).
  • The fees for the Hazard Perception Test and for the P2 licence.

You must pass the Hazard Perception Test before progressing from P1 to P2.

The Hazard Perception Test (HPT) is a computer-based ability test to recognise dangerous situations while driving and to react safely.

The test is made up of 15 film clips of real traffic situations that you will be asked to respond to. The Hazard Perception Test book provides a lot of further information on what to expect in the test.

Heads up!

Practice the Hazard Perception Test and read the Hazard Perception Test booklet online. The booklet is also available from a Service SA customer service centre.

Booking a test
Do the Hazard Perception Test at a Service SA customer service centre.
Call 13 10 84 for appointments.

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