Then there’s the person who wakes up, decides they might go get their learners WITHOUT reading the road code and who comes out saying it was easier than the year 4 basic facts test.

Anyway, here’s the correct and most assured way to be a safe driver once you are allowed to hit the roads. With thanks to VTNZ.

 

How you get a car licence

There are three stages to getting a car licence. At each stage you earn a new licence with fewer restrictions and more responsibilities:

  • Stage 1: learner licence
  • Stage 2: restricted licence
  • Stage 3: full licence.

 

Stage 1: Getting your learner licence

  • You must be at least 16 years old before you can apply for your learner licence.
  • You have to pass a road rules theory test to get this licence.

While on a learner licence:

  • you must only drive with a supervisor sitting beside you at all times. Your supervisor must hold a current, full New Zealand car licence, which does not have a supervisor condition. They must have held their full New Zealand licence (or an equivalent overseas licence) for at least two years
  • your car must display learner (L) plates front and rear
  • you may carry passengers but your supervisor has to agree to this
  • you face severe penalties if you drive outside the licence conditions

See details on the process for getting your car learner licence and the conditions that will apply to you.

Your learner licence will be issued for five years. See more information on the validity period of licence classes.

 

Stage 2: Getting your restricted licence

To apply for your restricted licence, you must:

  • be at least 16½ years old
  • have held your learner licence for at least six months.

You can apply for this licence after six months on your learner licence. To progress to this step, you’ll have to pass a practical test of your driving skills.

While on a restricted licence:

  • you can drive on your own, but not between 10pm and 5am
  • generally, you cannot carry passengers without the supervision of a licensed car driver.

Your supervisor must hold a current full New Zealand car licence that does not have a supervisor condition. They must have held their full New Zealand licence (or an equivalent overseas licence) for at least two years.

Your restricted licence will be issued for five years. See more information on the validity period of licence classes.

Stage 3: Getting your full licence

You must be at least 18 years of age before you can apply for your full licence. If you have completed an approved advanced driving skills course, this is reduced to 17½.

If you are under 25 years of age, you can apply after you’ve held your restricted licence for:

  • at least 18 months; or
  • at least 12 months if you have completed an approved advanced driving skill course.

If you are 25 years of age or older, you can apply after you have held your restricted licence for:

  • at least six months, or
  • at least three months if you have completed an approved advanced driving skills course.

To progress to a full licence you have to pass a practical test by demonstrating safe driving behaviour across a wide range of traffic situations and road conditions.

Don’t be afraid to tweet or Facebook us photos of you and your licence on the special day! We’d love to hear about how great your tests went, or… didn’t!

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