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36% of novice drivers who were killed between 2003 and 2007 did NOT wear a seat belt.

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Phase 1 reforms to the Novice Licensing System

From 25 August 2008, there will be some changes to the licensing system. The changes affect novices - you're a novice driver if you've never held a full car licence and you're a novice rider if you've never held a full motorcycle licence.

The changes will not make it harder for you to get a licence. there will be tougher penalties if you drive your car or motorcycle in a way that is unsafe and illegal.  And for those that don't break the law - there's a driving reward.

Here's what the changes are about:

P1 and P2 stages

The existing 'first year' provisional period will become the 'P1 stage', and a subsequent provisional period will become the 'P2 stage'

If you already hold a provisional licence on 25 August 2008, then you'll automatically be treated as being in either the P1 or P2 stage and all of the new changes will apply to you

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Driving Reward

Obey the road rules and you may get a financial reward.

The reward is a refund of your money that you paid to have your P1 and P2 licence issues. (excludes and driving assessment fees). This is around $50 (or $35 for concession holders).

If your provisional licence was issued on or after 25 August 2008 and you don't commit a driving offence in your P1 and P2 stages, then you can apply to get the refund. To see if you are eligible for the reward read the Offence Free Reward Application form below.

Offence Free Reward Application Form (48.7KB)

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Compulsory P2 stage

As well as holding a P1 licence for at least 12 months, every novice driver and novice rider must hold a P2 licence for a minimum period:

Age when get
P2 licence

Minimum time must
hold P2 licence

18 - under 23

2 years

23 - under 25

12 months or until 25
(whichever is longer)

Over 25

12 months

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Separate provisional stages for cars and motorcycles

If you want both a car and a motorcycle licence you will have to complete P1 and P2 stages for a car, and P1 and P2 stages for a motorcycle.

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Licence renewal

Learner licences will now be renewable. However, if you fail to renew the licence within 28 days, then the earliest you can do your practical driving assessment will change (for car drivers) and you'll have to re-do the Pre-Learner Motorcycle Training Course (for motorcycle riders).

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Tougher Penalties

1. Learner without appropriate supervising driver

  • If you're a learner and you drive without a supervising driver, or your supervising driver is not an appropriate person, then you will lose your licence and pay a fine
  • Check out who qualifies as an appropriate person to supervise your driving.

2. Fail to display L or P plates

  • If you don't display your L or P plates on both the front and back of your car (or the back of your motorcycle), then you will lose demerit points and pay a fine, for a P1 licence holder your P1 period will also start again
  • Remember, if you lose 4 demerit points you lose your novice licence and you won't be allowed to drive

3. Novice Case Management

The Novice Case Management program is for L1, L2, P1 and P2 drivers only.

Every client who has a period of licence loss will be assessed for Novice Case Management. This involves a review of past driving history, periods of licence loss and traffic infringements.

Any novice driver who shows a repeated pattern of driving behaviour contrary to the safety of themselves and other road users (e.g. repeated licence disqualifications/suspensions) may be placed on Novice Case Management.

Novice Case Management is targeted towards an individual returning to driving or riding after a period(s) of disqualification, suspension or ineligibility and takes into consideration past driving/riding behaviours and convictions to develop the best approach to assist them modify behaviours that resulted in past offences

Novice Case Management will support novice drivers and riders to re-enter the driver licensing system, by providing greater opportunity for offending drivers and riders to prove that they can drive or ride safely on our roads, which will benefit all Tasmanian road users.

4. Restart

If you commit any of the these offences while you're in the P1 stage, then you will have to start that stage all over again (as well as incur the usual penalty for the specific offence, eg pay a fine and lose demerit points):

  • failing to wear seatbelt
  • using a mobile phone while driving
  • speeding 10 km/h or more over the speed limit
  • failing to ride only a learner approved motorcycle (LAM)
  • failing to display P plates (starts in phase 2, 27/04/2009)
  • failing to wear an approved helmet (motorcycle only) (starts in phase, 2 27/04/2009)

If you commit one of these offences during the P1 stage, but you have moved on to the P2 stage by the time you are convicted for the offence, then you'll have to stay in the P2 stage for a longer period

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Phase 2 reforms to the Novice Licensing System

From April 2009, there will be some more changes to the licensing system for car drivers.  These changes aim to improve the learning experience for new drivers, so that when they become solo drivers they are safer drivers, and the chances of them being killed or seriously injured in a crash are significantly reduced.

There's still no need to rush in and get your licence or book a driving assessment. Remember, the more practice you have as a learner the safer you will be when you drive solo.

Here's what the changes are about:

12 month learner stage for car drivers

  • If you're a learner you must complete a total of 12 months in the learner stage
  • The learner stage will be divided into an L1 stage and an L2 stage
  • You must do 3-months in the L1 stage and 9-months in the L2 stage

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L1 stage (3 months)

  • In the L1 stage, you'll learn basic car handling skills.
  • You must only drive with an appropriate supervising driver, but you don't have to record hours in your L1 Learner Driver Logbook.
  • You must pass a practical on-road assessment at the end of the L1 stage, before moving on to the L2 stage.

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L2 stage (9 months)

  • In the L2 stage, you'll gain greater experience and learn more advanced driving skills, such as being aware of hazards and avoiding risks.
  • You must drive for a total of at least 50 supervised driving hours, and record these hours in your L2 Learner Driver Logbook
  • You must pass another practical driving assessment at the end of the L2 stage, before moving on to the provisional stages.

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