If you've been eagerly waiting to hit the open road on a motorcycle, trike, or scooter, you can start your journey towards becoming a licensed rider in New South Wales (NSW) at 16 and 9 months. Here, we'll walk you through the essential steps to qualify for your learner rider licence without altering critical information.
Check Eligibility and Requirements
Before you can embark on your two-wheeled adventure, ensure you meet the following requirements:
- You must be at least 16 and 9 months old.
- If you reside in a declared area, which means training is available nearby, you'll need to complete pre-learner training.
- Pass a knowledge test.
Complete the Pre-Learner Rider Course
Selecting a rider training provider and scheduling your training is the next step for those living in a declared area. You must be at least 16 and six months old to enroll in this course. However, if you live in an undeclared area with no training providers nearby, you can book a rider knowledge test without completing the pre-learner course. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend attending the rider training course, as it will enhance your riding skills and safety knowledge.
Here's what you need to know about the pre-learner course:
- It's designed for individuals with no prior motorbike riding experience.
- The course is competency-based, with pass/fail criteria.
- Duration: 7 hours (split over 2 days for motorcycles and three-wheeled scooters, or 6 hours in a single day for trikes).
- Equipment such as motorcycles, helmets, and gloves are provided at the training center.
- Completing all competencies is required to receive your certificate of competence.
Booking Your Pre-Learner Course
Before you can book your rider training, ensure you have one of the following as proof of identity:
- NSW driver's licence
- Transport Customer Number (PDF 286.62KB)
If you lack either, apply for a Transport Customer Number at a service center.
To book your pre-learner course:
- Locate a rider training center or contact Transport for NSW at 13 22 13launch to find a center nearby.
- Call or book with your chosen training provider online.
- Specify whether you intend to learn to ride a scooter or a motorbike.
- Have a credit card ready for payment of the training fee.
- For booking a trike course, get in touch with your nearest rider providers or visit your nearest Service NSW Centre.
Use Your Certificate of Competence
Upon completing your training, you'll receive a Pre-learner Certificate of Competence, valid for 3 months. During this period, you can proceed to book your Rider Knowledge Test. Failing to obtain your learner rider licence before your certificate expires will necessitate retaking the course.
Automatic Motorcycles and Trikes
If you passed the pre-learner course on an automatic motorcycle, you'd be eligible to apply for a conditional learner rider licence. Your Certificate of Competence will indicate the following conditions:
- A036 – may only ride an automatic motorcycle.
- X125 – may only drive a three-wheeled motorcycle.
Pass the Rider Knowledge Test
The Rider Knowledge Test is a computer-based assessment of road rules knowledge, available for in-person testing at any service center. All the information needed to pass the test can be found in the Road User Handbook and Motorcycle Rider Handbook (PDF 1.53MB). Utilize free practice tests to familiarize yourself with the questions and gauge your readiness.
To book the test, you can do so online, in person at a service center, or by phoning 13 22 13launch. Ensure you make the necessary payment for the test fee during the booking process.
Get Your Learner Licence
On the day of your test booking, visit your designated service center and bring the following:
- A completed Licence Application form
- Proof of identity
- Your Pre-learner Certificate of Competence (required if you live in a rider training area)
- Payment for your licence fee
- Don't forget to bring your glasses or contact lenses for the eyesight test if you wear them while riding.
After passing the Rider Knowledge Test, your photo will be taken, and you'll receive L plates and a temporary paper licence. You can use this temporary licence until your official learner rider licence arrives by mail, typically within 10 working days. If you prefer, you can also opt for a digital licence by downloading the Service NSW app.
Your learner rider licence will remain valid for 12 months.
Renewing Your Learner Licence
If you are not yet ready to progress to your P1 licence at the end of the 12 months, you'll need to reapply for your learner rider licence. This process will require you to attend rider training again, and you may need to retake the Rider Knowledge Test, with all associated fees applicable.
Renewal of learner rider licences can be done within 3 months under limited circumstances. For further details, contact Service NSW at 13 22 13launch.
If Your Learner Licence Expires After Pre-Provisional Training
You can renew your learner rider license if you've completed pre-provisional training but failed the MOST (Motorcycle Operator Skills Test) when your learner licence expires. In this case, you won't be required to retake the Rider Knowledge Test or attend pre-learner training again. However, you can renew your learner licence only once, and it must be done within 3 months of its expiry date. Failure to renew within this timeframe will result in attending rider training and retaking the Rider Knowledge Test, with associated fees.
Know the Rules as an L-Plater
Before hitting the road as an L-plater, familiarize yourself with these essential rules:
- Only ride motorcycles or scooters approved for novice riders.
- Always wear an approved motorcycle helmet.
- Maintain a zero blood alcohol concentration (BAC); no alcohol consumption before riding.
- Observe the speed limit and never exceed the maximum learner speed limit of 90 km/h.
- Display an L plate, featuring a black "L" on an orange/yellow background, clearly visible on the rear of your motorcycle.
Prohibited actions as a learner rider include:
- Riding manual motorcycles or scooters if your pre-learner training was on an automatic.
- Operating a two-wheel motorcycle if your pre-learner training was on a three-wheeled scooter.
- Driving any vehicle other than a motorcycle or scooter unless you possess the appropriate licence for that vehicle (e.g., Class C driver licence for a car).
- Riding under the influence of drugs.
- Carrying pillion passengers.
- Towing any other vehicle.
- Lane filtering.
- Using any functions of a mobile phone, hands-free device, or loudspeaker while your motorcycle is in motion or stopped but still in the line of traffic.
- Riding in Parramatta Park, Centennial Park, or Moore Park in Sydney.
Failure to adhere to these conditions is an offense and can lead to severe penalties, including the immediate loss of your licence. Any time lost due to licence suspension won't count towards your progression to a P1 licence. So, obey the rules, ride safely