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Getting Your licence

Getting your licence is your ticket to freedom – goodbye to waiting in the sweltering heat at the bus stop – hello road trips with your friends that you always dreamed of. Sounds good hey? Well, before you pack up the car with your tents and friends and drive off into the sunset, there is some helpful information worth knowing.

Besides having a workable car the most important thing you need for your road trip is your licence. How do you get a licence you may ask? Well you have pulled in to the right place. Here is your one-stop shop for all your transport needs.

While getting your licence may seem like a lengthy process, it can be broken down easily into the following steps. Full details of these steps are outlined on the Department of Transport (DOT) website.

Helpful Tip
If you want to get a moped (motorised scooter) then a person who has held a current driver’s licence for at least 2 years can teach you to ride one if you have a moped learner’s permit. You are eligible to get a moped licence before you get your car licence – check out the section on mopeds on the Department of Transport website for more information. This section is also useful for info on getting a motorbike licence too!

Getting your L plates

Before you can drive any vehicle on the road you need to have a current drivers licence or learner’s permit (L plates). You are able to get a learner’s permit to drive a car when you turn 16. To get your L plates you have to provide original documents of proof of identification, both primary and secondary at your nearest Licensing Centre. Locations can be found on the Department of Transport website. If you are under the age of 18 when you apply, you must have a letter of consent signed by your parent or legal guardian (this can be done through your case worker). You also need to pass an eyesight test and a short theory test on driving rules and road safety. You should prepare for the test by studying the Drive Safe book and taking the online learner’s permit practice quiz.

Primary Identification

  • Current passport
  • Full birth certificate or
  • Australian Citizenship certificate

Secondary Identification

  • A student card
  • Bank card
  • Letter with your identification on it

Helpful tip:

Tell your case worker when you are going in to get your L plates so they can get the documents together to make it easier for you – they may also go in to DOT with you if you want. Give them some warning so they can have them ready for you to avoid any hassles.

For more info on getting your L Plates click here

Develop your driving skills and safe driving habits

Once you have your L plates you are good to drive on the road. Pretty exciting hey? Like learning to ride your bike you first need to practice with your training wheels before driving by yourself. With your L plates you have to drive with either:

  • A qualified instructor, or
  • A person who has held a current and valid drivers licence for the class of licence specified on your permit for at least 4 years

This is your chance to practice, practice, practice! You may have a bit of difficulty in finding an appropriate instructor or individual to help you learn to drive then the best bet is to check out the Yellow Pages link below.

Helpful Hint:
Talk to your case worker about payment for all your learning to drive costs as they are required to assist you in getting your licence and payment of driving lessons. DCP will fund 10 driving lessons for you. For a breakdown of costs check out this link: How much will it cost to learn to drive?
Click here to find driving schools in WA. Refine the search on the left side of the screen by typing in your suburb name and pressing enter.

Practical driving assessment and Log Book

When you are at least 16 and 6 months you are eligible to take the driving assessment. This is a short driving test with an instructor. They’ll assess whether you can drive safely and perform normal driving maneuvers like parking and reversing. You need to book your test at a Licensing Centre by calling 13 11 56. There is usually a wait to get appointments so book in advance and make sure you’re on time to your appointment or you’ll miss it and have to go through booking it all again! You need to provide a car to sit the test so if you’re having lessons you can use the instructor’s car, otherwise you need to borrow a friend or family member’s. You can sit this test as many times as you need to (although it costs money each time), so don’t worry too much if you fail first time – lots of people do! For more information on this stage of getting your licence click here

Once you have passed the practical test you will be given a logbook where you have to record 25 hours of driving. You still need to drive with someone else, same as with the first part of your L’s. You must still continue to display your L plates during this stage.

Hazard Perception Test and P Plates

Once you are 17 and have finished your 25 hours all you need now is to pass your hazard perception test and congratulations, you have your licence!! This is a quick test you do on a computer (with a virtual road) at the licensing centre. You will then be given P Plates which you must display on your vehicle for 2 years. Click here for interactive practice tests to try out your skills.

Some useful community programs and websites

Community programs:

  • ‘Licensed for Success’ program run by Employment Directions in Northam. Phone: (08) 9622 0500. This program is for those wanting to obtain their driver’s licence but who may be struggling with finances, completing the theory Learner’s Permit test, getting lessons or finding a suitable car or supervisor to do the supervised driving hours. The program is based in Northam but is willing to support learner drivers from the metropolitan area as well. In any case, they are friendly and helpful so give them a call if you are needing help obtaining your license.
  • Indigenous Driver Training program: Contact PCYC Kensington (08) 9367 1282
  • Learn to Drive: RAC program and website for learner drivers and their supervisors. Parent Workshops also offered. Note: Keep your eye on the national keys2drive pilot program that is being rolled out across the country that includes offering every new driver one free driving lesson, accompanied by a supervisor.
  • Keys for Life: School Drug Education and Road Aware (SDERA) program to assist school staff to deliver pre-driver training to Year 10-12 students. The program provides an opportunity for young people to sit the written road rules test. Participating students receive free resources and a discounted rate on their Learner’s Permit.

Other websites:

  • Going Solo: A booklet developed by Monash University for carers/parents/supervisors of novice drivers.