On your Ps

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NOTE: The information on this page is based on information provided by the VicRoads website (new window). We CANNOT ANSWER any specific questions about P plate restrictions. If you have a specific question about P plates and P plate restrictions you should contact VicRoads on 13 11 71.

Once you've got your probationary licence, you can hit the road unaccompanied. Don't get too cocky though - new drivers are far more likely to die or be injured in accidents, so make sure you don't become a statistic.

P1 and P2

There are two kinds of probationary licenses in Victoria:

  • P1 (red P plate), which lasts for at least the first 12 months of probationary driving
  • P2 (green P plate), which normally starts 12 months from when you get your P1 license and lasts for at least three years

There are slightly different rules and restrictions that apply to P1 (red) and P2 (green) P-platers - see "Rules and Restrictions" below for an overview.

If you are found guilty of any driving offences or you break any of the rules that apply to P1 or P2 license holders, you may have the duration of your P1 or P2 license extended as part of any penalties that are applied to you.

Rules and Restrictions

There are certain restrictions and rules while you're on your Ps.

If you obtained a probationary licence (P1 or P2) on or after 1 July 2008, you must abide by the following rules:

Peer Passenger Restriction for P1 Drivers

A P1 driver is not allowed to carry more than one "peer passenger" when driving.  A "peer passenger" is a person who is between 16 and 22  who is NOT a P1 driver's:

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Sibling or step-sibling

So, for example, if you're on your P1s you can drive your brother and your sister around (no matter what their age), as well as one other person between 16 or 22. You can't, however, drive three of  your mates around (unless two of them are over 22).

For more information, check out the VicRoads Peer Passenger Restriction page (new window).

Other Rules and Restrictions for P1 Drivers

As a P1 probationary driver, the following restrictions apply:

  • You're not allowed to tow anything unless you're doing it for work or you're under instruction
  • If your licence is cancelled or suspended as a result of a traffic offence, you're only allowed to carry one passenger in total (whatever their age) for the balance of your P1 period (there are exceptions to this rule)

Rules and Restrictions for P1 and P2 Drivers

The following rules and restrictions apply to both P1 AND P2 probationary drivers:

  • You can't drive high powered vehicles such as eight cylinder cars, cars with turbocharged or supercharged engines, or nominated high performance six cylinder cars (offences will attract a fine and three demerit points) - check out the VicRoads prohibited vehicles page (new window) for details
  • Any suspension, drink driving offence without licence cancellation or suspension, or drug driving offence will result in an extension of your current P1 or P2 period

Other rules that you should be aware of during your P1 or P2 probationary period include:

  • No mobile phone use, hands free or hand-held, or any messaging of any kind, is allowed
  • You can't have any alcohol or illicit drugs in your body
  • You must display your P-plates at all times when driving
  • You have to have your licence on you whenever you're driving
  • You will lose your licence if you get five demerit points in a year, or 12 over a three-year period
  • If you got your licence driving an automatic car, you aren't allowed to drive a manual car until you get a full licence or pass another drive test in a manual car.

For a full overview of restrictions on P-plate drivers, check out the VicRoads P Plate Restrictions page (new window).

Drugs and Driving

Most drivers are aware of the issues of drink driving, but drug driving is also a major contributor to road fatalities in Victoria. In 2003, 31 per cent of drivers killed in Victoria tested positive to drugs other than alcohol.

Under laws that have been in effect since 2004, Victoria Police can conduct random roadside saliva testing to detect drivers who've taken illicit drugs. The roadside saliva tests can detect the presence of both THC (the active component in marijuana) and methamphetamine (speed, ice, crystal meth).

The new random roadside saliva testing is aimed at making Victoria's roads safer for everyone by reducing the incidence of drug driving. For further information about random roadside saliva testing for illicit drugs call 1300 369 819.

Getting Your Full Licence

You will get your full licence when you have successfully completed your probationary P2 period. Once you've got your full licence you are still bound by the road rules and responsibilities (new window) that apply to all Victorian drivers. If you are unsure of any road rules, make sure you take the time to check them out.

Safe and happy driving!

Links

Road Safety Victoria
Info about the main safety issues for Victorian drivers - and particularly young drivers - including road design, speeding, drink driving, fatigue and vehicle safety.

VicRoads - Introduction to Licensing
Links, tips, information and answers to questions on dozens of licence and driving related topics including fees, types of licences, getting of Ls and getting your Ps.

Transport Accident Commission (TAC) - Safe Driving
Featuring a number of tools to help improve your safety while driving.