Different NSW Driver Licence Classes
Wondering what kinds of different NSW driver licence classes there are for both learners and fully-licenced drivers? Let’s take a look at the different classes of licence now, and explain the basics about each one.
Learner & Provisional Licence Classes
The NSW system uses a three-tiered, progression-based licencing system consisting of the three follow licences.
- Learner licence – To obtain this class of licence in NSW, you must be 16 years old. You will also have to verify your identity, pass an eyesight test and take the DKT (Driver Knowledge Test and pay for any licensing and test fees.
Your learner licence is valid for up to 5 years. You can only drive under the supervision of a fully licenced driver. After you have held your licence for 10 months, you can take the HPT (Hazard Perception Test). Once you’ve driven for 120 hours (including 20 hours night driving) you can take a driving test to apply for your provisional P1 licence.
- Provisional P1 licence – Once you have completed the HPT, driving test and 120 hours of driving practice, you can apply for a P1 licence. This licence is valid for 18 months.
You can drive alone, but there are restrictions on your driving hours and other such things. Once you’ve had your P1 licence 12 months or longer, you can progress to a P2 licence.
- Provisional P2 licence – After holding your P1 licence for 12 months, you can get a provisional P2 licence. Once you’ve held this licence for 24 months, you can apply for a full driver licence. Note that at this time, you can also upgrade to the LR, MR, or HR heavy vehicle licence.
There are numerous licence classes issued by Roads and Maritime Services for fully licenced drivers in NSW, each of which allow you to handle different class of vehicle. Additional competency based assessment tests are required for each class of licence.
- C licence – A C (car) licence is the most common. You can drive cars up to 4.5 tonnes in Gross Vehicle Mass, which seat up 12 adults including the driver. These car licenses let you drive vans, utes, cars, and some light trucks as well as some implements like graders and tractors.
- R licence – An R (rider) license lets you drive vehicles like motorcycles and motorized scooters.
- LR licence – LR (light rigid) lets you drive vehicles of a GVM of between 4.5-8 tonnes. Towed trailers cannot weigh more than 9 tonnes. You may also drive vehicles that hold more than 12 adults including the driver.
- MR licence – MR (medium rigid) licences let you drive rigid vehicles with 2 axles and a GVM of more than 8 tonnes. You cannot tow trailers of more than 9 tonnes.
- HR licence – HR (heavy rigid) licences let you drive vehicles with 3 or more axles and a GVM of more than 8 tonnes. You cannot tow trailers exceeding 9 tonnes. This category includes articulated buses.
- HC licence – HC (heavy combination) licenses let you drive articulated vehicles with more than 3 axles. You can tow trailer combinations exceeding more than 9 tonnes.
- MC licence – MC (Multi combination) licenses let you drive any vehicle such as a b-double truck and road train.
Know Which Licence Is Right For You!
Most drivers only get a C licence, but depending on the vehicles you want to drive, any of the above licence categories may be right for you. So take the time to understand each one, and choose the licence that’s right for your needs.
Become A Safer Driver
If you want to improve your driving skills with a refresher course or become a safer driver, then book driving lessons with Sydney’s premier driving school, LTrent. We also offer the Safer Drivers Course, which not only will help you hone in your driving skills, but the course amounts to 20 hours for your logbook if you are a learner driver. To get started book online, or give us a call on 02 8748 4500.