The practical driving test is an on-road test taken with a Roads and Maritime Services testing officer. The test assesses your driving skills, decision-making, road awareness, and how you share the road with other traffic.
To attempt the test you must:
- Be 17 or older
- Have passed your Hazard Perception Test
- Have held your learner licence for at least 12 months (unless 25 or older)
- Have completed your log book (unless exempt)
- Prove your identity
- Pass an eyesight test
- Pay the licence and test fees
It is important to remember that you are under no pressure to take the test as soon as you qualify. The most important thing is that you’re ready to drive unsupervised should you pass. As such, you can continue to practice on your learner licence until you feel confident in your ability to drive independently and safely. If necessary you can renew your learner licence, although you will need to pass the Driver Knowledge Test when renewing.
During the driving test an officer will direct you through a set course of 25 zones, and record your performance on a score sheet. Your score is based on your performance in a range of situations and your ability to demonstrate low risk behaviours. You are assessed against 5 key performance areas:
- Speed management
- Road positioning
- Decision making
- Responding to hazards
- Vehicle control
High risk driving behaviour (breaking a road rule or following too closely) will result in a fail regardless of your score. To pass you must achieve at least 90% with no fail items.
If you pass, you’ll be issued with your red Ps and can drive without supervision!
If you fail, you have to wait at least a week before attempting the test again.
Roads and Maritime Services have produced A Guide to the Driving Test aimed to assist in preparing for the test. Driving Test NSW provides a 17-page summary of this 44-page guide. This summary focuses on the most relevant and vital information that can contribute to your success in the practical driving test and is a highly recommended resource as you prepare for the test.
The Guide to the Driving Test and the Driving Test NSW summary provides all the relevant information you will require on the test.
When you attend your chosen test location at the time booked you will need to have a number of things with you:
- Completed Licence Application form
- Completed Learner Driver Log Book (unless exempt)
- Proof of identity
- A supervising driver who can accompany you after the test should you fail
- A suitable, roadworthy vehicle (refer to guide summary for details)
A testing officer and potentially a Roads and Maritime Services monitoring officer (though this is rare) will accompany you. If present, a monitoring officer is there to watch the testing officer and not you – so don’t be worried. No other person is permitted in the car during the test.
For administrative details including fees and booking information, refer to the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) website to ensure you access the most up-to-date and accurate information.
Check out the other resources available to help you pass the Practical Driving Test and get your provisional P1 licence (Red Ps):
For comprehensive information on the provisional P1 licence and practical driving test, please refer to the Roads and Maritime Services website. The above information is a summary of this content and although current when published may now be outdated. To ensure you are accessing the most current and accurate information, use the RMS website or visit your nearest Service NSW centre.