Get your driver licence

Office closures due to COVID-19 lockdown

Before you visit an MVR office, check for alerts on the find an MVR office page.

Read more on the NT Coronavirus website.

If you’re a Northern Territory (NT) resident and you're at least 16 years old, you can apply for a driver licence.

To apply for a driver licence, you must also be a Motor Vehicle Registry (MVR) customer. To become a customer, you must go to an MVR office with evidence of your identity and NT residency.

Before getting an open/full licence, you must get all of the below in the following order:

  • learner licence (L plate)
  • provisional licence (P plate).

If you live in a remote region, read about driver licences for remote residents.

Before you apply

Before you apply, you must learn the road rules by:

DriveSafe NT urban program

DriveSafe NT is a driver education training and licensing program for all motorists in Darwin, Palmerston Katherine and Alice Springs.

As a DriveSafe NT participant, you will receive:

  • education and training by qualified driving instructors and assessors
  • more than $600 in subsidies towards getting a driver licence.

To find out more about the DriveSafe NT program and to enrol, go to the DriveSafe NT website.

How to apply

Once you've learned the road rules, you can apply for your licence by following the steps below.

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After you've studied the NT Road Users' Handbook or attended all your DriveSafe NT theory classes, you can take the driver knowledge test (theory test).

Prepare for the test

Before you take the theory test, you can do any or all of the below:

About the theory test

The test has 30 multiple choice questions about the road rules in the NT. The questions are selected at random from a pool of more than 300 questions.

You must get at least 26 out of 30 questions correct to pass.

If you’re not confident with your reading or writing, or have difficulty understanding English, you can request the below at some MVR offices:

  • a verbal theory test or
  • an interpreter.

If you want an interpreter or a verbal theory test, you must call MVR on 1300 654 628 or attend an MVR office and:

  • check if verbal theory test or an interpreter is available in your area
  • book the test
  • pay the theory test fee before you can sit it.

How to take a test

To take a test, go to an MVR office and submit all of the following:

You must also pay the theory test fee. If you’re a DriveSafe NT participant, you don't have to pay.

If you pass and don't want to immediately apply for your licence, the result will remain valid for 12 months.

After the theory test

After you pass the theory test, you must:

  • pass an eye test at an MVR office
    • you can also provide a recent eye examination from your doctor or optometrist instead
  • pay the learner licence fee
    • if you’re a DriveSafe NT participant, you don't have to pay the first time you get your learner licence.

Renew your learner driver licence

If your learner licence is about to expire, you can renew it six weeks before it is due to expire.

To renew your learner licence, you need to redo the following:

By doing so, you will avoid breaking the six month period needed to take your practical test.

If you reapply for the licence after your learner licence expires, you must hold it for six months from the date it is reissued before you can take your practical test.

Receiving your licence

When your learner licence is ready, it will be mailed to the address shown on your driver licence receipt. If the address is not correct, you must contact MVR.

You must allow standard mail delivery times for your area.

After you get your driver licence receipt, you can start learning to drive.

Your learner licence has driving conditions, which include all of the following:

  • having a zero blood alcohol concentration
  • not exceeding 80 kilometres per hour
  • displaying L plates in a visible position at the front and rear of the car you're driving
  • having a fully licensed driver sit in the front passenger seat at all times while you're driving.

Prepare for the practical driving test

To get your P plates, you must hold your learner driver licence continuously for at least six months.

If your licence has been suspended, disqualified, cancelled or expired and you take a practical test, it won’t be valid. This means you must take another practical test after another six continuous months from when it is reactivated.

You should:

  • get as much practice as possible in different driving conditions and
  • use the NT Learner Drivers' Guide to record your progress.
Recommended practice hours

Your lessons can take about:

  • 20 or more hours to learn how to operate the controls of a car
  • another 80 hours to learn how to become a low-risk driver.

Supervising driver

Your supervising driver must have a full Australian driver licence and can be any of the following:

  • an adult relative
  • a friend
  • a driving instructor.

Before you take the driving test, you should read the following guide:

A guide to the driving test DOCX (3.5 MB)
A guide to the driving test PDF (938.4 KB)

You must also have held your learner licence for a continuous period of at least six months.

Find out how to book a practical driving test with an authorised driving examiner.

After you pass the test

After you pass the driving test, you must go to an MVR office and:

  • submit your test sheet
  • pay a provisional licence fee
    • if you’re a DriveSafe NT participant, you don't need to pay.

You must do this before your licence expires.

If you’d like a new photo, you must request this before you pay for the licence. Otherwise, it will have the same photo as the one on your learner licence.

If you request a new photo at a later date, you must pay for another copy.

Receiving your provisional licence

Your provisional licence will be mailed to the address shown on your driver licence receipt. If the address is not correct, you must contact MVR.

You must allow standard mail delivery times for your area.

Provisional licence period

The period of your provisional licence depends on your age:

  • if you're under 25 - you will receive a two-year provisional licence
  • if you're 25 and over - you will receive a one-year provisional licence.

Conditions for all provisional drivers

Your provisional licence has driving conditions, which include all of the following:

  • having a zero blood alcohol concentration
  • not exceeding 100 kilometres per hour
  • displaying your P plates at the front and rear of the vehicle.

After you've completed the period of your provisional licence, you'll be eligible for a full driver licence.

You must pay the full licence fee - unless you qualify for the free licence for safe novice drivers.

Free licence for safe novice drivers

You can get a free 10-year open C class licence if you:

  • held an NT provisional licence for a continuous period of 12 months or more
  • have no traffic infringements or suspensions
  • apply in the last six weeks of your provisional licence, or no later than six months after it expires.

The 10-year licence can only be issued from an MVR office.

Condition

After completing your provisional period, you must continue to observe the zero blood/breath alcohol concentration (BAC/BrAC) requirements for a further 12 months or until you turn 25 - whichever is sooner.

You must comply with the condition until you apply to have it removed from your licence.

Road safety resources

For road safety resources, online modules and information on classes and instructors, go to the DriveSafe NT website.

Contact

To find out more, contact the MVR.


Last updated: 27 September 2021

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