Driver licences for remote residents

If you are a remote resident in the Northern Territory (NT), you can apply for a driver licence through the DriveSafe NT remote program.

This includes your:

  • learner driver licence (L plate)
  • provisional licence (P plate)
  • open/full driver licence (C class).

What you will get

When you attend DriveSafe NT, you will have access to the following:

  • learner theory classes
  • driving lessons with trained supervisor drivers - where available
  • practical driving tests for your provisional licence
  • learner and provisional driver licences.

The program can also give you advice. For example, if you need help providing your evidence of identity and residency.

How to attend

To access the program, you should attend a scheduled DriveSafe NT remote team visit.

Find about the DriveSafe NT team's scheduled visit on the DriveSafe NT website, Bushtel website, and through posters around the community.

You will need to fill in some forms with a DriveSafe staff member. They will also tell you the lesson times.

What you should do

To get your full licence, you must follow all of the steps below.

You must complete all of the following through the DriveSafe NT program:

  • attend a theory class
  • provide required identification documents
  • pass the eyesight test
  • get your photo taken.

If you're not a DriveSafe NT participant

If you don't participate in the DriveSafe NT program, you can complete some of the requirements at your local police station.

You should go to the DriveSafe NT website and:

  1. access the modules
  2. practice with the online practice test.

Once you have completed the above, you can do the following at a police station:

Receiving your licence

When your learner licence is ready, you will get it by mail.

Once you've received it, you must follow the next step.

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

As well as following all road rules and traffic laws, you must also follow all of the below:

  • have a zero blood alcohol concentration
  • not exceed 80km/h
  • display L plates at the front and rear of the car you're driving
  • have a fully licensed driver sit in the front passenger seat at all times while you're driving.

To sit your P test, you must hold your learner licence continuously for at least six months.

You should get as much practice as possible in different driving conditions - such as day, night and when it's raining.

Recommended practice hours

Your lessons can take about:

  • 20+ 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 - they 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:

Your driving test will be with a DriveSafe NT testing officer.

You can either drive:

  • the car provided to you by the testing officer or
  • your registered car.

You must bring your learner licence with you.

If you are not a DriveSafe NT participant

All other driving tests in remote areas are held at your local police station.

You must bring all of the following:

  • your learner licence
  • a registered car in good working order - with L plates on display
  • an adult driver to go with you to the test.

About the test

The testing officer will sit in the front passenger seat while you take your driving test on the road.

It will take about 40 minutes.

The testing officer will look at your:

  • observation skills - use of mirrors, blind spot checks
  • speed management
  • road positioning
  • response to hazards
  • vehicle control.

You will not pass the test if you:

  • fail to give way
  • fail to stop at a stop sign - even if there is no other traffic or cars
  • drive without due care, attention or consideration for other road users, or in a dangerous manner
  • exceed the speed limit
  • drive in a way that causes the testing officer to intervene to prevent a crash or a dangerous situation
  • fail or refuse to follow reasonable directions from the police officer.

At the end of the test, the testing officer will tell you the result of your driving test.

If you pass the driving test, you can get your provisional licence.

If you are a DriveSafe NT participant, you don't need to pay.

If you are not a DriveSafe NT participant

If you are not a DriveSafe NT participant, you need to pay the provisional driver licence fee. You can pay this at your local police station using cash.

Receiving your provisional licence

You will get your provisional licence by mail. It will have the same photo as the one on your learner licence.

Your provisional licence period depends on your age:

  • if you are under 25 - you will receive a two-year provisional licence
  • if you are 25 years old and over - you will receive a one-year provisional licence.

Restrictions for provisional drivers

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

  • zero blood alcohol concentration
  • not exceeding 100km/h
  • displaying your P plates at the front and rear of the vehicle.

Once you have completed the required time on your provisional licence, you can then upgrade to a full driver licence.

After you have completed your provisional licence period, you can get a full driver licence.

Four to six weeks before your provisional licence expires, you should receive a licence renewal notice.

You must pay the full driver 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 full licence if you:

  • held an NT provisional licence for 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 a Motor Vehicle Registry (MVR) office.


If you have any questions, email or call 1800 121 411.

Last updated: 31 August 2021

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