Full Licence Full Licence

Full Licence

Now that you have your Restricted Licence, you can start preparing for the final stage of the process – getting your Full Licence. The key to this is to practise, practise, practise! Get the ball rolling by checking out our tips to get ready for your test.


Prepare for your Full Licence test in three steps:

1. Practise for your test

The first thing to remember when practising driving for your full licence is that you are still learning. This is particularly important to keep in mind when you are driving in high risk conditions, such as in fast-moving city traffic and on uneven terrain. We recommend continuing to drive with your coach until you feel at ease driving unaccompanied.
As well as driving with your coach, it’s also a good idea to continue getting professional driving lessons. A defensive driving course is a great way to find out your driving strengths and weaknesses and brush up on your skills. Your Driver Testing Officer may have mentioned some areas where you needed a bit more practise, so it’s a good idea to get your instructor to help you with these so you won’t be pulled up on them in your full licence test.

There are limitations for drivers on their Restricted Licence. While practising, you must:

  • Drive accompanied by a Full Licensed driver (who has had their Full Licence for a minimum of two years) between 10pm and 5am or when carrying passengers at any time.
  • The only passengers who may accompany you without a Full Licensed driver with you are:
    o A parent or guardian
    o Children who are under your care
    o Relatives who live with you and who are on a social security benefit
    o People that you are the primary caregiver of
  • Always carry your Restricted Licence with you while driving
  • Only drive an automatic car if you sat the Restricted test in an automatic, unless you are accompanied by a supervisor

2. Complete the booking process

You can complete the booking process:

  • At one of our driver licensing VTNZ stations or any of the other NZ Transport Agency’s driver licensing agents.
  • Online at NZ Transport Agency’s website

Before your test, you must also come to one of our driver licensing branches to do the following:

  • Your photographic Restricted Licence or if you are on a temporary licence, you will need to bring your current New Zealand passport or two other approved forms of identification as well
  • A medical certificate (if required)
  • The filled out application form (DL1) – you can do this ahead of time here
  • Any prescription glasses or contact lenses you currently wear (if applicable)

What you need to bring with you:

  • Fill out the application form (if you haven’t already)
  • Complete an eyesight screening check* or present your eyesight certificate
  • Have your photo taken and sign your autograph for your licence
  • Book a time to do your practical test (if you haven’t done so prior)
  • Pay for your test (if you haven’t done so prior). View current costs.

3. Sitting your test

The Full Licence practical test should take around half an hour, which includes checking your car and giving you feedback at the end. The test will involve you demonstrating safe and competent driving in a variety of different situations in a busy environment.

What you need to know about getting your Full licence

The minimum age is 18 (unless you’ve completed an approved advanced driving course, which means you can get your full licence once you turn 17½).

You must hold your restricted licence for a minimum time before you can get your full licence.

  • Drivers under 25 years
    – If you have completed an advanced driving course, then you must have held your restricted licence for at least 12 months.
    – If you have not completed a course, then you must have held your restricted licence for at least 18 months.
  • Drivers 25 or over
    – If you have completed an advanced driving course, then you must have held your restricted licence for at least 3 months before you can get your full licence.
    – If you have not completed a course, then you must have held your restricted licence for at least 6 months.

Find out more about the conditions of getting your full licence at Waka Kotahi nzta.govt.nz

Pre test checklist:

Five must do’s before you arrive for your Full Licence test

  1. Have you completed all requirements of the booking process?
    - Completed your application form?
    - Sat an eye exam or provided a relevant certificate?
    - Paid for your test?
  2. Do you have your Restricted Licence on you for the test? You need to bring your photographic licence in with you or, if you’re on a temporary licence, you’ll need to bring your current New Zealand passport or two other approved forms of identification. Visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more detail on what’s an acceptable form of identification.
  3. Have you checked your vehicle has:
    - A current Warrant of Fitness (WoF)?
    - A current rego (vehicle licence)?
    - A current road user charges (RUC) licence if you are using a diesel car?
    - A clean and tidy passenger seat for the testing officer?
  4. Have you developed your skills? Make sure you have spent enough time driving in a range of different situations before your test so that you feel confident and capable on the day. Drive is a free website for young drivers that has a video guide to help you pass your full licence test.
  5. Have you double checked when and where your test is? Make sure you know how to get to your test location and how long it takes to get there. It’s a good idea to arrive at least 30 minutes before your test. Have you checked your fuel? Make sure that the car you’re doing your test in has enough fuel to get to your testing location, complete the test and then get back home. If your test is the first of the day, check what time your location opens as you may not be able to get into the branch.

Bringing along a support person

Just like in the Restricted Licence test, you may bring a support person with you as long as they meet the requirements. If you are feeling very anxious and you think this will help you relax then we encourage you to do so. Remember that your support person must not distract you or your testing officer or you will have to re-sit the test.

Re-sitting your test

Don’t worry if you don’t pass on the first go – you can always try again. Your testing officer will explain why you weren’t successful and what you should work on before re-sitting your practical driving test. You will still be able to practise on your Restricted Licence.

When you’re ready to re-sit your test you will need to make another booking and pay the additional test fee.

What happens when I pass?

Be proud of yourself! It’s the testing officer’s favourite part of the day to say ‘you passed!’ and to hand you your temporary licence. Your photographic licence will be sent to you in the mail. You will have full freedom to drive your car whenever you like, wherever you like!

Any further questions?

  1. Check our frequently asked questions to see if your question has been answered.
  2. Visit NZ Transport Agency or call their Driver Licensing helpline on 0800 822 422.

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