Learner Licence Learner Licence

Learner Licence

The first stage in getting your car licence is to get your Learner Licence. This involves sitting and passing a theory test based on the New Zealand Road Code.

What you need to know about your Learner Licence

  • You must be at least 16 years old to sit your Learner Licence test.
  • You can only drive with an accompanying driver (supervisor) who has held their Full Licence for a minimum of two years.
  • Your car must display learner (L) plates front and rear.
  • You may carry passengers but your supervisor has to agree to this.
  • You can drive most light vehicles (cars, vans, utes, mopeds).
  • You must have your Learner Licence for 6 months before applying for your Restricted Licence.

Find out more about Learner Licence conditions at nzta.govt.nz

Pre-test checklist

Six must dos before you arrive for your Learner car licence test.

  • Have you brought your current New Zealand Passport or two other approved forms of identification to confirm your identity? see our FAQs for a list of acceptable forms of identification.
  • Have you completed the DL1 Application for issue or Renewal of Driver Licence form? If you’re planning on filling one out at your local VTNZ branch you’ll need to arrive at least 30 minutes before your test.
  • Have you brought in any prescription glasses or contact lenses you currently wear for the eye test?
  • Have you paid for your Learner Licence test? Our branches accept cash, EFTPOS and all major credit cards (2% surcharge when paying by credit).
  • Have you studied? Make sure you review the Road Code before taking the test. Drive is a free website for young drivers that has an interactive road code to help you learn the road rules.
  • 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.

Prepare for your Learner licence test in four easy steps:

1. Study the Road Code

First up, make sure you get a copy of the latest Road Code.

  • You can purchase a copy from your nearest driver licensing branch. Check to make sure your local branch offers driver licensing. VTNZ branch
  • Or read it online



2. Practice for your test

In the appendices sections of the Road Code are all of the questions that could come up during your theory test. This is a useful tool to test your knowledge, and once you feel confident that you are able to answer the questions correctly it is a good idea to try a practice test.

There are a couple of great resources available online to help you practice for your test:

  • Drive is a free website for young drivers that has an interactive road code to help you learn the road rules.
  • You can also buy official practice tests. The practice tests are identical to the computer test you will complete to get your Learner Licence and will help you to become familiar with the official testing environment.

3. Complete your application

When you feel confident that you know the Road Code well, you’ll be ready to book your test. You can come visit our driver licensing branches and our team will help you complete your application.

What to bring in with you:

  • Your current New Zealand Passport or two other acceptable forms of identification to confirm your identity.
  • The filled out application form (DL1) - print it out and complete it ahead of time here.
  • A medical certificate or optometrist certificate (if required).
  • Any prescription glasses or contact lenses you currently wear.

At our branch you will need to:

  • Fill out the application form (if you haven’t already)
  • Complete an eyesight check
  • Have your photo taken
  • Book a time to do your theory test
  • Read about current fees
  • Pay for your test – Read about current fees here

4. Sit your test

You should be able to complete your test on the same day that you finish your application process (subject to availability), or you can book in for another day if you need some more time to prepare.

  • The test will consist of 35 questions with multi choice answers.
  • To pass, you need to get at least 32 questions correct, so take your time to read and think about each question.
  • You have 30 minutes to complete the test and can request more time if necessary.


Re-sitting your test

Don’t worry if you don’t pass on the first go – you can always try again. If you get more than three questions wrong or miss your appointment time, you will be required to re-sit your test.

You should be able to re-book and sit your test, including paying another fee, on the same day if you like. If you need some more time to study, you can book for a later date.

What happens when I pass?

You’ll feel a sense of achievement – and relief! You will be issued a temporary licence and your photographic licence will be posted in the mail within 10 days.

Make sure you pick up some ‘L’ plates for the next step. They can be purchased from the branch. You’re required to have your ‘L’ plates on the front and rear of your vehicle at all times while you’re learning to drive.

What’s next?

You have at least six months on your Learner licence to practice and become a confident driver before you can sit your Restricted Licence test. Head over to our Restricted Licence page to learn about the next step in getting your car licence.

Any further questions?

  1. Check our Frequently asked questions
  2. Visit the Waka Kotahi’s website or call their Driver Licensing helpline on 0800 822 422.

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