The second stage in getting your car licence is to get your restricted licence. This involves sitting a practical driving test.
You must have a driver with a full licence (for a minimum of two years) in the car with you at all times while you are driving on a learner licence. When selecting your coach, pick someone who will be supportive and help you learn.
Drive has resources for coaches who are teaching or are going to teach learner drivers. Let your coach know about these as it will help both of you get the best out of the experience.
There is no absolute rule about how many hours of driving practice you should have done before you are ready to sit your test. Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency) recommends around 120 hours, but depending on how your skills have progressed you and/or your coach may feel that you need slightly longer.
In addition to using your coach it is a good idea to book in a few lessons with a driving instructor. Using a driving instructor while preparing for your test can increase your likelihood of passing.
There are some great resources available to help you to develop your practical driving skills. Drive is a free website for young drivers that has video driving lessons and an insider guide to help you pass your restricted test.
While you are on your Learner Licence there a few rules to be aware of:
How do I know when I am ready to book my test?
You should be ready to take the test when you can confidently:
You can make a booking for your practical test:
Before your test, you must also come to one of our driver licensing branches to do the following:
What you need to bring with you:
The Restricted Licence practical driving test takes about an hour. This time includes checking your car at the beginning and receiving feedback at the end. Before you arrive to sit the test, make sure you have done everything on our pre-test checklist.
The testing officer’s feedback will include whether you have passed and an explanation of any errors made. This means that you know what to look out for when preparing for your Full Licence test.
The NZ Transport Agency sets the following conditions for a restricted licence.
Six must do’s before you arrive to sit your Restricted car licence test
You can bring a support person with you as long as they meet the requirements. If you are feeling very anxious about sitting the test and you think bringing a support person 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.
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 you re-sit.
They will then hand you back your learner licence so that you can continue practising. When you’re ready to re-sit your Restricted test you will need to make another booking and pay the additional test fee.
You will feel great – you would have worked really hard to get your Restricted Licence! You will be issued with a temporary licence and your photographic licence will be posted in the mail within 10 days.
You are now able to drive between 5am and 10pm without passengers. If you wish to drive with passengers, make sure you are familiar with the Restricted Licence conditions.
You have six to 18 months to prepare for your full licence test – or up to five years if you need more time. We encourage you to go for your full licence as soon as you are ready, so that you can have full freedom when driving – including driving with passengers. Go to Full Licence to find out more about the final stage.
We'll have you road ready in no time.