Learner Licence Learner Licence

Learner Licence

The first stage in getting your Motorcycle Licence is to get your Learner Licence. This involves an approved Basic Handling Skills Test (BHST) followed by a theory test based on the Official New Zealand Road Code for motorcyclists. Check out our tips to prepare for your test.

What you need to know about your learner motorcycle licence

  • You must be at least 16 years old to sit your Learner Licence test.
  • You must not ride between 10pm and 5am.
  • You must not carry any passengers on your motorcycle or moped or in any sidecar.
  • You must not tow another vehicle.
  • You must always have a learner (L) plate attached to the rear of your motorcycle or moped.
  • You must only ride a LAMS approved motorcycle.
  • You must have your learner licence for 6 months before applying for your restricted

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

Pre test checklist:

Six must do’s before you arrive for your Learner Motorcycle Licence test

  • Have you brought your current New Zealand Passport or two other approved forms of identification to confirm your identity and age? Check out our FAQs for more detail on what is an acceptable form of identification.
  • Have you completed the DL1 application for issue or renewal of driver licence form? If you’re planning to fill one out at your local VTNZ branch you’ll need to arrive at least 30 minutes before your test. If your test is the first of the day, check what time your branch opens.
  • Have you brought in any prescription glasses or contact lenses you currently wear for your eye test and licence photo?
  • Have you paid for your Learner Licence test? Our branches accept cash, EFTPOS and all major credit cards. Please note, there is a 2% surcharge for all credit card payments.
  • Have you studied? Make sure you know your road code for motorcyclists before taking the test. Check out roadcodepractice.co.nz to complete online mock tests that are similar to the test you will sit on the day.
  • 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. If your test is the first of the day, check what time your test location opens as you may not be able to enter until your test time.

Prepare for your Learner Licence tests in five easy steps:

1. Book and sit your Basic Handling Skills Test

A BHST lets you practise basic skills on your private property or at a training school, and makes sure that you have the skills to ride safely on the road. You can find assessors all over New Zealand.

2. Study the road code for motorcyclists
  • You can get the latest road code for motorcyclists at your nearest VTNZ branch
  • Or read it online at nzta.govt.nz
3. Practise for your test

All of the questions that could come up during your theory test are in the appendices section of the road code. 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 practise for your test:

  1. The NZ Transport Agency offers free online resources to test yourself on the questions that may come up in the test, including specialist questions for motorcyclists.
  2. You can also purchase official practice tests. The practice tests are identical to the theory test you will complete to get your Motorcycle Learner Licence so they are ideal for familiarising yourself before the big day.
4. 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 in to one of our driver licensing branches and our team will help you complete your application.

What to bring with you

Your current New Zealand passport or New Zealand photographic car licence. If you do not have access to either of these, you will need to bring in two other approved forms of identification. Check out our FAQs for more detail on what is an acceptable form of identification.

  • The filled out application form (DL1) – you can do this ahead of time here
  • A medical certificate (if required)
  • Any prescription glasses or contact lenses you currently wear

In-branch you will need to:

  • 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 theory test
  • Pay for your test – check the NZ Transport Agency for the current cost
5. Sit your theory 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 multi-choice questions. 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.


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 $45.70, 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?

That’s great – that’s the first part done! You will be issued with your temporary licence and your photographic licence will be posted in the mail.
Make sure to pick up an L plate – they’re available in branch for only $5.99. You’re required to have a L plate visible on the rear of your motorcycle or moped at all times while riding on a Learner Licence.

What’s next?

You have six months on your Learner Licence to practise and become a confident rider in preparation for your restricted licence test (Unless you are over 16 ½ in which case you may be able to progress straight to your Restricted Licence). The motorcycle you practise on must be LAMS-approved. Find out about getting your Restricted Motorcycle Licence.

Any further questions?

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

Visit one of our 80+ branches nationwide

We'll have you road ready in no time.