After you pass the learner's test

So you've passed your learner's test. Now what?

If you get at least 32 questions correct in the learner's test, the testing agent will give you a temporary learner's licence. This will be your licence until the real thing arrives in the mail.

The first thing you'll want to do is buy a set of learner's licence 'L plates' (if you don't have some already). It's a condition of your learner licence that you have these plates displayed on your vehicle at all times when you're learning to drive.

You can now start learning the basics of driving, and begin working towards getting your restricted!

There are some other important conditions of driving on a learner licence that you'll want to memorise:

  • You must have a supervisor sitting in the front passenger seat beside you at all times when you're driving. A supervisor can be anyone who holds a current full New Zealand driver licence, and has held that licence (or an overseas equivalent) for at least 2 years. They must also be in good condition to drive (e.g. they can't be drunk).
  • You must keep your learner licence on you at all times when you're driving. Your supervisor must also have their licence with them (and if you lose your licence card replace it online as soon as possible).
  • You're allowed to carry passengers, as long as you have a supervisor in the front seat, and they agree to it. The supervisor will be responsible for all people in the vehicle.
  • Like drivers at any licence stage, you must not drive in excess of your legal blood alcohol limit. For drivers under 20, that's zero - one drink will put you over the limit.  

Finding someone to help you learn to drive

One of the first things you'll need to think about when you get your learner's licence is whether to get training from a professional driving instructor, or from a friend or family member.

Driving instructors charge a fee for training, but they're experts in helping new drivers find their feet and become confident behind the wheel. On the other hand, a friend or family member might be willing to teach you for free. Some people feel more confident with a professional; while others enjoy being taught by a person they know.

Many learner drivers get a mixture of professional training and coaching from someone they know. You might want to get started with a driving instructor for a few lessons and then have practice sessions with a friend or family member, before hiring an instructor for more complex, possibly stressful lessons, like driving on a motorway. Your coach can then jump back in the passenger seat for some additional practice before you take the test.

If you do decide to get training from a friend or family member, you might want to show them the coach content available on Drive. There are some handy resources that might better equip them to help you become a great driver. And if you do get some lessons from a driving instructor, encourage your coach to come along and sit in the back, if they can, so they can pick up on the tips the driving instructor is giving you.

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