Learn to Drive Program

Do you want a Tasmanian driving licence?

In Australia getting a driving licence takes time, money and a lot of effort. The Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania (MRC Tas) Driving Program can help you at each step so you can get a licence safely and legally.

The MRC Tas Driving Program is for people from refugee and migrant backgrounds in their first five years of settlement in Australia.

To get your Driving Licence you need to study the road rules, have money for lessons, find a volunteer, have the time to do practice, and you need some English. It’s not easy, but it is possible!

The program has COVID-safe protocols for the safety of all participants.

From 1 December 2020 the steps to get a license in Tasmania are changing.

If you are a new driver review the changes as it may be different to what you have learnt from friends and family.

Pre-learner stage

To obtain your L Licence, you need to demonstrate that you have learnt the road rules by taking a knowledge test.

The knowledge test can only be undertaken at Service Tasmania.  It takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes.

To learn about the road rules visit www.thelaw.tas.gov.au or download the road rules book here, you can also view ‘learn to drive’ videos here.

You can also come along to Car Café at MRC Tas in Glenorchy.

Start with a driving instructor

To use the MRC Tas Driving Program you need to first learn with a driving instructor. After 10 lessons, ask your instructor to feedback to MRC Tas on:

  • How you use the car’s controls (such as brakes, steering wheel and gears) to control its movement
  • How you use the car’s controls and follow road rules without thinking about them
  • Your early higher order driving skills (decision making, scanning and hazard perception)

Good feedback means that you have spare attention to spend on developing higher order driving skills.

This means you can safely start driving practice with a volunteer in the MRC Tas Learner Driver Mentor Program (LDMP) vehicle.

Practice with a volunteer

You need a logbook of 80 hours of driving practice, including 15 hours of night driving. You also need to pass a hazard perception test.

Driving practice with a volunteer helps you continue to develop your decision making, scanning and hazard perception skills during these hours of practice.

Your volunteer will give you feedback about:

  • How you identify and respond to hazards
  • How you make decisions on your own
  • Whether you are noticing and fixing your mistakes

When you think you have enough higher order driving skills to go for your P licence, it is a good idea to do a practice driving test with your driving instructor.

Your Driving Assessment
To get your Provisional licence you must pass the P driving test. The P1 driving test looks at how automatic your car control skills are and how much spare attention you have. It also looks at your driving decisions and how well you recognise and respond to hazards whilst driving in traffic.

Provisional (P1) Licence
Once you have successfully passed your P1 driving test you will obtain your P1 licence. A P1 licence means that:

  • You must hold this licence for a minimum of 12 months.
  • You must display Red P plates on your car for one year when you drive.
  • You can not have any alcohol in your system when you drive.
  • You can not use a hands-free mobile when driving.
  • You can not exceed 100 km / hour at any time.
  • You have less licence points and risk licence loss with driving offences.

Provisional (P2) Licence
Once you have had your P1 Licence for a minimum of 1 year you are eligible to obtain your P2 Licence.

  • You must display Green P2 plates for the following time period before being eligible for your full licence:
    – Aged under 23, for a minimum of 2 years
    – Aged over 23, for a minimum of 1 year
  • You can not have any alcohol in your system when you drive.
  • You can use a hands free mobile when driving.
  • You can drive to the maximum signed speed limit.

Safer driver reward

If you have all your licence points at the end of the P2 period, you are rewarded for being a safer driver with a free three year licence. This saves you $75.75 and makes the roads safer for all of us.

We can help you learn road rules with an interpreter and volunteers. This saves you time and money.

If you want help with this, visit Car Café or Youth Drop-in, and look at the events page for school holiday programs.

It is important that you practice listening and speaking English. This will help you to learn to drive safely with a Driving Instructor or volunteer and pass your test successfully.

You can get ready for working with a volunteer by practising conversational English for driving.

If you want help with this, visit Car Café or Youth Drop-in, and look at the events page for school holiday programs.

We can help you understand the different options you have. This can be saving, using a Centrelink advance, or a No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS).

The minimum repayment for a NILS loan is $20/fortnight for your first 10 driving lessons.

Some driving schools have cheaper lessons when you buy 5 or 10 lessons at one time.

If you want help with this, phone us on 03 6221 0999 for information or an appointment.

Both MRC Tas cars are automatic, dual-controlled and insured. This is safer for you and for volunteers.

If you have your L1 licence, you can get a minimum of 10 free practice sessions with us. You need to pay for 10 lessons with a driving school first. Ask a driving instructor to fill this form out after your 10th lesson, and bring it to MRC Tas Tuesday Drop-in or Youth Drop-in.

If you have your L2 licence, you can get a maximum of 50 free practice sessions. You need to pass the L2 test first and bring your licence to Tuesday Drop-in or Youth Drop-in.

If you have an Overseas licence/learner licence, you need to ask a driving school to assess your skill level as either L1 program or L2 program. Ask a driving instructor to fill this form out after having a practice test, and bring to Tuesday Drop-in or Youth Drop-in.

If you want to use the MRC Tas car for your driving test, you need feedback from a driving instructor that you’re ready to sit the test. Book a practice driving test with a driving school and ask the driving instructor to fill this form, and bring it to Tuesday Drop-in or Youth Drop-in.

You can get this file from MRC Tas or simply print yourself at a Library or Officeworks.

We can help you to understand how community members can register as volunteers with MRC Tas to drive with you. The faster you find your volunteer, the faster you start practising.

For help you can phone us on 03 6221 0999 for advice or an appointment.

Phone: Call TIS for an interpreter 131 450 and then call MRC Tas 03 6221 0999 to ask about driving. Email: driving@mrctas.org.au

Adults: Appointments with interpreters are made for humanitarian entrants in the initial 5 years of settlement. Digital, phone and email advice is available for all learner drivers.

Youth (aged 15 – 25): Visit every Wednesday, 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm at MRC Tas, Level 2, 1a Anfield St Glenorchy

Licence system in Tasmania: https://www.platesplus.tas.gov.au/index.php#content

Driver Mentoring Tasmania provides programs that are suitable for those with high levels of English: https://drivermentoringtasmania.org.au/

Watch videos about road rules: https://www.transport.tas.gov.au/licensing/getting_your_car_licence/learn_to_drive_videos

The top 10 road rules mistakes: https://www.rsac.tas.gov.au/road-users/top-10-misunderstood-road-rules-tasmania/

Practice the road rules test online: https://www.transport.tas.gov.au/drkts

No Interest Loans: https://nilstasmania.org.au/Wbsite/Essentials

Phone numbers of driving schools: https://www.yellowpages.com.au/search/listings?clue=driving+school&locationClue=Greater+Hobart%2C+TAS&lat=&lon=&selectedViewMode=list

Print a page from the logbook or road rules book: https://www.transport.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/108963/Novice_Driver_L2_Logbook_internet.pdf

Learn about the one free lesson from Keys to Drive if you have never had a driving licence before: https://www.keys2drive.com.au/

If you are new to Tasmania, learn about the hidden dangers in our road environment: https://www.rsac.tas.gov.au/visitingdrivers/

Are you interested in becoming a Learner Driver Mentor? Do you have 2 hours a week to help our learners get their drivers licence? MRC Tas has 2 dual controlled cars, fully insured and we provide petrol too! Learner Driver Mentors provide on-road driving sessions to learner drivers eligible for the L1 or L2 program. Learner Driver Mentors work as a team directed by program coordinator, in collaboration with driving instructor, and driving assessors. To become a Driver Mentor you must:

  1. Hold a current full Australian car licence (either auto or manual)
  2. Be at least 25 years of age and 2 years on full licence (for insurance purposes)
  3. Obtain a National Police Check (we can help you with this)
  4. Obtain a Working with Vulnerable People Check (we can help you to register)
  5. Be willing and able to follow protocols for COVID-safe services

To enquire about volunteering with the MRC Tas Learn to Drive program, please email driving@mrctas.org.au

Thank you to the funders that support the MRC Tas Driving Program:

  • The MRC Tas Driving Program Coordination – Tasmanian Government
  • MRC Tas Settlement Services – Department of Home Affairs