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Provisional licence restrictions

Certain restrictions apply when you drive using a P1 or P2 licence. These restrictions also apply if you are driving on a probationary P1 or P2 licence after serving a suspension.

Peer passenger restriction

If you are driving on a P1 licence between 11pm and 5am, and you are under 25, you can only carry 1 passenger under the age of 21 who is not an immediate family member.

An immediate family member includes a:

  • brother or sister of the driver
  • stepbrother or stepsister of the driver
  • child, stepchild, foster child or ward of the driver
  • spouse (including de facto partner) of the driver
  • stepparent of the driver
  • guardian of the driver
  • approved carer of the driver (if the driver is a child)
  • child, stepchild, foster child or ward of an approved carer of the driver (if the driver is a child)
  • foster child or ward of a parent or stepparent of the driver
  • child, stepchild, foster child or ward of a guardian of the driver
  • spouse (including de facto partner) of a grandparent of the driver.

Mobile phone restrictions

Using a mobile phone held in your hand while driving is illegal. If you need to use your mobile phone, pull over and park in a safe place first.

P1 licence holders are not allowed to use:

  • hands-free kits
  • wireless handsets
  • loudspeaker functions.

These restrictions don’t apply to P2 licence holders but they can only use a hand-held mobile phone if they have pulled over and parked in a safe place.

This table explains the mobile phone restrictions. Hands-free is only when 1-side of the conversation can be heard.

Licence type and age Hands-free Wireless headsets Mobile phone on speaker setting
P1 licence holder under 25 Not allowed Not allowed Not allowed
P1 probationary licence holder Not allowed Not allowed Not allowed
Passengers of a P1 licence holder who is under 25 Allowed Allowed Not allowed
Passengers of a P1 probationary licence holder Allowed Allowed Not allowed

Passengers of P1 or P1 licence holders can use hands-free kits and wireless headsets if the driver can only hear 1-side of the conversation and is not distracted.

Penalties for using mobile phones illegally

Using a mobile phone in your hands is illegal if you are driving—this includes when you are stopped at traffic lights and includes making and receiving calls or texting.

You can get a fine and have 3 demerit points recorded against your traffic history.

High-powered vehicle restrictions

High-powered (performance) vehicle restrictions apply to P1 and P2 licence holders under the age of 25.

These restrictions also apply if you are returning from a disqualification to a P1 or P2 probationary licence, and you were under 25 at the time of the offence. These restrictions apply for the duration of the probationary period regardless of your age.

If you are caught driving a high-powered vehicle and you do not hold an exemption, you will receive a fine and demerit points.

Changes to the definition of high-powered vehicles

From 1 January 2014, a new definition for a high-powered vehicle has been introduced for cars manufactured on or after 1 January 2010. A car manufactured on or after this date is a high-powered vehicle if it has:

The power-to-weight ratio is calculated by dividing the car’s maximum engine power in kilowatts (kW) by the tare mass and multiplying the result by 1000.

For example, the power-to-weight ratio of a car that has a maximum engine power of 195kW and a tare mass of 1,667kg would be calculated as:

  • (195 ÷ 1667) x 1000 = 117kW/t.

The existing definition will continue to apply to cars manufactured before 1 January 2010. Under this definition a car is a high-powered vehicle if it has:

The following vehicles are exempt and can be driven on a P1 or P2 licence:

  • Suzuki Cappuccino 2D Cabriolet Turbo 3 657–698cc (1992–1997)
  • Daihatsu Copen L880 2D Convertible Turbo 4 659cc (2003 or later)
  • Smart Fortwo Coupe 2D Turbo 3 698cc (2000 or later)
  • Smart Fortwo Cabriolet Turbo 3 2D 698cc (2000 or later)
  • Smart Roadster Turbo 3 2D 698cc (2000 or later)
  • Toyota Landcruiser.

Check if your vehicle has been approved for driving by P1 or P2 licence holders.

Apply for high-powered vehicle exemption

You can apply for an exemption, and if granted, you will be given a certificate which you must always carry while driving the high-powered vehicle.

To apply:

You are eligible to apply for an exemption to drive a high-powered vehicle if any of the following situations apply to you.

Personal circumstance grounds

You can prove you need to drive a high-powered vehicle:

  • to or from your place of employment
  • in the course of your employment
  • to or from the education institution you attend
  • to get medical treatment for yourself or a family member.

In addition, you must prove that:

  • there is no other transport reasonably available to you
    and
  • refusal to issue you a certificate of exemption will cause severe hardship to you or your family.

Your traffic history will also be taken into consideration.

Vehicle ownership grounds

You can prove the only car reasonably available to you is a high-powered vehicle that:

  • if manufactured on or after 1 January 2010—was owned by you on 1 January 2014 and you still own it
  • if manufactured before 1 January 2010—was owned by you on 30 June 2007 and you still own it
  • is owned or leased by an immediate family member
  • is in the possession of an immediate family member under an employment or salary package.

In addition, you must prove that:

  • there is no other transport reasonably available to you
    and
  • refusal to issue you a certificate of exemption will cause severe hardship to you or your family.

Your traffic history will also be taken into consideration.

Moderately powered vehicle grounds

The car you wish to drive was manufactured before 1 January 2010 and has:

  • a turbocharged or supercharged engine that is not diesel powered
  • a maximum power-to-weight ratio of 125kW/t
  • no other features of a high-powered vehicle as outlined above.

You can calculate the power-to-weight ratio of a car by dividing its maximum engine power in kilowatts by the kerb weight and multiplying the result by 1000. For example, a vehicle with a maximum engine power of 195kW and a kerb weight of 1,667kg would have a power-to-weight ratio of 117kW/t.

Check your vehicle online—moderately powered vehicles are marked ‘Application required’.

Late night driving restriction

A late night driving restriction is imposed if:

  • you accumulate excessive demerit points resulting in either a good driving behaviour period or a licence suspension
    or
  • your licence is suspended for committing a high speed offence.

A late night driving restriction is only imposed if, at the time of the offence, you were under 25, and held a provisional or probationary licence or you did not hold a valid licence and were not eligible for an open licence.

A late night driving restriction is also imposed if you are disqualified from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence, if you committed the offence when you were under 25 and held provisional, probationary or open licence or did not hold a valid licence.

A late night driving restriction will apply for 1 year and means you can’t drive between 11pm and 5am. The restriction will still apply even if you upgrade to an open driver licence or add another class to your licence.

The date your late night driving restriction starts will depend on why it is being applied.

If you choose a good driving behaviour period, the late night driving restriction will start on the same day the good driving behaviour period starts.

If you are suspended, the late night driving restriction will start the day after your licence suspension period ends.

However, if you apply for a special hardship order, and you committed the offence(s) on or after 1 January 2014, your late night driving restriction will start either the day the court grants the special hardship order, or—if the court does not grant a special hardship order—the day after the amended suspension period ends.

If you are disqualified by a court, the late night driving restriction will start:

  • if the offence was committed before 1 January 2014—the day you reapply for your driver licence after the disqualification period ends
  • if the offence was committed on or after 1 January 2014—the day after your disqualification period ends.

If you are granted a restricted (work) licence by a court, the late night driving restriction will start:

  • if the offence was committed before 1 January 2014—the day after you have completed your work licence order period
  • if the offence was committed on or after 1 January 2014—the day the court grants the work licence order.

Penalties for breaking your restriction

You will be penalised if you drive between 11pm and 5am and you have a late night driving restriction, or you have an exemption but you don’t have your exemption certificate with you. You may be fined and get demerit points.

Apply for a late night driving restriction exemption

You can apply for an exemption from the late night driving restriction if you can prove that both of the following circumstances apply to you:

1. You need to drive for a purpose
You must need to drive late at night:

  • to or from your place of employment
  • in order to carry out the duties of your employment.

2. Refusal of an exemption will cause severe hardship
You must prove that you or your family will suffer severe hardship if an exemption is refused.

This means severe hardship suffered by you, or your family, because you have taken on a role of special responsibility for your family, like providing financial support.

Some examples of this special responsibility include:

  • You will lose your job if you can’t drive to work between the hours of 11pm and 5am and you provide financial support to your family.
  • You are a shift worker and your job requires you to travel between the hours of 11pm and 5am and you need to work to provide financial support to your family.

Your employer must support your application

Submitting an application does not guarantee that it will be approved. We will tell you the result of your application in writing within 10 working days of you submitting your application.

Applying in person

You will need to:

Applying by mail

You can send your exemption application form and fee (cheque or money order payable to the Department of Transport and Main Roads) to:

Department of Transport and Main Roads
CPU (Exemptions)
PO Box 2167
MANSFIELD QLD 4122

Last updated
3 July 2014

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