How to get a motorbike licence: A state-to-state guide

Disclaimer: This page contains a listing of motorcycle licensing requirements that are relevant to specific states and territories obtained from Australian Government Information & Services. Details are correct as of April 2020.

Quick overview

State Must be older than 16 Need proof of identity Driver knowledge test Need to hold an L, P
or open car licence
Can drive a moped
with a car licence
NSW
VIC
QLD
WA
SA
ACT
TAS
NT

For a more detailed breakdown, click your relevant state below:

NSW
VIC
QLD
WA
SA
ACT
TAS
NT

New South Wales

Key requirements:

  • You must be at least 16 years and 9 months old
  • Proof of identity
  • Complete a pre-learner course
  • Pass a rider knowledge test

Pre-learner course

If you live in a declared area of NSW, you must complete both the pre-learner course and rider knowledge test. A declared area is a location where the Rider Training Scheme is available.

Pre-learner course training centres in NSW. 

If you live in an un-declared area, you must book a rider knowledge test.

The pre-learner course is mandatory for people with no prior riding experience. The course runs for two days, with two blocks of 3.5-hour lessons.

The course includes:

  • Motorcycle and riding gear demonstrations
  • Pass/fail criteria
  • Certificate of Competency

Rider knowledge test

After completion of the pre-learner course, you will have to successfully pass the rider knowledge test at a NSW service centre.

On the day you will need to:

  • Pass your rider knowledge test
  • Pass an eyesight test
  • Prove your identity
  • Pay the licence fee

Once the above criteria are completed, your photo will be taken and a licence will be issued to you via the post.

Queensland

Key requirements

  • You need to have held a provisional or open car licence for at least a year to obtain a RE learner licence.
  • Complete the Q-Rider pre-learner course
  • Pass a motorcycle knowledge test
  • Be medically fit

Q-Rider learner course

The Q-Rider pre-learner course must be completed to obtain a learner’s licence. It’s designed to help new riders with basic motorcycle knowledge, training and operating. The course is broken into thirty-four modules, over a minimum of two days.

If you live in an area of Queensland further than 100km away from a Q-learning centre, you can apply for an exemption and alternatively take the motorcycle knowledge test.

The overall aim of the course includes:

  • Teaching learner drivers basic knowledge and skills of motorcycle best practice
  • Promote good riding attitudes and perceptions
  • Minimise risk of harm

Motorcycle knowledge test

You must complete the motorcycle knowledge test to obtain your learner’s licence.

You can practice the test online.

Once you pass the test, your RE licence will be sent to your selected address.

Victoria

Key requirements:

  • You must be 18 years or older
  • Be a resident of Victoria
  • Not disqualified from holding/getting a leaner’s permit
  • Pass a two-day learner course
  • Medically fit

Learner course

In Victoria, you must complete a two-day learner course to obtain your leaner’s permit. The modules have been designed to help new riders with technique, road rules, and safety.

The course includes:

  • An eyesight test
  • A learner permit knowledge test
  • An on-road and off-road assessment

Motorcycle knowledge test

The motorcycle knowledge test consists of 32 questions. You must pass with 78% or higher to obtain your leaner’s permit.

On-road assessment

The last component of the two-day course is an on-road motorcycle assessment. It will test your riding behaviors and your ability to manage a motorcycle. Before the assessment, you will have to demonstrate how you control the bike with skills you’ve learned throughout the course.

Ensure you bring:

  • Long sleeve top and pants
  • Enclosed footwear (boots/ runners)
  • Protective eyewear

After completing all modules of the course, you will be issued a learner’s permit that is valid for 15 months.

In Victoria, there are restrictions around the engine capacity of a learner’s motorcycle.

Northern Territory

Key requirements:

  • You must be at least 16 years old
  • Pass a rider knowledge test or verbal theory test
  • Pass a learner rider test
  • Proof of identity and residency
  • Complete a licence application

Rider knowledge test

The rider knowledge test is a core component of obtaining a learner’s licence in the Northern Territory.

The test consists of 30 multiple choice questions, selected out of 300 different questions.

To successfully pass, an individual must score more than 26 out of 30 questions correctly.

You can practice the test online. 

Verbal theory test

Alternatively, you can take a verbal theory test if you have difficulty reading and writing in English.

These tests are available at some MVR offices.

Learner riding test

There are two riding tests an individual can take to obtain their learner’s licence

  • Motorcyclist Education Training and Licensing (METAL) program pre-learner course
  • Motorcyclist operator skills test (MOST) – (only available in Darwin)

The METAL program includes:

  • Information about motorcycle road laws
  • Lessons on rider safety and awareness
  • Basic motorcycle control and skills
  • How to handle high-risk stations

The MOST program:

  • Can only be taken if you live in Darwin
  • You must be over 16 years old
  • Hold another licence – class C provisional, open or heavy vehicle licence
  • The test assesses your ability to control a motorcycle – starting, accelerating, turning, and breaking.

After passing the riders knowledge test and pre-learner practical test, you must pay the learner licence fee.

Your licence will be processed at the Motor Vehicle Registry Office.

Western Australia

Key requirements

  • You must be older than 15 years 6 months (R-N learner’s permit)
  • Must be older than 16 months (R-E learner’s permit)
  • Pass a motorcycle theory test
  • Hazard perception test
  • Complete driver licence application
  • Pay fees

R-N learner’s permit

Western Australians can apply for an R-N learner’s permit at 15 years and 6 months.

To obtain an R-N learner’s permit, you must pass a motorcycle theory test, hazard perception test, and practical riding assessment.

You must also complete 50 hours of supervised driving, including 5-night hours.

Once you pass all criteria, you will be given a licence that authorises you to ride R-N approved vehicles.

R-N learner restrictions:

  • You can only rise a moped that does not exceed 50km/h
  • The engine does not exceed 50cc
  • Is not powered by a piston engine

R-E Learner’s permit

Western Australians can apply for an R-E learner’s permit at 16 years of age.

You can apply for an R-E permit if you already hold a WA driver’s licence and want to ride an R class vehicle.

To obtain an R-E permit, you must pass a motorcycle theory test, a hazard perception test and a practical riding assessment.

Once you pass all criteria, you will be given a licence that authorises you to ride R-E approved vehicles.

R-E learner restrictions:

  • Cannot ride a motorcycle exceeding 660cc with a power to weight ratio that exceeds 150kW/t.
  • Only ride LAMS (Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme) motorcycles.

Australian Capital Territory

Key requirements

  • You must be at least 16 years old and nine months
  • Complete a rider-training course
  • Complete a pre-learner licence course (if you don’t own a licence)
  • Proof of identity

Pre-learner licence

You must pass a pre-learner licence test if you do not currently hold an ACT licence.

To obtain a pre-learner licence, you must:

  • Complete an eye test
  • Pass an ACT road rules test
  • Provide proof of identity
  • Pay a fee

Rider training course

Once you have your learner’s licence, you must pass the rider training course, which includes –

  • A two-day course, running for 3.5 hours per day
  • Learning the basic skills of motorcycle riding and control

After successful completion, you will receive a certificate that endorses you to a learner rider class.

Attend a Canberra Access Centre with your ACT driver licence and Motorcycle Rider Training Certificate to get your licence updated.

Tasmania

Key requirements:

  • You must be at least 16 years and 6 months old
  • Complete the motorcycle pre-learner training course
  • Complete an on-road assessment
  • Pay a fee

Pre-learner course

Tasmanians must complete a two-day course to obtain their learner motorcycle permit.

The course is designed to help individuals learn basic motorcycle skills, technique, and control.

Learners will receive:

  • Coaching tips on controls, mirrors, breaks, and gears
  • Strategies to combat risk riding scenarios
  • Tips on buying riding gear

Learners will have to successfully pass a motorcycle knowledge assessment as part of the two-day course.

On-road assessment

The last module of the two-day course is an on-road riding assessment.

Your riding instructor will take you to a pre-determined area to test your motorcycle control and skills.

The assessment includes:

  • Safe riding behaviors
  • Your ability to manage and control a motorcycle
  • Your ability to understand road laws

Once all criteria are completed, you must take your certificate and proof of identity to a Service Tasmania Shop, complete an eyesight test and pay a fee to obtain your licence.

South Australia

Key requirements:

  • Must be 17 years or older
  • Pass a rider safety course
  • Ride a learner approved motorcycle
  • Proof of identity

Rider safety course

The rider safety course is mandatory for obtaining a learner’s motorcycle licence in South Australia.

The course involves:

  • Basic motorcycle control skills including braking, cornering, gear shifting, and riding in a straight line
  • Control theory
  • A practical skills assessment

Once you pass the course, you will receive an Approval to Obtain a Learner’s Permit form to present at a SA Customer Service Centre.

The certificate is valid for 12 months.

Learner approved motorcycle

Learners with less than 12 months of experience are not permitted to ride high-powered motorcycles.

Approved R-DATE licence holders 

This page contains a listing of motorcycle licensing requirements that are relevant to specific states and territories obtained from Australian Government Information & Services. Details are correct as of April 2020.

This post was brought to you by Budget Direct Motorcycle Insurance

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