Motorbike Licence Requirements

Information on getting a motorbike licence in Australia

Owning and riding a motorbike or motor scooter for recreation, touring or every day transport can be exciting, cost efficient and a lot of fun. But it does come with its own risks and acquiring the skills required and having a good understanding of the road environment before you get your licence is not only a good idea, it is actually compulsory in many states of Australia.

The process and requirements for getting a motorcycle rider licence vary in different states and you can access the specific information at the relevant state government transport website.

Each state has restrictions on what motorcycles can be operated at different levels of licences, the Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme and other restrictions such as speed and blood alcohol concentration. Check the individual state transport websites for full details on licence restrictions.

This blog is designed to give you an overview of licence requirements only.

New South Wales

In NSW the process is a Graduated Licensing Scheme (GLS) and you must be minimum 16 years and 9 months to get started.

The process varies depending if you are in a ‘declared’ or ‘undeclared’ area and you can refer to the website for details of these areas.

If you are in a declared area the Motorcycle Rider Training Scheme is compulsory and in undeclared areas where this training scheme is not available, the Rider Knowledge Test and Motorcycle Operator Skill Test (MOST) applies.

First step is to get a Learner Rider Licence and that involves taking the Pre-Learner Certificate of Competence, proving your identity, passing an eye test and rider knowledge test and paying the fee.

To progress to a full rider licence basically involves:

Complete the pre-learner training course successfully

  • Pass the knowledge test to get your learner licence
  • Hold the learner licence for a minimum of 3 months and complete the pre-provisional course to attain your P1 rider licence.
  • You must hold a P1 licence for a minimum 12 months before you can apply for a P2 licence.
  • When you have held your P2 licence for 2 years, you can apply for your full rider licence.

These steps vary if you live in an area where training courses are not available – undeclared areas.

The Roads and Maritime Services gives a very important warning on its website that it is the only motorbike rider licensing authority in NSW. Apparently, there are organisations that claim they can issue rider licences but according to the RMS this is false.


In Queensland, there are two classes of motorcycle rider licences - RE Licence which is learner and RE Licence which is provisional, probationary or open.

In order to apply for a learner licence, RE Class, you have to have held a car licence (provisional, probationary or open) for at least a year.

You then need to successfully pass the motorcycle knowledge test and be proven medically fit to ride a motorcycle or scooter.

To progress from a RE learner to a RE provisional licence and then on to a R class licence, you must complete either a Q-Ride training program or a Q-Safe riding test.

As soon as you are granted a RE learner licence you can enrol in a Q-Ride course which are provided by registered providers. If you live outside a 100klm radius of where a Q-Ride course is available, you can take the Q-Safe riding test which is delivered by the official government examiners. You must have held your RE learner licence for 6 months before taking the test and during that time you can practice your riding with a supervisor.

On successful completion of the Q-Ride course, take your certificate, application form and identity evidence to the motor transport office to apply for an upgrade to a provisional licence.


Over the past few years, the Victorian government has been implementing stages of the Graduated Licensing System (GLS) and stage 2 came into effect in March and April 2016.

From April 2016, in order to get a learner permit, you must be 18 years old or older, and pass on on-road skills check, eyesight test, motorcycle learner knowledge test and if you don’t already hold a motor car driving licence, you will also need to pass the car learner permit knowledge test.

Valuable training can be acquired from accredited training organisations to assist with your skills test.
Once you have held your learners licence for a minimum of 3 months you can apply for your full licence. This involves an eyesight test, a hazard perception test and a practical ride/skills assessment test.

South Australia

In South Australia, there are five stages to get your motor ride licence.

Stage 1: You must complete the Basic Rider Safe training course that teaches the skills necessary to ride a motorcycle and you can enrol at Service SA service centres. You must have a current driver’s licence to enrol in this course or first pass a theory test. On completion of the course you will be issued and endorsed Approval to Obtain a Learner’s Permit.
Stage 2: Present your Approval to SA service centre to be issued with your learner’s permit.
Stage 3: Undertake and successfully complete the Rider Safe course.
Stage 4: On completing this course you, present your certificate of competency to SA customer service centre to apply for your R-date licence. Under this licence you are still restricted to ride learner approved motorcycles.
Stage 5: After holding this licence for 12 months you can apply for your R-class licence, which is unrestricted in terms of bikes you can ride

Western Australia

In WA you need to be 16 years of age to apply for a learner’s permit and then learn to ride so you can pass the practical driving assessment to obtain your R-E licence.

Once you have achieved this level you need to complete and record at least 25 hours of supervised riding in your official log book over a period of at least 6 months.

With this completed and once you reach 17 years of age you can take the Hazard Perception Test. With this passed you will be granted a provisional licence so you can ride without supervision and build your experience.

You will need to hold this provisional licence for at least two years or until you reach 19 years of age, whichever is the longer before applying for a full licence.


If you live in Tasmania you must be 16 years and 5 months and successfully complete the pre-learner course in order to obtain your learner licence.

These competency-based courses are conducted by accredited providers and consist of two, half-day sessions.

On completion, you will be given a Certificate of Completion which you require to be issued with a learner licence.

To progress to the P1 licence, you must be 17 years of age and hold your learner’s licence for a minimum of 6 months and successfully complete the pre-provisional training course.

For more information and full details of obtaining a motorcycle licence in your state, contact the relevant state transport department.

And when you’re ready to ride, contact Jade Bike Loans to discuss finance for your first ride!

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