A Beginner’s Guide to Plate and License Restrictions in NSW

By Ruel
Driving 101

For those living in NSW, the license and plate restrictions can be a little confusing. These restrictions are often in place for younger drivers. So what exactly are the restrictions for learners' licenses with an L plate, P1 license, and P2 license? In this article, we will discuss their different restrictions to avoid further confusion.

L Plate Drivers

If you are an L Plate driver in NSW, this usually means that you only have a learners’ license. This kind of license and plate has a lot of various restrictions. These restrictions include the following:

  • You must always be supervised by another person who has a full driver’s license to ensure your safety
  • You are only allowed to drive cars and vehicles under 4.5 tonnes of gross vehicle weight
  • Your L Plate needs to be displayed clearly in the front and back of your car so that other drivers on the road are aware of your situation
  • You are not allowed to exceed speeds of 90 km/h

Breaking any of these restrictions or other traffic and driving laws will result in penalisation. It will also result in the demeriting of the driver holding the learner’s license.

P1 License Drivers

A P1 license is a full and proper license in NSW. However, this level of license still has its restrictions which can be found below:

  • Your P1 plate needs to be displayed visibly
  • You are not allowed to supervise a driver with a learner’s license
  • You are allowed to tow trailers with a maximum of 250 kg of unloaded weight
  • If you used an automatic transmission vehicle during your license test, then this is the only type of vehicle you can use when driving
  • You will not be allowed to handle high-performance vehicles
  • You are still only allowed to drive cars
  • If you are under 25, you may only carry one passenger that is under 21 years of age between 11 PM and 5 AM

While this is a full and proper license, a step up from the learner’s license, it still has a lot of restrictions. Make sure to follow this, or you could easily land up in jail.

P2 License Drivers

Once you have successfully held your P1 license for at least a year with no pending punishments or traffic violations, you can then apply for an upgrade to a P2 driver's license. This license has the least number of restrictions among the three, which are listed below.

  • You must observe speed limits, and you are only allowed to drive at a maximum speed of 100km/h
  • You are still not allowed to supervise a learning driver
  • You cannot drive high-performance vehicles

As you can see, there are lesser restrictions when it comes to P2 license drivers. This allows them a little more freedom, given that they have proven that they are more than capable of safe driving.

It is important to note that along with these restrictions, you will need to follow the more common laws of driving. Laws such as not texting while driving and not driving under the influence are a given, regardless of what license you possess.


Be safer on the road in NSW by being familiar with all the restrictions and laws for L Plate, P1 and P2 Drivers. Make sure to abide by these laws and stay safe on the road while protecting yourself and others.

If you are seeking a driving centre near Sydney, then Prestige Driving School is for you. Get high-quality driving lessons to earn your license with expert instructors, affordable prices and online booking. Contact us to learn more about our driving school lessons.

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