The drive test

The drive test checks to see if you're ready to drive safely on your own with other traffic. You must pass the drive test to get a Victorian driver licence.

Book an appointment to take the drive test


The drive test consists has two stages

  • a pre-drive check (stage 1) and
  • on-road driving (stage 2).

The on-road driving component is divided into 2 parts - A and B. You must pass part A in order to progress to part B.

You need to check the items below to ensure the vehicle you plan to use is suitable for the drive test:

  • be clean, registered and in roadworthy condition
  • have a working primary speedometer that can be seen from the passenger seat (see below for more info on supplementary display)
  • have both driver and passenger side mirrors
  • have a functioning windscreen and rear window demister (where fitted)
  • have a seatbelt for all occupants
  • be able to maintain a comfortable temperature
  • display ‘L’ plates
  • have working headlights
  • have a handbrake that the licence testing officer can operate if required. Vehicles fitted with electric or foot operated park brakes cannot be used for solo tests 
  • have working doors
  • have normal manual transmission if you want a manual driver licence issued.

Unacceptable drive test vehicles

The following vehicles cannot be used in a drive test for legal, safety and practical reasons.

  • A taxi or tow truck which is licensed so that it can be only used by a Drivers Certificate (DC) or Tow Truck Driver Authority (DA) holder
  • Vehicles registered as primary producer vehicles
  • Left hand drive vehicles (this includes heavy vehicles when the vehicle has dual controls - the driver must use the right hand side controls)
  • Vehicles carrying dangerous goods
  • Unregistered vehicles displaying 'trade plates'
  • Armoured security vehicles
  • Vehicles without a reverse gear
  • Vehicles issued with a Club Permit or Street Rod Permit.

Before you begin the on road component of the drive test, the licence testing officer will instruct you to:

  1. Identify and operate the following vehicle controls:
    • indicators
    • windscreen washer and wipers
    • horn
    • headlights (high and low beam)
    • hazard lights
    • brake lights.
  2. Identify the handbrake.
  3. Identify but not operate the following vehicle controls:
    • windscreen demister
    • rear window demister (where fitted).
  4. Start the engine.

If you are unable to satisfy items 1 and 2, or if any of the controls are not operating correctly, you will not be permitted to take the drive test.

If you are unable to identify a control in item 3, you will be shown the control. If during the drive test, a situation occurs which requires the use of one of these controls and you require assistance, the drive test will be terminated and you will be unsuccessful.

You must consistently demonstrate safe driving behaviours while driving in different traffic conditions. During the drive test, the licence testing officer will be assessing you on:

  • observation
  • signal use
  • gap selection
  • speed choice
  • following distance
  • lateral position
  • stop position
  • parking
  • control.

For more information please refer to the Driving Instructors Drive Test Criteria [PDF 1.8 Mb].

Stage one is designed to assess your safety as a driver in less challenging conditions. The testing officer will give you simple, clear instructions during the test (eg. at the next street, turn right). You must follow their instructions and show that you can drive safely and efficiently. If you’re unsure of an instruction, ask for it to be repeated.

Stage one will take about 10 minutes to complete. The testing officer will then instruct you to stop safely at the kerb while they calculate your score.

If during stage one, you do anything unsafe or illegal, the drive test will be terminated and you will be unsuccessful.

Stage one may include

  • Starting and stopping the vehicle.
  • Left and right turns at intersections.
  • Changing lanes.

Stage one also includes a low speed parking manoeuvre. The testing officer will instruct you to complete one of the following:

  • reverse park
  • three point-turn.

Talk to your driving instructor or supervising driver if you’re unsure about how to do these.

If you pass stage one you will progress to stage two. Stage two is conducted in busier traffic and is designed to assess your ability to safely execute normal driving tasks. The testing officer will give you simple, clear instructions during the test (eg. at the next street, turn right). You must follow their instructions and show that you can drive safely and efficiently. If you’re unsure of an instruction, ask for it to be repeated.

Stage two will take about 20 minutes to complete.

If during stage two you do anything unsafe or illegal, the drive test will be terminated and you will be unsuccessful.

Stage two may include

  • Driving in busy traffic.
  • Changing lanes.
  • Merging with other traffic.
  • Driving on straight and curved roads.
 

Feedback about your results

After you have completed the drive test, the licence testing officer will give you feedback and advise whether you are successful or unsuccessful. You will be told if there are areas of your driving that needs improvement.

If you are successful, this feedback will help you to become a safer driver. In your first year of solo driving, there is a higher risk of crashing. Use the feedback you receive after your drive test to develop safer driving skills.

If you are unsuccessful

This feedback could help you in your next attempt and suggests that you need more practice. People develop safe driving skills at different rates. Some learners need more practice than others before they are ready for the drive test.

Causes of an unsuccessful result could include:

  • creating a dangerous situation
  • making serious errors during the test
  • showing a pattern of risky behaviour.

There are two different types of serious errors:

  • immediate termination error
  • critical error.

Immediate termination error

You will be immediately unsuccessful if you do something that puts yourself or other road users at risk.

An immediate termination error will be recorded, if you:

  • collide with another vehicle
  • mount the kerb while driving
  • exceed the speed limit by 5 km/h or more at any time
  • exceed the speed limit by any amount for 5 seconds or more
  • exceed the speed limit by any amount in a ‘school’ speed limit area
  • fail to give way, signal, or check for other road users and someone else has to avoid a collision
  • stop the car in a dangerous position
  • drive through a stop sign or red traffic light
  • disobey a direction from your testing officer or a member of the Victoria Police, or if your instructor or testing officer provides any kind of verbal or physical assistance during the drive test
  • do anything else that creates an unsafe situation.

For more information please refer to the Drive test criteria [PDF 1.8 Mb].

Critical error

This penalty is given if you do something that could create an unsafe situation but is not an immediate danger during the drive test.

A critical error will be recorded, if you:

  • drive too slow for the conditions
  • fail to look or signal but no evasive action is required from other road users
  • block a pedestrian crossing but no pedestrians are affected
  • allow one wheel of your car to mount the kerb when parking or leaving a parking space
  • stall your car
  • slow and pause but do not stop your car completely at a stop sign but other road users or pedestrians are not endangered
  • do something else that is potentially unsafe but that does not result in an immediate risk of collision or injury.

For more information please refer to the Drive test criteria [PDF 1.8 Mb].

Please ensure that your mobile phone, pager, radio and any form of audio/visual recording device are turned off. If any of these devices sound and/or are used during the drive test, the test will be terminated.

The following in car devices must be turned off during the drive test:

  • speed warning devices
  • cruise control
  • navigators
  • any form of audio and/or visual recording equipment (this does not include an alcohol interlock device fitted to the vehicle).


A supplementary display unit (ie an add-on speedometer or camera), excluding one that is GPS based can be used in your drive test provided it can be seen from the passenger seat.

You’ll need to provide verification in writing (by letter) from either the manufacturer, distributor or installer that the supplementary speedometer replicates the exact speed of the primary speedometer at all times. You must supply the tester with this information prior to the drive test.

Note: Check your car manual for evidence that it replicates the exact speed if the supplementary display unit was fitted by the vehicle manufacturer.

Where the vehicle used for the drive test has dual controls fitted, the vehicle must have:

  • working electronic buzzers fitted, or
  • dual control pedal covers.

If you take your drive test in a vehicle with an automatic transmission, you can only drive vehicles with an automatic transmission during your probationary period. There will be an 'A' condition printed on your driver licence card.

At the end of the probationary period, you can drive vehicles with a manual transmission without having to do another driving test provided the condition is not required due to a medical condition or impairment.

Auto to manual vehicle drive test

If you have a probationary driver licence with an ‘A’ condition, the only way you can remove this condition is to pass the drive test in a vehicle with a manual transmission.

When you have passed the drive test and paid the licence variation fee, you will be issued with a replacement driver licence card without the ‘A’ condition.

The What you need to know about your drive test brochure [PDF 488 Kb] provides further information.

It is also available in the following languages.

  • Arabic
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese

From 1 September 2015, if you fail a VicRoads practical driving test you'll no longer be able to drive in Victoria using your overseas driver licence.

More information on the changes to overseas driver licence rules

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