This page tells you what to do to get a learner licence.
To keep everyone safe on the road, you need to learn the road rules before you can get your learner licence. You’ll need to pass a test to prove that you understand the rules for driving safely in New Zealand.
You can prepare for this by reading the New Zealand road code, or by working your way through Drive’s online road code.
You can sit practice learner tests using the officially approved questions on the Drive website.
When you feel you're ready, go to a driver licensing agent to make your application.
You'll need to:
Make sure you have learned the road rules before you go, because the agent will book you in for your theory test. You might even be able to sit it straight away.
The learner licence theory test is a computer-based, 35-question, multi-choice test that assesses your knowledge of road rules and safe driving practices. You will need to get at least 32 questions right to pass.
On the day of the test, plan to arrive at the testing agent early. If you’re late, you might not be able to sit the test that day. Try to avoid the stress by getting there at least 10 minutes before your test is due to start.
When you arrive, let the agent know you’re there for your test. They’ll guide you through the next steps.
Make sure you have your proof of identity with you to give to the person conducting the theory test.
Learn to drive. You'll need lots of practice to become a good, safe driver. Use a lesson plan from our Drive website(external link) to map out your next driving lesson.
You can book another theory test. You’ll need to pay the test fee again, but you won’t have to pay another application fee.
Your learner licence will expire after five years.
You can either:
If you’ve held your learner licence for at least six months and you’re a confident, safe driver, you can apply for your restricted licence.
Getting your restricted, if you’re ready, will give you a bit more independence. It shows that you’ve gained some driving experience and you’re becoming a responsible driver to help keep everyone safe on our roads.
Note: in November 2019 many learner licence holders were given an additional two years to move up to their restricted. This was a one-off extension to their licence expiry dates and further extensions will not be applied to those licences, or to any other existing or new learner licences.
If you haven’t got your restricted before your learner licence expires, you’ll need to renew your learner licence if you want to keep driving. You can renew up to 90 days before your expiry date, and you’ll have to sit and pass another theory test. Your learner licence will be renewed for another five years.
There are plenty of resources you can use to study the road rules in preparation for your theory test:
Our Drive website is packed with useful tools and videos to help you learn safe driving skills.
Drive website(external link)
The New Zealand road code is available online or from most bookstores and driver licensing agents.
New Zealand road code(external link)
You can practise the official theory test online on the Drive website. By completing the chapters in the Drive road code you will be able to access official questions used in the actual test.
Drive website(external link)
All of these resources are endorsed by the NZ Transport Agency.
Using the official resources will give you the best chance of passing your test and becoming a great kiwi driver.
The Transport Agency previously contracted an external provider(external link) for road code practice tests. If you’ve been provided access to this site, we recommend you use it before 30 June 2020.