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5-year limit imposed on learner licences

Last updated 17:16 06/08/2014

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If you've been putting off getting a full driver's license - you might want to get your wheels in motion.

A new year time limit on new learner and restricted licences will come into force on December 1, Associate Transport Minister Michael Woodhouse announced today.

Novice drivers or motorcycle riders who don't move on to the next stage of the Graduated Driver Licensing System (GDLS) within five years will have to take another theory test.

A paper to Cabinet shows 109,102 learner (or 37 per cent) and 98,838 restricted licence holders (32 per cent) have held their licences for more than six years.

Woodhouse cited slightly different figures, saying about 40 per cent of learner licence holders had held their licences for more than six years. For restricted licence holders, this figure rises to 45 per cent.

"The GDLS is structured so novice drivers and riders progress from a learner licence to a restricted licence and on to a full licence within a reasonable period. It was never intended that drivers and riders stay at the learner or restricted stage indefinitely,"  Woodhouse said.

"This change will encourage drivers and riders move through the licence system in a timely way, while gaining the skills and experience needed to drive safely."

Holders of a full licence - which lasts for ten years - will be unaffected by the rule change.

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