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Auckland Transport

Young drivers Young drivers

Young drivers are one of our most vulnerable that make up a large part of crash statistics on Auckland roads. Auckland Transport works tirelessly with schools, the local community and regional agencies to help reduce deaths and serious injuries.

Free driver licence workshops

Register for our learner driver licence workshops

Register for our restricted driver licence workshops

Register for our full driver licence workshops

Parents are still one of the biggest influencers in their children’s driving behaviour, so we have created a new video that encourages parents and their kids to open up and discuss getting your full licence.

Here is our new video to help start the conversation.

Watch the second video to continue the conversation.

Crash statistics for young drivers

Road crashes are the leading cause of death for New Zealanders aged 16 to 24 years. In Auckland between 2015 and 2019, road crashes resulted in the death or serious injury of 340 young drivers between the ages of 16 and 24. The most common crash factors were alcohol and speed.

Young drivers are more vulnerable to crash risk because they are still developing, both physically and mentally, and it takes time and practice to develop safe driving skills. Dangers on the road are often underestimated and it is therefore important that these drivers are supported with education and awareness training.

While Auckland Transport is working towards making our road infrastructure safer, it is also important that young drivers and their families are encouraged to make safer vehicle choices so while young drivers develop and gain experience, their mistakes do not cost lives.

Rules for learner, restricted and full licenses*

The NZ graduated licencing system has 3 stages: learner, restricted and full.

If you drive without a licence, you risk a fine of $400. Also, if you are driving outside your licence conditions and have crash, your insurance may not be valid.

On your restricted, you are 10 times more likely to crash when you have passengers than if you are driving alone. This risk increases when the passengers are a similar age to you.

If you’re under 20 years of age, there is a zero alcohol limit when driving. This means if you drive after consuming just one drink, you can be charged with drink-driving (this could also affect you the day after a big night out).

Learner licence

To apply for a learner licence you must be at least 16 years old.

  • You must display “L” plates on the front and rear end of your car.
  • Failure to display “L” plates could result in 35 demerit points and a fine of $100.
  • You must be supervised by someone who has had a full licence for at least 2 years.
  • 120 hours of driving experience is recommended before sitting your restricted licence test.

Restricted licence

To apply for your restricted you must have held your learner licence for at least 6 months.

  • You can drive on your own between 5am and 10pm.
  • You must not carry passengers unless you have a supervisor with you. Your supervisor must have held their full licence for at least 2 years. The only passengers you can carry without a supervisor are:
    • Your husband/wife or civil union partner (for those over 18, a de facto partner may also travel with you)
    • Children who live with you and are under the care of you or your spouse
    • Your parent or guardian
    • Someone you look after as their primary caregiver
  • Breaching any of the conditions of your licence could result in 35 demerit points and a fine of $100.

Full licence

You must have held your restricted licence for 18 months before you can apply for your full licence.

If you have completed an approved advanced driving skills course, this is reduced to 12 months.

* This information is a general guide only. It is not the source of the law.

Information for parents

You are a major influence on the driving behaviour of your young driver. Teaching them the skills they need to become a safe and competent driver will help reduce their chances of having an accident in their first years of driving alone.

If possible, also engage a professional driving instructor for at least a part of their training.

Driving supervisors provides some free advice to empower and support parents to become great driving practice supervisors. has tools and resources to help learner drivers pass their restricted test the first time.

Students Against Dangerous Driving (SADD)

SADD exists to empower young Kiwis to prevent loss on our roads. Established in Auckland in 1985, SADD is the go-to organisation for student-led road safety education. It not only allows young Kiwis to have a voice but provides a platform to amplify road safety messages.

The programme is closely aligned to road safety goals. SADDs 6 principles; sober drivers, safe speeds, no distractions, avoiding risk, driving to the conditions, and building experience, reinforce safer choices and decision making on our roads. Students focus on real issues affecting young road users and use problem-solving techniques to design engaging activities influencing peers to reduce road trauma and enhance wellbeing outcomes. SADDs National Leadership Programme enables young Kiwis to lead change to promote a safer NZ.

SADD collaborates with community partners nationwide to ensure effective, sustainable action. To find out more about SADD and how you can get involved to help make a difference visit and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

For more information

Contact Auckland Transport