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The Practical Driving Test

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What you’ll need to do before taking the practical driving test.

Bring your:
• Learner licence or
• current licence if you are being tested for another class of licence
• L plates if you are using your own vehicle
• Driving test appointment sheet or Examiner’s authority to drive test vehicle section of the driver licence
application form signed by the registered owner, authorising a Queensland Transport driving examiner to drive
the vehicle if necessary
• form stating you have read and understood the conditions applying to your driving test
• vehicle.

Make sure that you:
• give at least two working days’ notice if you need to alter or cancel your appointment
• arrive at least ten minutes before your test with the Driving test appointment sheet and Driver licence application
fully completed and signed by yourself and the registered operator of the test vehicle. Failure to be ready for the
test at the scheduled time may result in the cancellation of your driving test and the forfeiture of your driving
test fee. You then would be required to book and pay for another driving test.
Your driving test may be cancelled for any of these reasons:
• your vehicle is modified (unless the modifications have been approved by the Director-General of Queensland Transport)
• anything (such as a tow bar) obscures the number plate
• your number plate cannot be read from 20 metres away
• your vehicle is not a standard test vehicle for the licence you have applied for
• your vehicle does not pass a basic safety check, see Preparing for your Q-SAFE practical driving test, page 32
• your vehicle is not fitted with seatbelts to both front seats (except a motorbike)
• you did not bring your L plates if using your own vehicle for the test
• the registered operator of the vehicle has not signed the Driving test appointment sheet or Examiner’s authority to
drive test vehicle section on the driver licence application
• you failed a driving test for the same class of licence earlier the same day
• you did not sign the declaration attached to the form stating you have read and understood the information and
agree to abide by the conditions listed.

Your practical driving test fee will not be refunded if you:
• fail your driving test
• don’t give two working days’ notice before altering or cancelling your appointment or cannot take your driving test
at the set time possibly because you arrived late; you do not have the vehicle owner’s permission for the vehicle
to be used for the test; or your test vehicle failed the basic safety check.

After the practical driving test

After you have completed all the driving tasks, the driving examiner directs you back to the testing office. The
examiner will tell you at the end of your test whether you have passed or failed. You also get feedback on any errors,
and a copy of your Driving Assessment Report. If you have passed, you pay the licence fee and have your photo
taken. You then receive your Provisional licence. You will be eligible for an Open licence after you have held your
Provisional licence for the required period, see Queensland licence's, P type, required period, page 5.
Note: If you already hold a Provisional or Open licence, your licence will be re-issued with the new class stated on it.

If you failed – don’t panic
Come back after more practice and try again. Before you leave, make sure you know exactly what you did wrong
and how you can improve. You can take the test as many times as you like, but you must pay each time and can’t
re-take the test on the same day. Your Learner licence is current for one year and it is easily renewed. Don’t push
yourself if you’re not ready. You have many people to help you through one of the most important challenges you’ll
ever take on. So take your time.

During your practical driving test
When you arrive for your driving test, you get information on how the test will be conducted. The driving examiner
carries out a basic safety check on your vehicle. If it passes, the driving examiner starts your test with a pre-drive
check of your knowledge of your vehicle’s controls. Then you have a chance to ask questions before your on-road
test starts.

As you drive, the driving examiner records how well you complete each task on the form, so don’t assume you have
made a mistake when the driving examiner marks the report. You should allow at least one hour for your driving test
and associated activities. Driving examiners are there to help. It’s their job to assess your ability to drive safely – so
don’t feel intimidated or nervous.

A message from your driving examiner
The driving examiner will make the following statements to you before you start your driving test:
Q-SAFE is designed to evaluate your ability to drive safely and correctly in different driving situations which may include a variety of speed zones. I will be asking you to perform a series of driving tasks throughout your driving test. You will be given clear directions in ample time.
If I don’t give you any specific directions please follow the road and
be directed by road signs, signals and markings.
Do you have any questions?

Additional information
• You will be expected to perform the driving tasks according to
the road rules.
• At no time during your test will you be asked to perform any driving
tasks that are illegal or unsafe.
• If your vehicle is fitted with blind spot mirrors, you must still
look over your shoulder to make sure there are no vehicles in
the blind spot.
• Once your driving test has begun, the driving examiner cannot
answer any questions that may influence your driving performance.
• Please turn off your mobile phone while you are taking your test.


When you do a practical driving test for a car you will be assessed on a number of tasks.

Pre-drive check

The pre-drive check asks you to locate and explain the operation of a range of vehicle controls including wipers,
washers, demister, air conditioner, seat adjustment, hazard lights, mirrors, horn and headlights.

On-road driving test
In your on-road driving test, the driving examiner will check that you perform the following procedures correctly.
Stopping – use of the vehicle’s hand or foot brake when stopped.

Giving way – give way, slow down or stop and give way to vehicles or pedestrians so they do not have to slow
down, stop or take action to avoid your vehicle. This also applies to reversing your vehicle.
Signs, signals and road markings – obey all traffic signs, signals and road markings, including any warning
and guide signs.

Moving off, changing direction or lane changing – Follow this sequence:
1. look in mirrors
2. indicate your intention
3. check the vehicle’s blind spot by turning your head
4. check traffic, your road position and speed
5. when beginning to move, check for changed traffic conditions.

Clutch – control the clutch so that there is a smooth take up of power to the drive wheels and smooth gear changing.
Gears – demonstrate the correct use of gears appropriate for speed, vehicle and driving conditions.
Braking – drive to avoid harsh or abrupt movement by slowing the vehicle smoothly and progressively.
The handbrake is used when the vehicle is stationary.

Speed – drive at a speed that suits the road and traffic conditions (even 10km/h can sometimes be too fast).
Observation/scanning – be on guard, always looking for traffic hazards and possible problems. Look left, right,
ahead and behind when approaching a hazard, then use a driving ‘system’ to deal with it in time.

Mirrors – check rear vision mirrors, including both side mirrors, frequently.
Following vehicles – in good conditions, travel at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. Double this
gap in poor conditions.
Marked lanes – keep within lane markings. Change lanes only after signalling and if it is safe to do so.
Road position – keep as far left as safe and practical when driving on a road without marked lanes.
Signalling and indicators – give other road users sufficient warning of what you intend to do.

Steering – always keep control of the steering wheel. Never:
•put your hands inside the rim of the wheel
•remove your hands or let the wheel ‘go free’
•hold the wheel with your arms crossed or so that the movement of the wheel is restricted
•operate the wheel with one hand unnecessarily (for example, one arm resting on the door)
•palm the wheel with one hand
•operate the wheel with the vehicle stationary (‘dry’ steering).

Manoeuvres – Reverse park and perform one of the listed manoeuvres:
Reverse parking – park the vehicle parallel to and within 45cm of the kerb. You can have one attempt with
a maximum of two reverse and one forward movements.
Reversing exercise – steer the vehicle safely, starting and finishing within 50cm of the kerb. The observation
should be predominantly by turning your head and looking through the rear window.
Turning around – use the available space with a minimum of going forward or back. Do not turn the wheel when
the vehicle is stopped.
U-turn – give way to all other vehicles and pedestrians and have a clear view of all approaching traffic.
Hill start – position the car parallel to and within 50cm of the kerb and apply the hand brake and move off without
rolling backwards.

Gear changing in automatics – if you are driving an automatic car, you will be asked to select a lower gear and
re-select drive. You must operate the shift safety button/lever and keep your eyes on the road at all times.

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 Copyright © Tom Grant 2006 All Rights Reserved