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3.4.14 Obtaining a motor vehicle learner's permit and driver's licence

Last Modified: 28-Jun-2018 Review Date: 25-Feb-2011

Purpose

To provide guidance to child protection workers helping a young person in the CEO's care to obtain a motor vehicle learner's permit and driver's licence.

Note: CEO refers to the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Communities.

Practice Requirements

  • Child protection workers must discuss the process of obtaining a learner’s permit with the young person when they turn 15 years.
  • Child protection workers must assist the young person to plan and prepare for the process of obtaining their driver’s licence.
  • The young person's circumstances must be assessed to determine the level of funding required for them to get their licence.
  • Financial assistance can be obtained through the Leaving Care Fund to assist a young person to obtain their driver’s licence.
  • Any person from a private support service who is engaged to assist the young person with either the application for the driver’s licence, training for the learner’s permit or driving licence, or supervised driving hours must have a Working with Children Card.
  • Cars being used by the young person for driving lessons must have adequate insurance. If a carer plans to supervise the young person and use their own car for driving lessions, he or she must contact their car insurer to check the conditions associated with this, and discuss with the child protection worker.

Procedures

  • Overview
  • Planning
  • Proof of identity requirements
  • Funding - approval and payment
  • Supervised driving requirement
  • Keys for Life - subsidised pre-driver education program for young people at school
  • Services for regional or remote communities
  • Overview

    Obtaining a driver’s licence incorporates a six step process including:

    1. Learner’s permit.
    2. Learn to drive (includes the recording of a minimum of 50 supervised driving hours, including 5 hours of night-time driving, before the permit holder can site the Practical Driving Assessment.
    3. Hazard Perception Test. Some communities in Western Australia do not have Hazard Perception Test facilities so an exemption may be granted when it is proven that you live outside a radius of more than 100 kilometres from a Hazard Perception Test location.  Young people eligible for an exemption must complete and lodge an Exemption from the Hazard Perception Test Form (E19) with Department of Transport (DoT).
    4. Gain experience. Continue to record the minimum 50 hours of supervised driving experience, including 5 hours of night-time driving across a range of conditions.
    5. Practical Driving Assessment.
    6. Provisional licence.

    A learner’s permit to drive a standard car (C class) can be obtained when a young person turns 16 years of age. Parental consent is not required. Alternatively a young person who has reached 15 years and six months can apply for a moped motor vehicle (R-N class). 

    The Department of Transport has responsibility for driver registration and assessments in Western Australia (WA).

    Some schools offer the Keys for Life Program which provides young people with the opportunity to obtain an automatic exemption on their learner’s permit fee. See below for further information.

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    Planning

    Child protection workers must discuss the process and requirements of obtaining a learner’s permit and drivers licence with a young person in the CEO’s care when he or she turns 15 years as part of leaving care planning, and other appropriate times.

    Parents and other people who are significant in the young person’s life, such as carers, must be informed that the young person is seeking to obtain a driver’s licence.

    A planning meeting with the young person and other relevant people should be held to assess and discuss:

    • the young person’s individual circumstances
    • the process to obtain a driver’s licence
    • forms of identification required
    • the associated costs and how we can assist with funding
    • the importance of driver education
    • the Resource Table in related resources.

    Child protection workers should refer to the DoT learner driver's website for detailed information on the process of obtaining a learner’s permit, including documents required for proof of identity and the cost of the various tests. The website also has online quizzes that the young person can complete when preparing for their learner’s permit.

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    Proof of identity requirements

    When applying for their first driver’s licence the young person must supply a number of documents as proof of their identity. A combination of five original documents must be presented to verify their full name, date of birth and current residential address. One of the documents required for proof of identity must contain the young person’s signature such as a current EFTPOS card, and one must show their WA residential address. This may be a letter from an education institution that is less than six months old that records the young person’s current residential address.

    For further information refer to the Department of Transport website under 'Step 1'. Click on the arrow for 'Task 1' to open and access the fact sheet Proof of Identity Requirements​.

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    Funding - approval and payment

    Funding for the costs associated with obtaining a driver’s licence must be based on an assessment of the young person circumstances.

    Costs associated with obtaining all stages of a driver’s licence, including the supervised driving hours for a young person in care, or young person who has left care and is eligible for leaving care services, must be applied for through the Leaving Care Fund. For more information on how to apply for leaving care funding refer to Chapter 3.4: Leaving the CEO's care

    Child protection workers must compile the necessary documents for the young person.

    Child protection workers must inform the young person of payment approval and confirm that services are implemented accordingly.

    All fees required for obtaining a learner’s permit and driver’s licence are only payable in person at licensing centres. If the young person re-sits the practical driving assessment, the re-sit fee can be paid either in person or over the phone (by credit card).

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    Supervised driving requirement

    Learner drivers who are issued with a learner’s permit must complete a minimum of 50 supervised driving hours, including five hours of night-time driving, before the permit holder can sit the Practical Driving Assessment.  The supervised driving hours must be recorded in the Learner Guide and Log Book.  This is issued when the young person gets their Learner's Permit.  If the Learner Guide and Log Book is lost refer to 'Replace a lost Learner Guide and Log Book' on Department of Transport (DoT) website.  

    Learner drivers must also complete the Hazard Perception Test.  Young people can practice the Hazard Perception Test through an online simulator to prepare for the test.  Some communities in Western Australia do not have Hazard Perception Test facilities so an exemption may be granted when it is proven that you live outside a radius of more than 100 kilometres from a Hazard Perception Test location.  Young people eligible for an exemption must complete and lodge an Exemption from the Hazard Perception Test Form (E19) with DoT (to download, open the drop down menu at 'Task 2'.

    During the supervised driving stages, 'L' plates must be displayed. Learner drivers are expected to gain experience in a wide range of driving and weather conditions.

    Any person providing learner driver supervision must hold a current valid driver’s licence, hold the class of licence specified on their permit for at least four years and have a Working with Children Card.

    Child protection workers must confirm that a person providing  supervision in their own vehicle has adequate insurance before assisting the young person. If appropriate, we may pay to upgrade the supervisor’s car insurance.  

    Department of Communities' vehicles cannot be used for supervised driving purposes.

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    Keys for Life - subsidised pre-driver education program for young people at school

    The Keys for Life (School Drug Education and Road Aware) is a pre-driver program called Keys for Life.  Participating students receive free resources and a Keys of Life Certificate (K4L) on completion of the training.  Young people must be 16 years of age or older to participate in the program.  The main aim of the program is to develop positive road user attitudes in young people.

    When applying for a learner's permit young people with a K4L Certificate are exempt from undertaking and paying for the computerised Theory Test, and the K4L Certificate may be used as a Category C document as part of the identity requirements for obtaining a learner's permit. 

    Young people in care should be encouraged to take part in the Keys for Life Program if it is offered at the school they attend.

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    Services for regional or remote communities

    Many towns in regional WA have driver and vehicle services agents, such as local government offices and police stations, where young people can access full licensing services.

    DoT has a remote licensing program which travels to remote communities in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields regions to provide its customers with regular access to a range of licensing services. The program offers the same level of service as regional DoT offices and includes services such as getting a driver’s licence and helping people to meet the identity requirements for getting a licence.

    Some very remote areas are serviced by the police.

    Further information can be found on DoT’s website.

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