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