Hazard Perception Test changes

What you need to know about getting a licence.

Changes have been made to the online Hazard Perception Test (HPT) young drivers must complete as part of their licensing requirements.

These changes affect the timing of milestones drivers must achieve before graduating from a Learner licence to P1 and P2.

From 29 March there will be two significant changes to how the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) administers the HPT:

  1. The HPT will be brought forward in the licensing timeline. Previously, drivers were required to successfully complete the test before progressing from a P1 to P2 licence. The change means it will now have to be successfully completed to progress from a Learner to P1 licence. 
  2. The hazard perception test itself will change, including the questions and the quality of videos. Videos will change from dash-cam footage to improved computer-generated clips. The situations Learners will experience will reflect those most commonly found in crash data for novice drivers including giving way, rear-end collisions, right turns (both your vehicle and others), intersections, vision-obstructed variations, pedestrians, low light conditions and wildlife appearances.

The HPT measures a driver’s ability to recognise and appropriately respond to potentially dangerous situations while driving. 

RACQ Manager Road Safety and Technical Joel Tucker supported the changes.

“Relocation of the test as a requirement to exit the Learner licence phase is aimed at strengthening the graduated licensing system by ensuring that only drivers who have successfully demonstrated their hazard perception skills can start driving unsupervised,” Mr Tucker said.

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“Hazard perception testing is believed to be able to identify higher crash-risk drivers, who don’t recognise and react to hazards appropriately. 

“Moving it and making it a requirement to pass before driving solo is important because we know that novice drivers are at increased risk when they start their unsupervised driving.”

What you need to know

To gain a Learner licence:

  • PrepL must be completed or a written test at a DTMR or authorised facility.
  • No date has been set for phasing out the written test. 

To gain a P1 licence:

Before 29 March 2021:

  • Must have held Learner licence for 12 months.
  • Complete Learner logbook.
  • Pass practical driving test.

Between 29 March and 1 July 2021:

  • Must have held Learner licence for 12 months.
  • Complete Learner logbook.
  • Pass practical driving test.
  • Pass the hazard perception test either before or after the practical driving test.

Drivers cannot progress to a P1 licence without completing the HPT.

From 1 July 2021:

  • Must have held Learner licence for 12 months.
  • Complete Learner logbook.
  • Pass the hazard perception test before the practical driving test (must hold Learner licence for minimum of six months).
  • Pass the practical driving test.

From 1 July, drivers will only be able to book a practical assessment after logbook approved and successful completion of the HPT.  

To gain a P2 licence

If P1 licence obtained before 29 March 2021:

  • Must have held a P1 licence for 12 months.
  • Pass the HPT and apply for licence upgrade.

If P1 licence obtained after 29 March 2021:

  • Once a P1 licence has been held for 12 months it will be automatically upgraded to P2 as the HPT would have been completed during the Learner phase. 

All affected drivers will be contacted by DTMR using their details on record to outline how the changes will impact them. 

If drivers have not been contacted, they should contact DTMR.

The HPT should take about 15 minutes to complete and participants will be judged on 25 clips selected from a bank of about 200 scenarios.

There is no lockout period after a failed attempt, meaning it can be retaken immediately.