The Q-SAFE Practical Driving Test is an on-road test taken with a Department of Transport and Main Roads testing officer. The test assesses your driving skills, decision-making, road awareness, and how you share the road with other traffic. The test itself should go for no more than 35 minutes though you should allow an hour to complete all relevant administrative activities before and after the test.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads have produced Your Guide to the Q-SAFE: Practical Driving Test aimed to assist in preparing for the test. QLD Driving Test provides a summary of this guide. This summary focuses on the most relevant and vital information that can contribute to your success in the Practical Driving Test and is a highly recommended resource as you prepare for the test. You should also consult Your Keys to Driving in Queensland and the QLD Driving Test Summary of that document as it contains important information on the Q-SAFE Practical Driving Test.
Before the test
To attempt the test you must:
- Be 17 or older
- Have held your learner licence for at least 12 months
- Have completed your log book (unless 25 or older)
- Prove your identity
- Pay the licence and test fees
It is important to remember that you are under no pressure to take the test as soon as you qualify. The most important thing is that you’re ready to drive unsupervised should you pass. As such, you can continue to practice on your learner licence until you feel confident in your ability to drive independently and safely. If necessary you can renew your learner licence after 3 years, although your pass mark for the Written Road Rules Test is only valid for 5 years.
You can book a Q-Safe Practical Driving Test and pay the fee online. If under 25, you must submit your completed logbook via Australia Post at least 12 business days before your test. The Department of Transport and Main Roads will check your logbook and notify you of your result - it must be approved before your test.
When you attend your chosen test location at the time booked you will need to have a number of things with you:
- Current licence
- Driving Test Appointment Sheet (form F3910)
- Completed (but unsigned) Driver Licence Application/Renewal (form F3000), ensuring the ‘Registered operator’s authorisation for test vehicle’ section is signed by the registered operator, allowing the examiner to drive if necessary
- Compliant test vehicle with L plates
- Glasses or contact lenses (if needed)
- P plates for when you pass your Practical Driving Test and get your provisional licence – red if you are under 25 or green if you are 25 or older
You should arrive at least 10 minutes before your test with all forms complete. A customer service officer must witness your signature on the Driver Licence Application.
During the test
Before the driving component of the test begins, you will have to complete a pre-drive check in which you will be required to locate and explain the operation of a number of vehicle controls.
During the Practical Driving Test an examiner will direct you to perform a series of driving tasks in a number of key driving situations (including high-speed merging and turning at intersections). Throughout these tasks, your performance will be recorded on a Driving Assessment Report against a number of checks:
- Ancillary vehicle controls
- Gears, Clutch Control and Stalling
- Accelerating and braking
- Road position
- Turning position
- Speed choice
- Observation, scanning and shoulder checks
- Safety margins
- Signs, traffic signals and road markings
You will also be required to perform at least 2 of the following (with at least 1 containing a reversing component):
- Hill start
- Reverse park
- Reversing exercise
- Turn around
- Automatic gear change
Throughout the performance checks and manoeuvres you will be judged based on the number and seriousness of the errors you make. For full details, please consult the Your Guide to the Q-SAFE: Practical Driving Test document and the QLD Driving Test Summary.
After the test
If you fail, make sure you know what you did wrong and how to improve (you will be issued with a copy of your Driving Assessment Report providing feedback). Practice and try again. The test can be taken as many times as necessary, but you must pay each time. You can’t re-take the test until your cooling off period is over. The cooling off periods are:
- First fail - you may re-sit the test on the next day.
- Second fail - you may re-sit the test after 8 days.
- Third and subsequent fail - you may re-sit the test after 29 days.
For administrative details including fees and booking information, refer to the Department of Transport and Main Roads website to ensure you access the most up-to-date and accurate information.
Check out the other QLD Driving Test resources available to help you pass the Q-SAFE Practical Driving Test and get your provisional P1 licence (Red Ps) or, if 25 or over, P2 provisional licence (Green Ps):
For comprehensive information on the provisional P1 licence and Q-SAFE Practical Driving Test, please refer to the Department of Transport and Main Roads website. The above information is a summary of this content and although current when published may now be outdated. To ensure you are accessing the most current and accurate information, use the Department of Transport and Main Roads website or visit your nearest Transport and Motoring Service Centre.