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To enhance road safety, the Government extends the Probationary Driving Licence Scheme (the Scheme) to private cars and light goods vehicles. All probationary driving licence holders are subject to additional driving restrictions and only eligible to apply for full driving licences after satisfactory completion of the probationary driving periods.

Who are Affected

Any person who applies to take a private car or light goods vehicle driving test on or after 9 February 2009, or a motor cycle or motor tricycle driving test on or after 1 October 2000 is required to apply for a probationary driving licence upon passing the test. The holder of probationary driving licence to drive a vehicle class is required by law to undergo a 12-month probationary driving period.

How to Apply for Probationary Driving Licence

You can apply for a probationary driving licence for the respective vehicle class within 3 years after passing all parts of the driving test for that vehicle class. Click the link below for more details about the application procedures.

How to Calculate Probationary Driving Period

The probationary driving period for each vehicle class is counted from the issue date of a probationary driving licence to drive that vehicle class. Please note that any period specified under the following conditions will not be included in the probationary driving period:

  • any disqualification period ordered by court;
  • any period during which a person does not hold a valid probationary driving licence;
  • the period commencing on the issue of the probationary driving licence and ending on the cancellation of it when the probationary driving licence was cancelled under regulation 12I of the Road Traffic (Driving Licences) Regulations (Cap.374B).

What are the Restrictions

A probationary driving licence holder is subject to additional driving restrictions on top of existing ones applicable to ordinary motorists. Specifically, he is:

  • required to display a “P” plate at the front and rear of the vehicle he is driving (in the case of a private car or light goods vehicle, display of the “P” plate on the windscreens is also acceptable, but the “P” plate must be displayed on the left-hand side of the windscreens);
  • not allowed to carry any passenger on the motor cycle or motor tricycle he is driving (applicable to motorcyclists only);
  • not allowed to drive at a speed in excess of 70km/h even on roads with speed limit above 70 km/h;
  • not allowed to drive on the offside lane of expressways where there are 3 or more traffic lanes.

Undergo the Probationary Driving Period

You can apply for a full driving licence to drive a vehicle class within 3 years from the date of satisfactory completion of the relevant probationary driving period. Assessment of the performance of a probationary driving licence holder is based on the number and nature of road traffic offence committed by him during the probationary driving period. Get more details from the links below:

Extension of Probationary Driving Period

If you are convicted of a “minor” road traffic offence and such offence was committed during your probationary driving period, the probationary driving period shall be extended by 6 months. A “minor” road traffic offence refers to one which carries less than 10 driving-offence points or the violation of one of the additional driving restrictions.

Cancellation of Probationary Driving Licence

If you are convicted of a “serious” road traffic offence or two or more “minor” road traffic offences, your probationary driving licence shall be cancelled. A “serious” road traffic offence refers to one which carries 10 or more driving-offence points. Click the links below to learn more about the driving-offence points system.

Conviction of Traffic Offence Committed during the Probationary Driving Period

If you hold a probationary driving licence for two vehicle classes (e.g., private car and light goods vehicle) and commit a road traffic offence while driving either a private car or a light goods vehicle during the probationary driving period, upon conviction of the offence, your probationary driving licence for both vehicle classes will be affected in terms of extension of probationary driving period or cancellation of probationary / full driving licence.

Cancellation of Full Driving Licence

If you have committed a road traffic offence during the probationary driving period but have not been convicted of that offence during the probationary driving period, you will still be eligible to apply for a full driving licence. However, the full driving licence that you have obtained shall be cancelled if you are convicted of any of the offence at a later date, and also the licence fee paid shall not be refunded.

In submitting an application for a full driving licence, you need to pay attention to whether you have committed a road traffic offence during the probationary driving period and whether you have fulfilled the relevant requirements for obtaining a full driving licence, in order to avoid any subsequent cancellation of your full driving licence upon conviction of the offence.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers for some frequently asked questions are provided in the link below to facilitate your understanding of the Scheme. You may also call 1823 or the Transport Department Hotline at 2804 2600 if you have further enquiries.

Drive Safe

There are certainly more to learn about driving safety. Check out the links below for details.

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Last review date: June 2013

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