Voting, Driving and Passports
There were changes in 2008 to the learner and provisional driver structures for novice drivers. All licensing processes take place through Service Tasmania. A young person can apply for a learner’s permit (L1) for a car or motorcycle at the age of 15 years 11 months. This requires sitting a multiple choice test on road rules and knowledge. At 16 years and 3 months, a person can take an L2 practical driving assessment, and if they pass receive their L2 license. After this, it is a minimum of 9 months and 50 hours experience before booking and completing the P1 practical driving assessment. This means that the earliest a young person can obtain their P1 license is 17 years of age.
A learner’s licence can only be obtained after successful completion of a written road law test, and (in the case of a learner’s permit for a motor cycle) a training course. A learner’s licence allows the person to drive a car or motorcycle on the road under supervision. Whilst driving:
- a licensed driver must be seated beside the learner (in the case of a car);
- ‘L’ plates must be displayed;
- a speed of 80 km/h must not be exceeded for an L1 driver, or 10km below the fixed speed limit for L2;
- the young person must have no alcohol in their blood; and
- in the case of a motorcycle learner, they cannot ride between sunset and sunrise.
Once a driver has progressed to the provisional driver stage, there are two stages – P1 and P2. P1 licenses and P2 have the following requirements:
- ‘P’ plates must be displayed;
- A P1 license must not exceed a speed of 10 km/h below the fixed speed limit; and
- the person must have no alcohol in their blood.
The P1 license must be held for 12 continuous months. If this happens, a driver can then pay for their P2 license. The P2 license has age dependent requirements. If a P2 license holder is 18 – 23 years of age, they must hold their P2 for a minimum of 2 years. 23 – 25 years of age requires holding the P2 until they are 25 or for 12 months, whichever is the longest. Those over 25 need to hold their P2 for 12 months before the are upgraded to a full license. This needs to be paid for at Service Tasmania, as with all other fees. See the Service Tasmania website for more information on novice drivers.
Voting becomes compulsory at 18 for Commonwealth and State Government elections. A person over the age of 18 may vote in local government elections if enrolled. You can access enrolment forms online.
Passports are regulated by Commonwealth law under the Australian Passports Act 2005 (Cth). Normally, an unmarried person under the age of 18 will not be issued a passport without the consent of:
- each person entitled to custody, guardianship or access; or
- each person who has residence, contact or specific issues orders in relation to the child (s11).
Exceptions to this are where a court has allowed the minor to leave Australia; where the physical or mental welfare of the person would be adversely affected if the passport were not granted; or where the passport is urgently required because of family crisis, and a guardian or custodian cannot be contacted.