How to Get my Learner’s Permit for a Motorcycle

Learning to ride a motorcycle

If you would like to start riding a motorcycle you must first attend a Rider Safe course.

Rider Safe is a compulsory motorcycle rider training course for all novice motorcycle riders. It provides tuition for the basic and advanced motorcycle skills necessary for the road. Rider Safe is run by experienced motorcycle riders who have undergone specialised instructor training.

The Rider Safe course also provides the opportunity to determine your riding aptitude before buying a motorcycle.

If you do not hold a current driver’s licence you must first pass a theory test that can be undertaken through the myLs online course or at a Service SA Customer Service Centre.

Payment for the course must be made at a customer service centre before attending Rider Safe.

If you have not previously held a driver’s licence, you must hold your learner’s permit for a minimum of 12 calendar months if you are under the age of 25, or six months if you are aged 25 or over, and pass an advanced Rider Safe course before you can be issued with a motorcycle licence.

You will be restricted to an R-Date licence for the first twelve months of your motorcycle licence, refer to the Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS) section.

Depending on your individual circumstances, different scenarios can apply if your learner’s permit is disqualified.  Please telephone 13 10 84 for details.

The Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS)

Under the scheme, R-Date licence holders are allowed to ride motorcycles with an engine capacity of up to 660 ml with a power-to-weight ratio not exceeding 150 kw/t. A list of approved motorcycles is available from any Customer Service Centre or the website

In order to meet the definition of a Learner Approved Motorcycle, the motorcycle must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a motorcycle on the approved list of motorcycles by notice in the Government Gazette;
  • Have a power-to-weight ratio of 150 kilowatts per tonne or less;
  • Have an engine capacity of 660ml or less;
  • Be the standard model and variant as specified on the approved list; and
  • Not been modified in any way that increases its power-to-weight ratio.

Learner's PermitLearner’s Permit

R-Date licence – can ride bikes up to 660 ml engine capacity and power to weight ratio not exceeding 150 kw/t.

R licence – full rider’s licence, can ride any bike (must have held an R-Date licence for at least 12 months).

If you hold a learner’s permit for a motorcycle and do not hold a P2 or full licence for another class of vehicle, you must not ride between midnight and 5AM unless a Qualified Supervising Driver is present or you have an exemption.

The Rider Safe Course

The Rider Safe Course

Basic Course

This course is delivered in two half-day sessions (session A and B over two days).

In Session A you will learn basic motorcycle control skills including riding in a straight line, basic braking, cornering, gear shifting and some bike control theory.

In Session B your learning will build on from session A by interacting with other bikes on the riding range. This session covers more advanced bike control theory and traffic skills. A practical skills assessment will be conducted at the end of session B.

On successful completion of the Basic Course, you must present the endorsed Approval to Obtain a Learner’s Permit form at any Customer Service Centre within 12 months to obtain a learner’s permit. Failure to do so will result in you having to sit the basic course again. The permit is valid for two years and you must carry your permit at all times whilst riding.

Advanced Course

This course is delivered in one half-day session (Session C).

In Session C you will learn advanced bike control skills with emphasis placed on road riding skills and traction theory. A practical skills assessment will be conducted at the end of the advanced course.

On successful completion of the Advanced Course, you must present your Certificate of Competency at any Customer Service Centre to receive your R-Date Licence. This licence entitles you to ride a motorcycle on the learner approved motorcycle scheme list which can be found by visiting or by contacting 13 10 84.

After completing a 12-month period riding on a Restricted R-Date Licence, you may apply for an unrestricted “R” class licence. This licence is required if you wish to ride a motorcycle of any power to weight ratio.

The Returning Rider Course

The Returning Rider Course is a voluntary course aimed at people who hold a motorcycle licence but have not ridden for at least 5 years.

The course is designed to refresh your riding skills, techniques and awareness. It is not a test.

The session involves both theory and practical components that have been developed by experienced motorcyclists who have undergone specialist instructor training.

Drivers licence overview



  • 16 years or older
  • Pass theory test
  • (Bike class pass Basic rider safe)


  • 16 1/2 years or older
  • Hold a learner’s permit for atleast 6 months
  • Complete 50 hrs (include min 10hrs at night)


  • 17 1/2 years or older
  • Pass Hazard perception test
  • Also pass driver awareness course if one, two or three dermit points incurred and want to progress
  • after 12 months or hold P1 for 2yrs.


  • 19 years or older (20+ if 1-3 demerit point incurred)
  • Hold provisional licence continuously for minimum of two years including 6 month on P2

Disqualification anywhere during this process will result in an increase to the periods spent on each stage.

Interstate and Overseas License

Conversion of an Interstate or Overseas Driver’s Licence

The holder of an interstate or overseas driver’s licence must obtain a South Australian driver’s licence:

  • in the case of an interstate licence holder, within three months of residing in South Australia
  • in the case of a foreign licence holder, who becomes a permanent resident or citizen of Australia, within three months of becoming a resident of South Australia.

When converting an interstate driver’s licence, the driver is generally entitled to a licence of the same class and conditions as the interstate licence without undertaking any theory test or practical driving test.

The holder of a licence from a recognised country that has similar licensing practices to South Australia may exchange their overseas licence for a South Australian licence. In most instances the conversion of the overseas driver’s licence is limited to classes C (car) and motorcycle only.

Learner’s permits/licences are not able to be converted to a South Australian Learner’s Permit.

A licence holder from a country not recognised as having similar licensing practices to Australia must pass a theory test and a practical driving test. A sample of people who have taken a practical driving test will be subject to a further validation assessment with a Government Auditor before a South Australian licence will be issued.

More detailed information on converting your licence from overseas can be found on

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