ACT learner licence holders will receive an automatic 12-month extension as part of measures to provide relief for Canberrans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister for Road Safety Shane Rattenbury said the automatic extensions, introduced through the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Amendment Regulation 2020, would provide relief for licence holders during the current health emergency.
“Thousands of Canberra families are facing significant social, financial and emotional pressure as a result of the current health emergency, and the ACT Government is taking steps to ease that pressure where we can through simple but effective legal amendments,” Mr Rattenbury said.
The expiration date for all ACT learner licences – for cars and motorcycles – will be automatically extended by 12 months if they were otherwise due to expire between 23 March 2020 and 1 January 2021.
Mr Rattenbury said learner drivers in the ACT were still permitted to take driving lessons and use the services of ACT-accredited driving instructors who are operating, as learning to drive is classed as an education activity and cannot be done from home.
“However, any unnecessary travel is strongly discouraged, so learner drivers and their supervising licensed drivers should consider current health advice and social distancing measures while in the car,” he said.
Consistent with NSW, overseas licence holders who are permanent residents will now have six months to transfer their licence to an ACT licence. This extension also applies to holders of interstate licences, external territory licences and New Zealand licences.
The licence reforms follow the ACT Government’s recent introduction in the Legislative Assembly of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Bill 2020 to support the ACT’s operational response to the current health emergency.