Queensland motorcycle licences: A simple breakdown

Queensland motorcycle licences: a simple breakdown

Motorcycle licences are complicated. There are different classes, restrictions and setbacks that can easily confuse a rider.

Unfortunately, a lot of riders don’t properly understand what they’re allowed to do with their licence. That puts them at risk of breaking the law (and losing their licence) without even realising.

We want to help riders understand their licences and what they should (and shouldn’t) be doing.

Read on for a simple breakdown of Queensland motorcycle licences.

learner motorcycle licence

So you want to hop on a bike? Welcome to the club.

To legally ride on the road you’ll need your learner licence. A learner licence is part of the RE class.

To apply for your learner licence, you will usually need to:

  • Be medically fit to ride;
  • Have held a provisional or open car licence for at least 1 year (and still hold it); and
  • Complete a Q-Ride pre-learner course; and then
  • Pass a motorcycle knowledge test (through Department of Transport and Main Roads).

Once you’ve obtained your learner licence, you must:

  • Only ride a learner approved motorcycle (LAM);
  • Clearly display an L plate at the rear of your motorcycle (or on your back);
  • Carry your licence;
  • Only ride when supervised by a person who has held a restricted or unrestricted open licence for at least 1 year (and still holds it);
  • Not ride under the influence of any alcohol;
  • Not carry a passenger (unless it is your supervisor in an attached sidecar).

Restricted licence

So you want to ride without a supervisor, or stop displaying your L plates? Here’s how.

The next step up from a learner licence is a non-learner restricted licence. A restricted licence is part of the RE class.

To apply for your restricted licence, you will usually need to:

  • Have held your learner licence for at least 3 months; and
  • Complete the Q-Ride restricted course (or pass the Q-SAFE riding test if you live in certain areas).

You must then apply to the Department of Transport and Main Roads to upgrade your licence.

Once you’ve obtained your restricted licence, you must:

  • Only ride a learner approved motorcycle (LAM);
  • If you hold your provisional driver’s licence (i.e. if you are on your P plates), clearly display the appropriate P plate at the rear of your motorcycle (or on your back).

For the first year of holding your restricted licence, you must also:

  • Not carry any passengers;
  • Not ride under the influence of any alcohol.

Unrestricted licence

So you want a bigger bike? Here’s want you need to do.

To ride a more powerful bike you’ll need your unrestricted licence. An unrestricted licence is part of the R class.

You are allowed to learn to ride an unrestricted bike while still on your restricted licence, only if you:

  • Have held your restricted licence for at least 2 years; and
  • Clearly display an L plate at the rear of your motorcycle (or on your back); and
  • Only ride when supervised by a person who has held an unrestricted open licence for at least 1 year (and still holds it); and
  • Not ride under the influence of any alcohol.

To apply for your unrestricted licence, you will usually need to:

  • Have held your restricted licence for at least 2 years; and
  • Complete the Q-Ride unrestricted course (or pass the Q-SAFE riding test if you live in certain areas).

You must then apply to the Department of Transport and Main Roads to upgrade your licence.

Take home messages

  • Start with your learner licence, and hold it for at least 3 months;
  • You can then move on to your restricted licence, which you must hold for at least 2 years;
  • You can then move on to your unrestricted licence and ride free.

As the law can change from time to time, it is important to keep up to date.

For further up to date licensing information, see the Department of Transport and Main Road’s website.

If you’re not sure what you can do with your licence, if you have any questions about the contents of this article, or if you need assistance with a legal issue, feel free to contact us on (07) 3231 0632. We will try to assist you in whatever way we can.