Being a parent is hard. You forget about work meetings, appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, and sometimes you might even forget to take the L plates or P plates off the car when you jump in it to get to one of those events you forgot about.

  • If you leave Ls or Ps on the car and you’re not an L or P plater, you could be fined
  • Rules vary depending on the location
  • If you get pulled over for doing it, be honest with the officer and you might get off

Hopefully if that happens to you, you won’t be caught and you won’t be penalised. But you should know that in some jurisdictions across the country, it is an offence to display L or P plates if you’re not an L or P plate driver.

Here’s a rundown of the rules:

Victoria: If you are found to “display ‘P’ plates when not required” you could be fined $165 and one demerit point.  The same penalties apply for “display ‘L’ plates when not required”.

Tasmania: You could be fined $90 if you are found to “Drive with L-plate displayed when not learner driver”.

ACT: Unauthorised use of L-plate/L-plates and Unauthorised use of P-plate/P-plates. $208 fine. No demerits.

SA: “It is an offence to drive a vehicle with P-plates displayed unless you are the holder of a provisional licence; or a probationary licence issued subject to alcohol interlock scheme conditions.”

Queensland: In QLD, the Transport Operations (Road Use Management–Driver Licencing) Regulation 2021 document states that “other persons must not display L plates” and “other persons must not display P plates”. Only learner or provisional drivers can display those plates, unless the driver “holds a non-Queensland driver licence and is authorised to learn to drive the vehicle in the jurisdiction that issued the licence; or is a driver trainer”. The fine, if taken to court, could amount to  $2875 (20 penalty units).,

New South Wales: It doesn’t appear that has a law around driving with plates on the car if you’re not a learner or provisional driver.

Northern Territory: There’s no apparent legislation around L or P plates being displayed on a car driven by a fully licenced driver in the NT.

Western Australia: We couldn’t track down any reference to a law or penalty associated with incorrectly displaying L or P plates in WA.

Not intended as legal advice. Check with the relevant roads authority in your state or territory.

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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