May 19, 2024

Changes To Queensland Motorcycle Licensing – Common Questions Answered

Motorbike student
Queensland has implemented changes to the motorcycle licensing laws but many people are still confused.

As the dust begins to settle after some of the most significant changes to motorcycle licensing ever in Queensland, plenty of people are still confused about where they stand with the new licensing system.

The new laws came into effect on Saturday,1st October, 2016.

In the lead up to the changes, there was a massive spike in the number of people wanting to get through the licensing process. Many made it through, but a large number found themselves unable to book a spot on a course as all schools were inundated with students.

That has left some people very unsure about what they have to do next, so we will endeavour to answer some of the most common questions for you.

If you didn’t get a learner’s permit before the 1st October, 2016:

  • You must now complete a 2 day learner’s course with a Q-Ride provider, and then pass a motorcycle knowledge test.
  • This applies even to people who have prior riding experience.
  • You must hold that learner’s permit for a minimum of 3 months before being allowed to complete an assessment for an RE class licence.
  • During that minimum of 3 months you are allowed to ride on the road as long as you display an L-plate and ride with a supervising rider who has held an open licence for the class of motorcycle you are learning to ride for at least 1 year.

If you did get a learner’s permit before the 1st October, 2016 but couldn’t do a Q-Ride assessment in time.

  • If you are capable and confident to ride a motorcycle on the road you don’t have to hold your learner’s permit for any minimum time and can go straight to an RE class assessment. It is a full day course.
  • If you are a beginner with no experience, then the two day learner course is for you.
  • If you have some experience but still don’t feel confident to meet the requirements of an RE assessment, then consider the two day learner course or at least some private training with an instructor.
  • You will come under the new laws and have to hold an RE class licence for 2 years before being eligible for an R class licence.

If you want to upgrade to an R class (unrestricted) licence:

  • If you got your RE class licence before 1st October, 2016 you can upgrade to an R licence after holding you RE class licence for 1 year.
  • If you get your RE class after 1st October, 2016 you must wait 2 years before being eligible for an R class licence.

If you were part way through the assessment process, but were “not yet competent” in some areas:

  • You will now need to complete the entire new assessment course for the class of licence you are applying for IN FULL.
  • For those attempting an RE class assessment, that will be a full day course.
  • For those attempting an R class assessment, it will be a 3.5 hour course.

More details are available on the Transport and Motoring section of the Queensland Government website.

The specific rules that apply to Learner and RE class licence holders can also be found at:

Differences also apply to people in country areas or those who live more than 100km from a Q-Ride training area.

If you have any specific questions or concerns, we suggest you contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads, your nearest Q-Ride provider or leave us a comment below and we will do our best to answer your question or point you in the right direction.