(settings) | Login Skip Navigation LinksRSC Home > Reports & News > Guide To Getting Your Irish Driver's Licence

Guide To Getting Your Irish Driver's Licence


Are you a new driver or you have been driving before but from another country? You may need to acquire an Irish Provisional Driving Licence to enable you to be a legal driver. The following are important to get your Irish Provisional Driving Licence.

1. Pass a Driver Theory Test

2. Apply for a learner permit

3. Sign up with an approved driving school for at least 12 hours of practical training.

4. Pass a practical test held by the Road Safety Authority

5. Apply for your license

You can start this process by filling forms online and buying books in preparation for the driving license application.

Pass a Driver Theory Test

A driver theory test is the first stage when trying to get a professional driving license. A driver theory test tests your knowledge on areas specific for the type of learner permit you are applying for (which will be covered in the next segment). The driver theory test aims to assess your knowledge of topics such as the Rules of the Road, risk perception, eco-driving, hazard awareness, and safe driving behavior. There are four categories of the driver theory test, and they are classified according to ages. The categories are age 16 ( for Moped, light quadricycle , Small motorcycle and Tractor and works vehicle ), age 17 ( for Car and light van, Car and light van with trailer ), age 18( for Medium-sized motorcycle , Truck) age 18( Truck with trailer/articulated with Certificate of Professional Competence, Truck with trailer/articulated truck with Certificate of Professional Competence ; , Small truck/large van, Small truck/large van with trailer ) and age 21 ( Truck with trailer/articulated without Certificate of Professional Competence, Truck with trailer/articulated truck without Certificate of Professional Competence, Motorcycle (any size), motor tricycle ( 20 for progressive usage, 24 for direct usage), bus, and bus with trailer ( 24 without Certificate of Professional Competence)

You can book a test online or by calling 1890 606 106 (English language), 1890 606 806 (Irish language), 1890 616 216 (text phone – for the hearing-impaired).

After passing the driver theory test, you are issued a Theory Test Certificate indicating the categories you have passed. The certificate is valid for two years and can be used to apply for a learner's permit in the applicable categories

Apply for a learner permit

It is crucial to get a learner permit for the category that you are learning to drive. This requires getting a learner permit application form. Applying for a learner permit includes processes such as submitting a fully completed and signed learner permit application form, tendering a Theory Test Certificate, submitting a learner permit held for another category, medical reports, the required fee, and photographs. If you have a Certificate of professional competency, you should render it too.

An application for a learner permit requires that you verify your identity in person, which involves taking your picture and verifying your identity at any National Driver Licence Service office countrywide.

A learner permit includes personal details and details of the driving category. The permit carries details such as

1. Surname

2. First name

3. Date and country of birth

4a. Date of issue 4c. Issuing body

4b. Date of expiry 4d. Your driver number

5. License/ permit number

6. (Photograph)

7. Signature

8. Address

9. Categories

10. Date of issue for each category

11. Date of expiry for each category

12. Additional Information / restrictions

13. Administrative information

14. Optional for information concerning learner permit or road safety

According to the National Driver Licence Service, a learner permit allows you to drive under the following conditions

• You must carry the learner permit with you at all times while driving.

• You are not allowed to drive on motorways in the category of vehicle for which you are a


• You are not allowed to carry any passenger for reward.

• If you are a learner in the car, truck or bus category, you must be accompanied by a qualified driver (or sponsor) at all times while driving. A qualified driver or sponsor is an experienced driver who has had a full license for a continuous period of at least two years in the category of vehicle being driven by the learner permit holder.

• If you are a learner in the car category, you must complete essential driver training (EDT)

Before you can take your driving test

• If you are a learner in the work vehicles/land tractor category, you are not allowed to carry a passenger, unless the passenger is a qualified driver and the vehicle is constructed or adapted to carry a passenger.

• If you are a learner in any of the motorcycle categories:

- You must complete initial basic training (IBT) before going on a public road – see page 17.

- You are not allowed to carry a pillion passenger.

Compulsory Driver Training

Driver training are split into two - initial basic training (IBT) and Essential Driver Training (EDT). Initial basic training is designed to teach basic riding skills to learner motorcyclists while an Essential Driver Training (EDT) is a training course designed to teach the basic skills of driving to learner car drivers.

Approved instructors must deliver an essential driver training. Practice driving with an expert accompanying driver who takes you through the teaching process. As you complete each EDT lesson, your ADI will sign off on your EDT log book and upload your record of training to the RSA. Your logbook is your record of the lessons you have taken and is an important document that you should keep safe and take along to every lesson.

The Driving Test

Driving tests are carried out by the RSA and comply with the European Union directive on driving licenses

You can pay and apply for a driving test online, choose your test center and schedule your test appointment. You can also download the form online or get a copy from any driving test center, Garda Station or Citizens Information Centre. Complete and return it with your fee to the Road Safety Authority, Primrose Hill, Ballina, Co. Mayo.

In preparing for the driving test, you must

• Study the Rules of the Road.

• Get tuition from an Approved Driving Instructor.

• Car learner drivers must take the Essential Driver Training course (if applicable), before taking the driving test.

• Motorcycle learners (all categories) must have completed Initial Basic Training, if applicable, before taking the driving test.

• Practice driving as much as possible on all types of roads (except motorways) and in all kinds of traffic situations, including driving at night.

• Build up your driving experience and confidence before applying for your test.

• Look out for the RSA suite of learning to drive manuals for cars, motorcycles, trucks, and buses, which are for sale in bookshops.

You must have a have held a valid learner permit for at least six months (on the day of the test). You must also present a suitable and roadworthy car with insurance cover and regularly paid taxes. You can explore the option of getting a car hired for your driving test.

Upon the successful completion of your driving test, you have issued a certificate of competency which you can use to apply for a driving license within two years. Note however that a certificate of competency does not equate a driving license.

Apply for your license

In a process quite similar to the application for a driving permit, with little differences. An application for your driving license includes submitting an application form, the specified fee, a driving license (if owned for another category), photographs, and a medical report. It also requires verification of your identity.

Following these steps, and passing each of them will help you get your driving license. Ensure that you get a professional, expert essential driver's training to increase your skills, experience, and confidence to pass your tests.

Random Photo
34 - Porsche 908/03 #013 - Porsche Cllub Romand