How to apply for

Driving Licence


How to apply for

Learner Permit

Holders of an EU/EEA licence

If you have a driving licence issued by an EU/EEA member state you can drive in Ireland as long as your existing licence is valid. If you wish to exchange your driving licence for an equivalent Irish driving licence, you must do so within 10 years of your driving licence expiring. If foreign Driving Licence has expired, it must be accompanied by a letter of entitlement / driver statement from the Issuing Authority.

Where a driving licence has been issued on foot of an exchange from a country that Ireland does not have an exchange agreement with then Ireland cannot exchange the driving licence.

To complete an application you will

  • Application form for Driving licence D401 (Fully completed)
  • Your current full licence (please note, if your licence does not have a category start date you will need to provide an original letter of entitlement / driver statement from your relevant authority)
  • If you do not have your licence you will need to present an original letter of entitlement/ driver statement from the appropriate licencing authority and complete the lost licence declaration (see question 17 on application form)
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • Evidence of PPSN
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of address (must be dated within 6 months)
  • Relevant fee
  • If your licence is from an EU/EEA member state and is expired for less than 10 years, it must be accompanied by a letter of entitlement/ driver statement from your relevant authority
  • Certified translations are required for all Letter of Entitlement/Driver statements which are not in English or Irish
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office
  • If exchanging a Northern Ireland licence it must be accompanied by the counterpart.

Certified translations are required for all Letters of Entitlement which are not in English or Irish. Translations must be provided by a reputable company who must be a member of the Irish Translator and Interpreters Association. The letter of entitlement must be submitted together with the certified translation.

Please note: Applications to exchange a licence may take 2/3 months to process as we need to contact the original licensing authority.

Holders of licences issued by recognised States

As a visitor to Ireland you can drive on a driving licence from any state outside the EU/EEA for up to a year provided the driving licence is current and valid. However on taking up 'normal residence' in Ireland you must either exchange your driving licence or apply for a driving licence in Ireland. You are considered to be normally resident in Ireland if, because of personal and occupational ties, you usually live here for at least 185 days in each calendar year.

Ireland has agreements with certain countries/states that designates them as recognised states for the purposes of driving licence exchange. In order to exchange your licence you must apply in person at any NDLS centre with the following

  • Application form for Driving licence D401 (Fully completed)
  • Your current full licence (please note, if your licence does not have a category start date you will need to provide an original letter of entitlement / driver statement from your relevant authority)
  • If you do not have your licence you will need to present an original letter of entitlement/ driver statement from the appropriate licencing authority and complete the lost licence declaration (see question 17 on application form)
  • If your licence is from a recognised state and is expired for less than one year , it must be accompanied by a letter of entitlement / driver statement from your relevant authority
  • Evidence of PPSN
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • If your licence is from a recognised state you must present an eyesight report form D502
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • Evidence of address (must be dated within 6 months)
  • Evidence of residency entitlement
  • Relevant fee
  • Certified translations are required for all Letter of Entitlement/Driver statements which are not in English or Irish
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office

Recognised states are:

If you exchanged an Irish driving licence in a recognised state for a driving licence issued by that state, you must submit that licence to the NDLS when applying for an Irish driving licence.

A Recognised State driving licence may be exchanged up to a maximum of 1 year after it expires with an accompanying letter of entitlement. After this period, applicants will need to apply for a learner permit.

Certified translations are required for all Letters of Entitlement which are not in English or Irish. Translations must be provided by a reputable company who must be a member of the Irish Translator and Interpreters Association. The letter of entitlement must be submitted together with the certified translation.

Please note: Applications to exchange a licence may take 2/3 months to process as we need to contact the original licensing authority.

International Driving Licence

You are still required to produce your own licence for inspection when hiring a vehicle in Ireland an IDP (International Driving Licence) should be seen as a translation of your licence and not a replacement.

All countries in the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) – EU plus Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland – benefit from a 'mutual recognition' agreement in respect of driving licences.

You must hold a current and valid licence from the country you are resident in. EU/EEA licence holders who are resident in Ireland may apply for an IDP here.

There are two types of IDP:

  • 1949 UN Convention IDP. More common type; recognised in most countries
  • 1926 UN Convention IDP. Needed for driving in Brazil, Iraq, Nigeria and Somalia

If you are from an EU/EEA country and possess a full valid driving licence from your home country, you will need to supply a copy of a utility bill (electricity, telephone or gas) showing your address in Ireland.

You will also be required to sign a declaration of residency on the application form.

Apply to:

AA
61A South William Street
Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 617-9988

Who is ineligible?  

You cannot be issued with an IDP in Ireland if you are from outside the EU or EEA.

Where can I use my IDP?  

You can use your permit in any of the countries that have signed the 1926 or 1949 UN Convention on road traffic. In addition, many other countries that are not signatories to the 1949 convention recognise the IDP and accept it in their territory.

You should contact your embassy or consulate in advance of travel to confirm whether or not an IDP is recognised by Ireland.
Note: even when you hold an IDP, you should always carry your own driving licence when travelling in Ireland, as you may be required to produce this licence for inspection, for example, when hiring a car

Holders of driving licences from other countries

If you are not from any of the above countries, (for example The United States), and you hold a national driving licence or an international driving permit from your own country, you may drive in Ireland for the duration of your temporary visit (up to 12 months).

If your stay in Ireland will be more than 12 months you can apply for an Irish driving licence but you will need to go through the full driver licensing procedure. You must first pass a driver theory test , apply for a learner permit, complete a course of Essential Driver Training(EDT) and pass your driving test in Ireland. If you pass your driving test, you can then apply for a full Irish driving licence.

Please click here for information on how to apply for a first time Learner Permit.

How do I apply for a Driving Test?  

Before you apply for a driving test you must complete Essential Driver Training (EDT) which is a mandatory training course that teaches fundamental driving skills to learner car drivers.

The Essential Driver Training course is made up of 12 one-hour lessons, which you must complete before taking your Driving test. You can apply for a driving test as follows:

  • Telephone Driver Testing Section, RSA at 1890 40 60 40
  • Apply online
  • Download application form in English(PDF) or Irish(PDF) and send via post

In Ireland you must hold a Learner Permit for six months before applying for your test however a holder of a current full driving licence in the same category from another country (jurisdiction) for more than six months is exempt from this requirement, provided you have completed EDT and forward a current original driving licence and a letter of entitlement from the relevant licensing authority in that country to the: 

Customer Service Manager
Driver Testing Section,
Road Safety Authority,
Moy Valley Business Park,
Ballina,
Co. Mayo
drivingtest@rsa.ie

First time learner permit application 

For a first time learner permit application you must supply:

Renewal of a learner permit 

To renew a learner permit you must provide

  • Application form for learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent Learner permit
  • Evidence of PPSN if required.
  • If you do not have your most recent learner permit you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201) together with valid photographic ID
  • If applying for a third or subsequent Learner permit, documentary evidence must be submitted that you have either sat a driving test (statement of driving test outcome dated within two years) or an acknowledgement of a forthcoming test.
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • If the address has changed since your last learner permit was issued, you must provide evidence of new address.
  • Relevant fee €35
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office.

Adding a category to a learner permit 

To add a category to a learner permit you must provide

  • Application form for learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent Learner permit
  • Evidence of PPSN if required
  • A theory test pass certificate if applicable (dated within 2 years)
  • If you do not have your most recent learner permit you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201) together with valid Photographic ID
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required.
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • If the address has changed since your last learner permit was issued, you must provide evidence of new address which must be dated within 6 months
  • Relevant fee
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office.

Personal details changes  

Change of name

There are several circumstances that may require a change of name:

I want my learner permit to reflect my marriage/civil partnership name - what must I submit?  

  • Application form for learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent learner permit you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201) together with valid photographic ID
  • If applying for a third or subsequent Learner permit, documentary evidence must be submitted that you have either sat a driving test (statement of driving test outcome dated within two years) or an acknowledgement of a forthcoming test.
  • Your original civil marriage certificate* or original civil partnership certificate*, if primary photographic ID is not already in your married name.
  • Evidence of PPSN. This must be in the marriage name unless providing a marriage cert to show link original name and marriage name
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • If the address has changed since your last learner permit was issued, you must provide evidence of new address.
  • Relevant fee
  • Photographic ID (from the approved list)
  • Proof of residency entitlement
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office.

*Certified translations are required for all marriage certificates or civil partnership certificates which are not in English or Irish. Translations must be provided by a reputable company who must be a member of the Irish Translator and Interpreters Association. The original marriage or civil partnership certificate must be submitted together with the certified translation.

Otherwise, you will need to submit Photographic ID in your married name or two official documents that show you've been using your married name for two years on the date of application at the NDLS centre.

I want to revert to my pre marriage/ civil partnership name – what documents do I need to submit with my application?  

If you've been using a married name and want to revert to your maiden name on your learner permit, you need to submit:

  • Application form for Learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent learner permit you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201)
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Original evidence of divorce/separation or dissolution of civil partnership or evidence of initiation of same for example; a judicial separation court order or a separation agreement or a divorce decree or a letter from a solicitor confirming that a separation has been sought
  • Your original UK/Irish birth certificate or your original civil marriage certificate or original civil partnership certificate
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • Evidence of PPSN.
  • Photographic ID
  • Relevant fee
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office

Otherwise, you will need to submit Photographic ID in your pre marriage name or two official documents from the list that we accept for Evidence of Address or PPSN that show you've been using your pre marriage name for two years on the date of application at the NDLS centre.

I’ve changed my name by Deed Poll - what documents do I need to submit with my application? 

If you’ve changed your name by Deed poll and wish to change the name that appears on your licence, you need to submit:

  • Application form for Learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent Learner permit you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201)
  • Original deed poll document, please note only deed polls enrolled in the High Court in Ireland are acceptable
  • Evidence of PPSN which must be in the new name
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • Photographic ID
  • Relevant fee
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office

Otherwise, you will need to submit photographic ID in your new name or two official documents that show you've been using your new name for two years on the date of application at the NDLS centre.

I wish to use the Irish version of my name - what documents do I need to submit with my application?  

If you wish to use the Irish version of your name on your licence, you need to submit:

  • Application form for Learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent Learner permit you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201)
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • Evidence of PPSN.
  • Relevant fee
  • Your photographic ID in the Irish version of your name or two official documents that show you've been using your new name for two years on the date of application at the NDLS centre
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office

I wish to use the my usage name - what documents do I need to submit with my application: 

If the name by which you are known now differs from the name entered on your birth/adoption certificate or most recent photographic ID, other than through civil marriage, civil partnership or change of name via deed poll you will be required to submit:

  • Application form for a learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent learner permit you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201)
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • Evidence of PPSN which must be in the usage name
  • Relevant fee
  • Your photographic ID in the usage name or two official documents that show you've been using your new name for two years on the date of application at the NDLS centre
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office

 

Change of address: 

If your address has changed in any way since your last application you must submit:

  • Application form for learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent learner permit you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201)
  • Evidence of your new address from the approved list and dated within 6 months
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of IBT if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • Evidence of PPSN
  • Relevant fee

Please Note: Replacement applications cannot be accepted where the reason for the change is the addition of an Eircode

The NDLS centres cannot accept the following documentation as proof of address.

Change of medical details: 

If, following consultation with your GP, your medical condition is one that needs to be noted on your driver record you must submit a Medical Report Form to the NDLS. You will need to apply for a change of personal details through any NDLS centre.

You will need to attend in person at any NDLS centre with the following documentation:

  • Application form for a learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Your current learner permit
  • Evidence of PPSN if required
  • NDLS medical form D501 (dated within 1 month)
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • If the address has changed since your last learner permit was issued, you must provide evidence of new address dated within 6 months
  • Photographic ID
  • Relevant fee
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office

If you have more questions on this please email medicalfitness@rsa.ie or telephone 1890 40 60 40.

Replace a lost, stolen or damaged learner permit 

To replace a lost or stolen learner permit 

  • Application form for a learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • A completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201)
  • Evidence of PPSN if required
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • If the address has changed since your last learner permit was issued, you must provide evidence of new address dated within 6 months
  • Photographic ID
  • Relevant fee
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office

To replace a damaged learner permit 

Already hold a full driving licence and are applying for a Learner permit in a different category 

  • Application form for a learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • A theory test pass certificate (if applicable) (dated within 2 years)
  • Current Learner Permit
  • Current Full licence
  • Evidence of PPSN if required
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • If the address has changed since your last learner permit was issued, you must provide evidence of new address (must be dated within 6 months)
  • Relevant fee
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office

Licence Application Changes

Current Fees

New learner permit and renewal applications.

Category added or removed.

€35

€35

* The Over 70's Renewal Driving Licences /Learner Permits will remain free.

Payments

The National Driver Licence Service will accept the following payment methods with your application:

• Cash (where you attend in person at the NDLS centre)
• Cheque
• Bank draft
• Money order
• Debit card / credit card / prepaid credit card

The NDLS will only accept one method of payment for each application. The NDLS will only accept one payment for one application – a single payment for multiple applications will not be accepted.
Cheque, bank drafts or money orders must be made payable to 'National Driver Licence Service (NDLS)'. For applications paid for by cheque, please note that those applications will be placed on hold until the cheque clears.

The NDLS will process debit and credit card payments in accordance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) rules. If you wish to use a third party debit or credit card for payment, then the third party must be present in person to make the payment.

Licence Application Changes

From 5 June 2015 there will be changes that will, in some cases, affect the length of time driving licences and learner permits are valid for.

An example will explain the change- before 5 June 2015 a driver who applied to renew a ten year licence two months in advance of the existing one expiring got a new licence that lasted for ten years and two months from the issue date of the new licence.

From 5 June 2015 the person in the example will get a licence for ten years from the date of issue of the new licence. This is to bring us into line with the way licences are issued in other EU countries. Drivers can still apply for a licence up to three months in advance of the expiry date of the licence.

Another change that applies from 5 June 2015 is that your licence will, in the vast majority of cases, be returned to the customer at the NDLS centre on making an application for a new licence.

There will be some exceptions, licences that are damaged or licences issued by another countries being exchanged will continue to be retained.Where your licence is handed back at the NDLS centre it should be posted back to the NDLS when the new one issues and is received

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