Where do I apply for my licence / learner permit?

You need to apply in person at any of the NDLS centres if applying for a driving licence or learner permit. This is because the process includes a ‘face to face’ security process which will increase the security of your licence. This face to face meeting, which in most cases will only be required once, is designed to combat fraud and keep unlicenced drivers off our roads by ensuring that the only person who will use your licence is you. To make your trip to the NDLS centre as straightforward as possible, we would strongly advise that you book your appointment online at ndls.ie where you can choose a date and time that best suits you.

Can I book an appointment with an NDLS centre?

Yes, you can book an appointment up to four weeks in advance, in any NDLS centre, by clicking here.

Can I just walk in and to an NDLS centre and apply for my licence?

Yes. However walk-in appointments are limited and tend to fill up quickly and delays may be experienced so we would strongly advise booking an appointment to visit an NDLS centre online at ndls.ie where possible.

What do I have to bring with me?

You will need to bring certain documents with you in order to confirm you are the person that is applying for the licence.

If you are an existing Irish driving licence or learner permit holder, you need to bring your current driving licence or learner permit and evidence of your PPS number.

If you are applying for a full licence or learner permit for the first time or you have never held a licence or permit before you will need to supply documents to verify your identity, such as:

  • photographic ID, for example, a current passport or public services card
  • proof of residency entitlement, for example, a current passport or birth certificate
  • evidence of address, which will be captured as your official address for all future correspondence, for example, a utility bill such as a gas, broadband or cable television bill, or a statement from your bank, the address on the application form must match exactly to the address on the proof of address.
  • evidence of your PPS number which can be found on a medical card or Drug Payment Scheme card, or on your payslip

A full list of the types of documents that will be accepted in each category is available here. You can also find it on the guidance notes accompanying the driving licence and learner permit application form.

Please review this list before visiting an NDLS centre as not having the right documents with you will lead to a delay with your application as it cannot be processed. Any documents you bring with you must be originals – photocopies will not be accepted. Please note that some documents can be used to satisfy two criteria, for example, using your passport as photographic ID and proof of your residency entitlement.

What’s involved in this ‘face-to-face’ application?

Security and safety are at the heart of the NDLS service which will be consistently delivered throughout the country. Since the change from paper to plastic card, learner permits and licences are more secure, long-lasting and convenient. Now we’re adding a layer of security to make sure that the only person who uses your licence is you.

For that reason, a number of new security measures are being introduced to the licensing process as part of the changeover to the NDLS.

These changes include:

  • A requirement for you to bring additional documentation to confirm your identity;
  • A face to face meeting with a Customer Service Agent in an NDLS centre;
  • Having your digital photograph taken and digital signature captured by a Customer Service Agent in an NDLS centre.

What will happen when I visit an NDLS centre to apply for my licence?

  • You will go to the counter where you will be greeted by a Customer Service Agent to begin the application process.
  • They will ask you for documentation to confirm your identity.
  • They will take your photograph and a digital signature will be captured. This photograph will used on your licence. The cost is included in the licence fee.
  • Once you have completed the application process and paid for your licence, you will be given a receipt. Your application will be sent to the Central Licensing Processing Unit (CLPU) and your new plastic card learner permit or licence should be posted to you within five to eight working days

Why do I have to apply in person?

Could I not get a relative to apply for me like I did before? You will need to apply in person at any of the NDLS centres if applying for a driving licence or learner permit. This is to complete a ‘face-to-face’ meeting with the NDLS to increase the security of your licence, combat fraud and keep unlicenced and potentially unsafe drivers off our roads by ensuring that the only person who will use your licence is you.

Can I apply for my licence / learner permit by post?

No. A new ‘face-to-face’ application process has been introduced to help to increase the level of security of the driving licence, combat fraud and keep unlicenced drivers off our roads. Therefore you need to apply in person at any one of the NDLS centres nationwide in order to complete the ‘face-to-face’ security validation process.

In many cases you may only need to attend an NDLS centre once to do this face-to-face application. It is our intention to provide a service that will allow you to get subsequent licences and learner permits through an online service commencing in 2016.

How do I know if I am medically fit to drive?

Your driving licence application must be accompanied by a Medical Report Form (D501) if you:

  • Are applying for a driving licence in respect of a truck or bus, licence categories C, C1, CE, C1E, D, D1, DE or D1E (unless you have previously provided a medical report which is still valid)
  • Will be 70 years of age or more on the first day of the period for which the licence for any licence category is being granted
  • Suffer from any of the disabilities or diseases specified in the diseases and disabilities list.
  • Have ever suffered from alcoholism or epilepsy
  • Are a regular user of drugs or medication that would be likely to make your driving unsafe

The medical report must be completed by a registered medical practitioner and you must sign the declaration in his/her presence.

Do I need a driving licence to drive a Camper/Camper Van/Motor Home?

Yes, a driving licence is required to drive any mechanically propelled vehicle in Ireland in a public place.

What category of driving licence do I need to drive a Camper/Camper Van/Motor Home?

This will depend on the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) or the Design Gross Vehicle Weight (DGVW) of the vehicle and passenger accommodation. If MAM not exceeding 3,500kg and passenger accommodation for less than 8 passengers in addition to the driver then a category B is appropriate. If MAM exceeds 3,500kg and passenger accommodation for less than 8 passengers in addition to the driver then a category C1 is required.

Can I do a driving test in a Camper/Camper Van/Motor Home?

No, you must sit the driving test in a representative vehicle for the category of vehicle being tested in.

Therefore, if sitting the test in a category B vehicle then the following vehicle is required - Four wheeled vehicles (e.g. cars/light vans), having a maximum authorised mass not exceeding 3,500 kg., with passenger accommodation for not more than 8 persons and capable of a speed of at least 100km/h.

If sitting the test in a category C1 vehicle then the following vehicle is required - Vehicles (larger vans/light trucks) with passenger accommodation for not more than 8 persons, a maximum authorised mass of at least 4,000kg., but not more than 7,500 kg., a length of at least 5 metres and capable of a speed of at least 80km/h. The vehicle must be fitted with anti-lock brakes and with recording equipment (tachograph). The cargo compartment must consist of a permanently mounted cube shaped closed box body, which is at least as wide and as high as the cab.

These are our most common FAQs however if you do not find what you are looking for you may check out our extended FAQ's here.

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