Apply Online for learner permit or driving licence services, including renewal, updates, exchanges, and replacements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our online service caters for all application types, you can apply online for:

  • first-time learner permit or full licence
  • renewing your driving licence or learner permit
  • updating personal details
  • replacement of a lost/stolen or damaged licence or permit
  • exchanging your foreign licence for an Irish licence

Applying online is a simple, straightforward process, no need to book an appointment or attend an NDLS centre. Save time and do it the smart way Apply Online today.

All you need is your Public Services Card and your verified MyGovID account to apply online.

If you already have a verified MyGovID account you can Apply Now

If you don’t have a verified MyGovID account: It is simple to set up. You just need to visit www.mygovid.ie.

You will need a Public Services Card to get a verified MyGovID account. You can book a Public Service Card (PSC) appointment by contacting your local Intreo office.

You cannot apply online for your learner permit or driving licence services if your Public Services Card (PSC) photograph is over 10-years-old. You will need to renew your PSC ONLINE on the MyWelfare.ie website.

To Renew PSC Online

  1. Go to Renew your Public Services Card
  2. You must have a verified MyGovID account
  3. Review your personal details and make sure they are correct
  4. Confirm your address
  5. Upload a recent digital photo that meets the requirements

After making a successful PSC renewal application with an updated photograph of yourself please wait until your application is approved. Once this process is completed you will be able to avail NDLS services online.

It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to apply online.

If you have to submit any supporting documents it will be easier if you have them saved to your phone or pc beforehand so that you can upload them during the application process. If you haven’t got them to hand, don’t worry you can save your application and come back later to complete (within 20 days).

Yes. The system will not allow you to apply for a first-time learner permit until you have passed the driver theory test in that vehicle category.

Online Application:

If you apply online you will be able to upload your medical or eyesight report during the online application process. You will be guided through this process within the online application system. Alternatively, you can post it to the address provided to you in the email confirmation that you receive when you make your online application.

NDLS in Person Application:

If you made an application in person in an NDLS centre and are now submitting medical or eyesight report forms, or any other outstanding documentation – please note that your reference number and the postal address are provided on the receipt given at the time of application. Please quote your reference number when posting any documentation.

No you don’t need to upload your driver theory test certificate.

Once you have passed your theory test you can apply online from the next working day. We will have a record of your test result.

You will be able to upload your eyesight report during the online application process.

You will be guided through this process within the online application system.

Alternatively, you can post it to the address provided to you in the email confirmation that you receive when you make your online application.

No you don’t need to upload your certificate of competency.

Once you have passed your driving test you can apply online from the next working day. We will have a record of your test result.

In some cases you may need supporting documentation depending on your application type and circumstance. You will be prompted during the online application process if there is any additional documentation required.

Alternatively you can check if you need supporting documents by selecting the licence or permit application type you are applying for from the menu bar of the website www.ndls.ie and you will see a checklist of what is required.

No, you can upload a copy of your Irish Residence Permit (IRP) during the online application process

No, you can upload a copy of your Temporary Residence Permit during the online application process.

No, you can upload a copy of your Section 60 Temporary Residence document during the online application process.

If you encounter any technical difficulties, please email our customer services team at [email protected]

It is a permit issued to people who are learning to drive. For further information see How to apply for a learner permit

Period of Learner Permit Permit Count
2 years First or second learner permit
2 years Third or subsequent learner permit - you must show evidence of failing a driving test in the previous two years
1 year Third or subsequent learner permit - you must show evidence of having applied for or having a forthcoming test date

For all fees relating to learner permits see Fees.

Yes. However, you must have already passed a theory test in the vehicle category you wish to drive. To apply online for a learner permit, you will need a verified MyGovID account and supporting documentation.

A Public Services Card helps you to access a range of public services easily. Your identity is fully authenticated when it is issued so you do not have to give the same information to multiple organisations. You can book a Public Service Card (PSC) appointment by phoning your local Intreo office. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 pandemic online PSC appointments are not available at www.mywelfare.ie.

This is a secure online account for accessing public services. It is simple to set up, you just need to visit www.mygovid.ie to set up your verified MyGovID.

Yes. You will not be able to apply for a first-time learner permit until you have passed the driver theory test in that vehicle category.

You can renew your learner permit twice. After that, you must apply for a driving test or have unsuccessfully taken the driving test in the previous two years.

Yes. You can apply to renew your learner permit within 3 months of expiry. You can also renew a learner permit up to 5 years after its expiry date.

Yes. You can apply for a replacement learner permit online if you have a Public Services Card and verified MyGovID. For details on how to apply for a replacement learner permit online click here.

No. Learner permits are only valid for driving in the country of issue and are non exchangeable.

Yes. You can update any personal details on a driving licence if you have a Public Services Card and verified MyGovID. For details on how to update your personal details on a driving licence click here.

The NDLS cannot book or cancel an appointment over the phone or by email. Walk-in appointments are no longer available. You must book an appointment here.

Under S.I. No. 242 of 2015 of European Union (Licensing of Drivers) (Validity of Licences) Regulations 2015, the start date of a learner permit will be the date of application.

Yes. A Public Services Card can be used as:

  • Photographic ID (name on learner permit application must match the name on card)
  • Proof of PPSN
  • Evidence of address (where the current address on the learner permit application is the same as the address provided on your Public Services Card)
  • Proof that you’re normally resident in Ireland if your place of birth and nationality is outside the EU/EEA

Essential Driver Training (EDT) was introduced for all new learner permit holders from 4 April 2011. It is a mandatory training course of 12 one hour sessions that teach fundamental driving skills to learner car drivers and this must be completed before taking the driving test.

Yes. On 21 January 2019 the RSA introduced a shorter EDT programme for foreign licence holders who cannot exchange their licence in Ireland.

Initial Basic Training (IBT) was introduced for all motorcycle learner permit holders from 6 December 2010. It is a mandatory training course of 16-18 hours in 3-4 modules with a mixture of theory and practical skills depending on size of motorcycle.

No. All new learner permit holders must be accompanied by a qualified driver at all times. This does not apply to learner permit drivers of motorcycles or tractors.

Learner permit holders must be accompanied at all times by a qualified driver (who holds a full driving licence in the category of vehicle being driven for a minimum of two years). A person who can drive in Ireland under a licence issued by either an EU Member State or by a country in the European Economic Area, can act as qualified driver. Otherwise a foreign licence holder cannot act as a qualified driver.

Yes. From 8 December 2014 a learner driver driving unaccompanied or not displaying L plates, or motorcyclists not wearing an L tabard are penalty point offences.

Yes. On 22 December 2018 changes in legislation were introduced for unaccompanied drivers where in addition to penalty points and a fixed charge, a learner permit holder driving unaccompanied can have their vehicle impounded, and where the unaccompanied learner driver is not the vehicle owner, the vehicle could be impounded and owner liable to a fine of up to €1,000.

Yes. You now have the option of having code ‘115’ on a learner permit to signify that you are willing to be an organ donor.

The valid categories on your learner permit are those shown with a start and end date on the back of the permit. For further information see licence categories here.

This is a 9 digit number that appears in field 4d on your learner permit and remains with you throughout your driving history.

No. Notation 78 denotes "Automatic only".

Your doctor or optometrist needs to complete, sign and stamp this form. Any corrected error, alteration or change made in completing the form must be initialled and dated. It is your responsibility to ensure the form is completed and signed correctly.

For information on requirements for proof of evidence of normal residence click here

NDLS are required to ensure that all learner permit applications satisfy the residency requirement. If the information recorded on your existing learner permit or the information provided to DEASP (Dept of Employment Affairs & Social Protection) when registering for your PSC does not satisfy the requirement then you are required to provide such documentation.

Yes. Proof of normal residence will only be required for all applications if your place of birth is recorded as being outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland/UK.

For information on documentation acceptable for photo ID click here

Your age and medical fitness will determine the duration of the licence which can be issued:

Age Licence Term
Under 65 years Maximum* 10 year licence - Cars and Motorcycles or
Maximum* 5 year licence - Trucks and Buses
65 - 71 years A licence which will expire on the eve of your 75th birthday at the latest. However please note that any group 2 categories (trucks and buses) will be for a maximum of five years which could expire before the driver turns 75.
72 - 74 years 3 year licence
75 or over 3 year licence or 1 year licence (subject to certification of fitness to drive by your doctor)

* A one or three year licence may be issued where, for medical reasons, a longer licence term cannot be granted.

The age in question is your age on the date of application

For information see link to Periods of learner permits and driving licences.

For all fees relating to driving licences see Fees page.

Yes. You can apply for a driving licence online if you have a Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID. For details on how to apply online for a driving licence click here.

A Public Services Card helps you to access a range of public services easily. Your identity is fully authenticated when it is issued so you do not have to give the same information to multiple organisations. You can book a Public Service Card (PSC) appointment by calling your local Intreo office. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 pandemic online PSC appointments are not available at www.mywelfare.ie

This is a secure online account for accessing public services. It is simple to set up, you just need to visit www.mygovid.ie to set up your verified MyGovID

You can renew your driving licence online providing you have a Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID. For details on how to renew online click here.

Yes. You can apply to renew your driving licence within 3 months of the expiry date. You can also renew a driving licence up to 10 years after its expiry date.

Yes. You can apply for a replacement driving licence online if you have a Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID. For further information on how to replace a lost/stolen or damaged licence click here.

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. 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. For further information see Exchange My Foreign Driving Licence.

In Ireland you can exchange a licence issued by another EU member state or other country/territory with which Ireland has a licence exchange agreement (known as a recognised state) where the licence originated within the EU or another recognised state.

Yes. You can update any personal details on a driving licence if you have a Public Services Card and verified MyGovID. For details on how to update your personal details on a driving licence click here.

Under S.I. No. 242 of 2015 of European Union (Licensing of Drivers) (Validity of Licences) Regulations 2015, the start date of a driving licence will be the date of application.

Yes. You now have the option of having code ‘115’ on a driving licence to signify that you are willing to be an organ donor.

If you need a medical form or an eyesight form , then your doctor or optometrist needs to fill in and sign this form appropriately. It is up to you to ensure the form is completed and signed in full, so ensure you check the form is fully completed with your doctor or optometrist before submitting.

You can view the category on the back of your driving licence in which you have entitlement. For a full list see licence categories.

This is a 9 digit number that appears in field 5 of your paper driving licence or field 4d on your plastic card driving licence and this number remains with you throughout your driving history.

No. Notation 78 denotes "Automatic only".

Yes. If you have a driving licence for categories BE, C, CE, C1, C1E, D, DE, D1 or D1E issued from 30 November 2013 with an automatic transmission restriction code 78, and hold a category B manual driving licence this code will be removed electronically from your driving licence record or you can apply for a replacement driving licence to have it updated on NDLS.ie.

For information on requirements for proof of evidence of normal residence click here

NDLS are required to ensure that all driving licence applications satisfy normal residence requirements. If the information recorded on your existing driving licence or the information provided to DEASP (Dept of Employment Affairs & Social Protection) when registering for your PSC does not satisfy the requirement then you are required to provide such documentation.

Yes. Proof of normal residence will only be required for all applications if your place of birth is recorded as being outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland/UK.

You can now quickly and easily update your personal details online. For details on how to change your address on a:

Alternatively you can book an appointment here to attend one of our NDLS centres in person.

You can now quickly and easily update your personal details online. For details on how to update your surname following a marriage or civil partnership on a:

Alternatively you can book an appointment here to attend one of our NDLS centres in person.

You can now quickly and easily update personal details online. For details on how to update your surname following separation, divorce or dissolution of civil partnership (reverting to birth surname) on a:

Alternatively you can book an appointment here to attend one of our NDLS centres in person.

You can now quickly and easily update personal details online. For details on how to update your name to the Irish language version on a:

Alternatively you can book an appointment here to attend one of our NDLS centres in person.

You can now quickly and easily update personal details online. For details on how to update your name following a change of name by deed poll on a:

Alternatively you can book an appointment here to attend one of our NDLS centres in person.

You can now quickly and easily update personal details online. For details on how to update your change in medical details on;

Alternatively you can book an appointment here to attend one of our NDLS centres in person.

You are required to submit an eyesight report form with an application for a driving licence or learner permit if:

  • you are applying for your first learner permit
  • you are exchanging a driving licence from outside the European Union
  • you wish to remove a 01 notation (the requirement to wear corrective lenses when driving) from your driving licence or learner permit.

You are required to submit a medical report form with an application for the renewal of a driving licence or learner permit if:

  • you are aged 75 or over, or the licence you are applying to renew expires the day before your 75th birthday
  • you have certain medical conditions – see list of specified conditions here
  • you wish to apply to renew or add categories to a driving licence or learner permit which will include any group 2 bus and truck categories (C1, C, C1E, CE, D1, D, D1E, DE)
  • your current driving licence includes the notation code 101 which indicates that renewal is subject to submission of a medical report.

Adding a category to a driving licence will trigger a new administrative period for the full licence.

Group 2 categories (trucks and buses i.e. C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D, DE) are issued for a maximum duration of five years with group 1 categories (cars, motorcycles, tractors) issued for a maximum of ten years.

If you are applying to renew a driving licence which includes group 2 categories or if, having passed a driving test, you are applying to add a licence category where the new driving licence to be issued will include any group 2 categories, you are required to submit a medical report form which covers the full period of the licence to be issued.

Therefore, even though you may have submitted a medical report form some months ago with your application for a learner permit, you would now have to submit an up-to-date medical report with your application to renew or add categories to a driving licence which includes group 2 categories.

Driving licence categories are divided into group 1 (motorcycles, cars and tractors) and group 2 (trucks and buses). There is a higher standard of physical and mental fitness required on the part of drivers who hold group 2 categories in light of the duration of time they spend behind the wheel and the greater size and weight of their vehicles.

If you have a complete loss of vision in one eye or corrected acuity of less than 6/60 (0.1 decimal) in the weaker eye, you cannot obtain a driving licence or learner permit with group 2 categories.

Where you have complete loss of vision in one eye (i.e. if there is any light perception, you are not considered monocular), you may apply for a driving licence or learner permit with group 1 categories (motorcycles, cars and tractors), when clinically advised by a competent medical authority that you have adapted to the disability and the prescribed eyesight standard in the remaining eye can be satisfied and there is a normal monocular visual field in the remaining eye.

If you are applying through the online application system, there is an option to upload your medical report form as part of the application process. If you cannot upload it at that time, you will be given the option to post it. The postal address will be included in the confirmation email you receive when you complete the online application.

If, following consultation with your doctor, your medical condition is one that must be notified to the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS), you will need to have a medical report form completed regarding your fitness to drive and apply to the NDLS for a change of personal (medical) details. It is not adequate to send an email to us.

This is the list of medical conditions here about which you are required to notify the NDLS.

For more details on these see Sláinte agus Tiomáint Medical Fitness to Drive Guidelines

To make an application to update your medical details, you can apply online if you have a public services card and a verified MyGovID. Otherwise, you will have to book an appointment to attend an NDLS centre in person.

You can apply online for a change of medical details on a learner permit here.

You can apply online for a change of medical details on a driving licence here.

Where you have been advised by your doctor that you must stop driving you should surrender your driving licence or learner permit to;

Medical Fitness - Driver Licensing,
Road Safety Authority,
Moy Valley Business Park,
Primrose Hill,
Dublin Road,
Ballina,
Co. Mayo

Please include a short note to say that you are surrendering your driving licence or learner permit on medical grounds. There is no need to submit a medical report or letter from your doctor or any other forms when surrendering your driving licence or learner permit.

Where you had been advised by your doctor that you could not drive for a period of time and are then told by your doctor that you may return to driving, you should make an application to the NDLS for a change in personal (medical) details. The application must be accompanied by an up-to-date driving licence medical report form completed by your doctor confirming your fitness to drive. There is no application fee payable unless it is due for renewal or you are also applying for a replacement of a lost or stolen licence or permit.

In order for you to make an application to update your medical details, you can apply online if you have a public services card and a verified MyGovID account. Otherwise, you will have to book an appointment to attend an NDLS centre in person.

You can apply online for a change of medical details on a learner permit here.

You can apply online for a change of medical details on a driving licence here.

If your doctor has requested that you undergo an on-road driving assessment (ORDA), you would have to arrange this assessment yourself. Your doctor may be able to recommend a local operator that carries out these assessments so you should discuss this with your doctor. For further information you can email [email protected]

There is no application fee payable when applying to update personal details on a driving licence or learner permit unless it is due for renewal or you are also applying for a replacement of a lost or stolen licence or permit.

An exchange may occur only if the licence issued by the recognised state is submitted to the NDLS when making a foreign licence exchange application. If there is no licence available to be submitted an exchange application cannot occur. If you cannot exchange your foreign licence and you reside in Ireland and you want to drive in Ireland, you will need to go through the learning to drive process.

The learning to drive process is:

Please contact NDLS via NDLS Contact Us Form or contact NDLS by phone on 0818 700 800 or +353 214624810.

An exchange may occur only if the licence issued by the recognised state is submitted to the NDLS when making a foreign licence exchange application. If there is no licence available to be submitted an exchange application cannot occur. If you cannot exchange your foreign licence and you reside in Ireland and you want to drive in Ireland, you will need to go through the learning to drive process. The learning to drive process is

If you hold a national driving licence or an international driving permit from any country that does not have an exchange agreement with Ireland you may drive here only while you are a visitor and never for longer than 12 months. Once you become a resident you must exchange your licence for an Irish one.

On taking up residence you must pass a driver theory test , apply for a learner permit, complete a course of Essential Driver Training (EDT), pass your driving test and apply for a full driving licence to drive in Ireland.

On 21 January 2019 the RSA introduced a shorter EDT programme for foreign licence holders whose full licence from another country (jurisdiction) is not exchangeable with Ireland.You may qualify for exemption from EDT lessons 2,3,4,8,11 and 12. For details on EDT shortened program click here and related application form click here

If you pass your driving test, you can then apply for a full Irish driving licence. For details on how to apply for a first time Learner Permit click here.

Please Note: Once you obtain an Irish learner permit, this will take precedence over your full foreign driving licence and all rules and regulations pertaining to the holder of a learner permit applies e.g. display of L plates, must be accompanied etc.

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.

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.

For details on how to exchange an EU/EEA driving licence click here.

Where the code 95 CPC is noted on an EU driving licence, this will not be transferred to the Irish driving licence and you must apply for a separate CPC card to the RSA if you want to continue driving professionally. For further details on CPC. Learn more here.

In Ireland you can only exchange a licence issued by another EU member state or other country/territory with which Ireland has a licence exchange agreement (known as a recognised state) where the licence originated within the EU or another recognised state. For details on how to exchange a driving licence from a recognised state click here.

You can now apply online here to exchange your foreign driving licence if you have a Public Services Card and verified MyGovID

In some cases, we will need to contact the country that issued your licence and await confirmation of validity from them before we can issue you an Irish licence. Unfortunately, this may cause a delay of several weeks in issuing you an Irish licence.

A letter of entitlement or driver statement is a copy of your driver record or history showing details of name, address, date of birth, driver number, date of expiry of licence and class of licence including details of what that class refers to. It is issued by the licensing authority in the country of origin. An original document is required with your application if your foreign licence is expired, lost, stolen or damaged. To obtain a driver statement (letter of entitlement) for a foreign licence you must contact the licensing authority which issued your foreign licence.

Yes. If your letter of entitlement or driver statement is not in English or Irish, an original certified translation must be provided by accredited translators in Ireland. The letter of entitlement must be submitted together with the certified translation.

Penalty points are designed to encourage safe driving and reduce casualties on our roads. For further details and the full list of penalty point offences please visit www.rsa.ie

Penalty point offences are recorded on your driving licence record if:

  • You are convicted of a driving offence that attracts penalty points, or
  • You are served with a fixed charge notice for an alleged offence that attracts penalty points and you opt to pay the fine. If the fine is not paid it will be referred to the courts where a higher number of penalty points will apply.

Any driver accumulating 12 penalty points or 7 points where applicable in the case of a novice driver or learner permit holder within any given three-year period will be automatically disqualified from driving for six months.

You are required to surrender your Irish or foreign driving licence to the National Driver Licence Service within 14 days of disqualification commencing. It is an offence not to surrender a licence. It is also an offence to drive while disqualified.

To check if you have any penalty points please complete this Driver Statement Form and include as it appears on your learner permit or driving licence, your Name, your Driver Number, Date of Birth, PPSN and whether you would like to receive it by email or post. No fee required.

Note: Information regarding a driver will not be sent to a third party, it can only issue to email or postal address associated with your driver record

Penalty points are applied 28 days after the issue of the notification to a current valid licence. This is provided for in law and cannot be amended.

Penalty Points are applied to a current valid driving licence for a period of 3 years and will then expire. Where a driver does not have a current licence during that period or they are disqualified then that period will be added to the 3 year period. A letter issues to the driver when the points expire.

You will need to email [email protected] confirming your name, driver number and proof of new address.

Disqualification from holding a driving licence or learner permit Penalty Points
Full licence issued prior to 01 August 2014 12 points
Learner permit issued from 01 August 2014 and within the first two years of holding your first driving licence 7 points
Learner permit issued before 01 August 2014 and within the first two years of holding your first driving licence 7 points or 12 points*

*On accumulation of 12 points in total or 7 points issued since 1 August 2014, whichever reached first.

Yes, the learner permit, driving licence or foreign driving licence must be surrendered to NDLS, P.O. Box 858, Southside Delivery Office, Cork for the duration of the disqualification which is 6 months.

Yes, you must renew your driving licence/learner permit immediately, otherwise the disqualification will stop counting down and the remaining period will only be served when you renew your driving licence/learner permit.

  • If your licence is in date when your disqualification expires, a letter will be issued to you requiring you to contact us by telephone or e-mail to confirm if the address is correct for the licence to be returned.
  • If you have moved address or the licence is expired, you will be required to apply online for change of personal details or book an appointment to attend your local NDLS centre in person.

If you believe there are grounds for appealing a fixed charge notice or prosecution because of exceptional circumstances there is a formal process in place for reviewing such cases and this is undertaken by An Garda Síochána.

The offence can be appealed to the Court. The Road Safety Authority (RSA) can only remove penalty points on direction of the Court in an instance where the person is convicted in court. A person can appeal within 14 days of the court conviction. If the appeal is accepted outside the 14 days then the points will still be endorsed on the record and cannot be removed unless by order of the court or the appeal is won.

Once a person is convicted of a penalty point offence then penalty points are endorsed as provided in the legislation. The judge does not need to say that penalty points apply.

If you were not driving, or otherwise using the vehicle on the date of the offence, the Statement of Nomination of Name and Address of Driver of Vehicle section on the Fixed Charge Notice must be completed by the registered owner, not the driver, and the full notice must be returned to the Fixed Charge Processing Office within 28 days of the date of the notice. For further information see fixed charge notices.

Yes, since 1 June 2011 the foreign licence is recorded and the points are endorsed against that record. Where a person accumulates 12 points in a 3 year period then the driver will be disqualified.

If you have misplaced, lost or damaged your Fixed Charge Notice, you will need to contact the Fixed Charge Processing Office at 0818 50 60 80, or e-mail [email protected] and a re-print of the notice will be sent to you by post. Please note that the time continues even when a re-print request is submitted.

The full Fixed Charge Notice must accompany any payment by cheque, postal order, bank draft or credit card and then post to An Garda Siochana,PO Box 55,Kilrush, Co Clare. When paying by any of these methods at a Post Office it is advisable to present your driving licence. For further information see payment of fixed charges.

A disqualification will apply in both cases where the number of points equal or exceed 7.

A driver who held a full driving licence at any time prior to 1 August 2014 but the entitlement has lapsed (expired for 10 years or more) while driving on a learner permit will be disqualified on accumulating 12 penalty points or 7 new penalty points endorsed on the driving record on or after 1 August 2014. They will not be considered a novice when they go through the process to get their entitlement back. i.e. they are not subject to any of the Novice rules including displaying N plates and lower penalty point threshold when they take out their driving licence.

Essential Driver Training (EDT) (EDT) was introduced for all new learner permit holders on 04 April 2011. It is a mandatory training course of 12 one hour sessions that teach fundamental driving skills to learner car drivers and this must be completed before taking the driving test.

Yes, a reduced EDT programme is available for drivers who currently hold a full car licence (category B) from a country (jurisdiction) that does not have a licence exchange agreement with Ireland.

Initial Basic Training (IBT) was introduced for all new learner permit holders from 06 December 2010. It is a mandatory training course of 16-18 hours in 3-4 modules with a mixture of theory and practical skills depending on size of motorcycle.

A novice driver is a person who was granted a first full driving licence on or after 1 August 2014 who must display N-plates on the vehicle for a period of 2 years, and during that period display N-plates on any other vehicle in respect of which they get a driving licence.

N-plates indicate that the driver is a novice i.e. have not held a driving licence in any category for a minimum period of two years.

N-plates indicate that the driver is a novice i.e. who has not had a driving licence for a total period of two years. (It does not matter how long they may have held a learner permit).

No. There is no requirement for novice drivers to be accompanied – this only applies to learner drivers. However, a novice driver may not act as an accompanying driver for someone who holds a learner permit.

On 1 August 2014 a person granted a first full driving licence must display N-plates on the vehicle for a period of 2 years, and during that period display N-plates on any other vehicle in respect of which they get a driving licence. Where the vehicle is a motorcycle, the rider must wear an N–tabard on the front and back.

The novice period applies only once i.e. if you hold a driving licence for a category of vehicle and after a period of two years become entitled to drive another category, you do not become a novice in respect of the new category and you will not be required to display N-plates.

Yes

Where the vehicle is a motorcycle, the rider must wear an N–tabard on front and back.

Yes. All motorcycle categories AM, A1, A2 or A whichever is your first driving licence carry the requirement to wear a N-tabard on front and back.

Yes, if the driving licence is granted on or after 1 August 2014, you must display N-plates on the vehicle during the first two years of holding that driving licence entitlement.

Yes. From 8 December 2014 penalty points apply to a novice driver for non-display of N plates on cars, or not wearing an N-tabard front and back when riding motorcycles.

It should be placed on the rear of the tractor, or if not clearly visible there, in a vertical position on the rear of the implement or trailer.

No, you are not required to display N-plates when issued with an Irish driving licence.

Yes, if the EU or exchange licence is less than two years old you will be required to display N-plates until the two-year period expires. For further information see N-Plates and novice drivers

You are required to display:

  • N plates on the car for a period of two years, and
  • L plates on the rigid truck or minibus for the entire period you hold the learner permit

To any driver who is granted their first learner permit on or after 1 August 2014 while they drive under a learner permit, and subsequently during the first two years while they drive under their first full driving licence.

A driver who held a learner permit or full driving licence at any time prior to 1 August 2014 while driving on a learner permit, and subsequently during the first two years while whey drive under their first full driving licence will be disqualified on accumulating 12 penalty points or 7 new penalty points endorsed on the driving record on or after 1 August 2014. There is one exception to this and this is where the driver held a full driver licence in Ireland prior to 1 August 2014 but has let the entitlement lapse (expired for 10 years or more) they are not considered a novice when they go through the process to get their entitlement back. i.e. they are not subject of any of the Novice rules including displaying N plates and lower penalty point threshold.

Where your first full driving licence is granted on or after 1 August 2014, and you held a learner permit before 1 August 2014, you will be disqualified on accumulating 12 penalty points or where 7 new penalty points are endorsed on the driving record on or after 1 August 2014, whichever happens first. There is one exception to this and this is where the driver held a full driver licence in Ireland prior to 1 August 2014 but has let the entitlement lapse (expired for 10 years or more) they are not considered a novice when they go through the process to get their entitlement back. i.e. they are not subject to any of the Novice rules including displaying N plates and lower penalty point threshold.

During the first two years of your driving licence, where the number of points equal or exceed 7 a disqualification will apply. After two years of holding that driving licence, the disqualification threshold is 12 or more penalty points.

You will be disqualified on accumulating 12 penalty points or where 7 new penalty points are endorsed on the driving record on or after 1 August 2014, whichever happens first.

  • If your first full driving licence is granted on or after 1 August 2014, and you held a learner permit before 1 August 2014, the threshold of 12 or more penalty points applies.
  • If you got your first learner permit on or after 1 August 2014 the threshold of 7 or more penalty points applies while you hold a learner permit and until you hold your first driving licence for two years.

You must hold a current driving licence or learner permit to drive a motorcycle or moped. There are four categories for motorcycles AM, A1, A2 and A. For further information see licensing categories.

It is an offence to carry a passenger if you hold a learner permit. If you have a full licence, make sure your licence and insurance policy allow you to do so.

Both rider and pillion passenger must wear helmets while on a public road. It is an offence “to permit a passenger not wearing a crash helmet to be carried on a motorbike”. For further information see penalty points page on RSA website.

Initial Basic Training (IBT) was introduced for all new learner permit holders from 06 December 2010. It is a mandatory training course of 16-18 hours in 3-4 modules with a mixture of theory and practical skills depending on size of motorcycle.

Powered vehicles such as a golf buggy, a quad bike, a ride-on lawn mower etc, etc are designed and intended for off-road private use only. These are mechanically propelled vehicles and if used on a public road (public road includes footpath) are subject to all of the regulatory controls that apply to other vehicles. These vehicles would have to be registered, taxed, be subject to vehicle lighting requirements and subject to vehicle construction, equipment and use regulations as regards brakes etc. The driver of the vehicle would have to hold a driving licence and be insured to drive that vehicle. Essentially these vehicles would be subject to all of the road traffic law provisions that apply to mechanically propelled vehicles generally.

An exception is made in the case of powered wheelchairs that are used by persons who have a mobility disability. Powered wheelchairs (including mobility scooters) are regarded for all intents and purposes as having pedestrian status and as being 'the legs' of the wheelchair user and are not regarded as an optional mode of vehicle transport that requires driver licence, registration, motor tax, etc. No distinction is made between self-propelled wheelchairs and powered wheelchairs. Powered wheelchairs can be used on footpaths (it is a penalty point offence for any other mechanically propelled vehicle to drive along a footpath), can enter pedestrianised streets and cycle tracks, can enter buildings etc in the same manner as pedestrians. Wheelchair or mobility scooter users are in special circumstances as regards essential personal mobility needs arising from a disability and, as already stated, the wheelchair is therefore regarded as an extension of the person rather than as a mode of transport vehicle.

No prohibitions on access apply to non-motorway public roads to the users of powered wheelchairs or mobility scooters, similar to those applying to walkers, joggers, cyclists, persons riding horses or droving animals etc, however under Section 97 of the Roads Act of 1992, it is the duty of care of a person using a public road to take reasonable care of his/her own safety and for that of any other person using the public road. Specifically road users must take all reasonable measures to avoid injury to themselves other to any other person using the public road or damage to property owned or used by them or any other person using the public road.

Therefore wheelchair users (again this includes those using powered wheelchairs or mobility scooters) should face oncoming traffic in the same manner as if there were being pushed by an adult, they should also use a footpath or hard shoulder where possible at all times and cross the road at pedestrian crossings, traffic lights or at a location that gives them the best view of any approaching traffic.

Hi Visibility vests or other forms to improve conspicuity, should also be worn at all times by the user or person pushing a wheelchair etc.

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

Category Vehicle required for test
B 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.
C1

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.

12.2

NDLS centres are open countrywide. You must book an appointment to attend one of the NDLS offices here.

Customers are reminded that there are no walk-in appointments. You must book an appointment here.

Payment at NDLS centres can only be made by Credit/Debit card or Google Pay/Apple Pay or Payzone. Unfortunately, cash/cheques/postal orders will not be accepted.

NDLS centres have been assessed and measures have been put in place to align with the Government's Return to Work Safely Protocols. Appropriate signage, sanitation and handwashing, and social distancing measures such as reduced seating in waiting areas and customer touchpoint cleansing have been introduced. Customers will be accompanied into and out of centres and required to adhere to necessary health and safety guidelines.

If you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms on the day of your NDLS appointment or at any point in the previous 14 days, you must not attend for your appointment. Please cancel your NDLS appointment here.

You can only apply for renewal of learner permit within 3 months of its expiry date.

You can only apply for renewal of driving licence within 3 months of its expiry date.

Yes, you can apply online for any application type.

All you need is your Public Services Card and your verified MyGovID to apply online.

If you already have a verified MyGovID account you can Apply Now

If you don’t have a verified MyGovID account: It is simple to set up. You just need to visit www.mygovid.ie to set up your verified MyGovID account

You will need a Public Services Card to get a verified MyGovID account. You can book a Public Service Card (PSC) appointment by calling your local Intreo office.

You should be able to get all the relevant information on www.ndls.ie or you can also email [email protected]

No. From the 1 January 2021 if you are resident in Ireland and hold a UK/NI driving licence it is no longer valid to drive on here in Ireland. It is not legal for driving purposes and must therefore be exchanged.

UK/N.I licence holders resident in Ireland can exchange their licence for an Irish licence provided the licence being exchanged is valid for exchange and is not expired for more than 1 year.

You can now apply online to exchange your UK/N.I licence if you have a Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID. For further details click here.

Alternatively, you can apply in person at an NDLS Centre. You must book an appointment here to attend any of our 36 NDLS centres. For further details on what you need to bring to your appointment click here.

If you are submitting a Letter of Entitlement instead of a lost or expired licence you may be required to provide further verification from the DVA Coleraine for NI licences. If you hold a UK licence you will be contacted by the NDLS to provide a check code so your licence details can be verified. Learn more about sharing your driving licence details here.

The Government have signed a new exchange agreement that will allow for the exchange of a UK/NI driving licence for an Irish driving licence provided the licence being exchanged is valid for exchange and is not expired for more than 1 year.

Yes. It is important to note that while you are exchanging your licence, providing it is current and valid, you will continue to be licensed for the period of the exchange process. Where you are exchanging your UK/NI licence, the NDLS will provide you with a receipt which you should carry with you to confirm you are in the process of exchanging a licence. It is a legal requirement to carry your driving licence at all times when driving here. Enforcement is a matter for An Garda Síochána.

As a visitor to Ireland holding a UK/NI licence, you will be entitled to drive in Ireland for the period of your visit with your existing driving licence providing it is current and valid and that you carry it with you at all times. You will not be required to carry an International Driving Permit.

Yes. An Irish driving licence is an EU licence and the UK/NI has indicated it will continue to recognise EU driving licences.

Yes. An Irish driving licence is an EU driving licence and the UK/NI has indicated it will continue to recognise EU driving licences.

For further information on driving on a UK/NI licence in the EU after Brexit click onto the Department for Transport UK website here.

Yes, as a resident of Northern Ireland, you can continue to make this journey to work and drive for your work duties in the Republic of Ireland on your UK/NI licence. International law covering driving licences provide for such journeys.

Your application to exchange your UK/NI licence for an Irish licence must be accompanied by a medical report if you:

  • are 75 years or over on the date of application and have an identified or specified illness
  • are exchanging a licence with bus or truck licence categories
  • indicate ‘yes’ to any of the medical questions

To download a medical report form click here.

See full list of requirements to exchange your UK/NI licence

It is important to note that some categories on your UK/NI driving licence may have UK national codes associated with them, which may mean these particular categories are not transferable to an Irish licence.

For more details see below.

Category D1 and D1E Licence with Code 1 or Code 101 (not for hire or reward)

The licence for minibus (category D1) and bus with trailer attached (category D1E) with code 1 or Code 101 indicating “Not for hire or reward” (nfhr) which was granted in the UK/NI is not transferable when you exchange it for an Irish driving licence as this was a national category in the UK and only valid to drive in the UK.

However, if you are the holder of a category D1 and D1E driving licence without these codes they are transferable to your driving licence provided you submit a medical report with your application.

Category EC1 Licence with Code 107

The licence for light articulated truck (EC1 category) with Code 107 was granted in the UK/NI and is not transferable when you exchange your UK/NI licence for an Irish one, as there is not an equivalent category in Ireland.

Category EC Licence with Code 102

The licence for articulated truck (EC category) with Code 102 was granted in the UK/NI and is not transferable when you exchange your UK/NI licence for an Irish one, as there is not an equivalent category in Ireland.

The NDLS is the name given to the dedicated service which receives applications for learner permits and driver licences.

The Road Safety Authority was tasked by the Government to manage the processing and production of learner permits and driving licences in Ireland.

There are 34 NDLS centres nationwide. The locations of the centres were chosen to ensure that 95% of the population is serviced within a 50km radius of a centre.

Remember, you are no longer restricted to applying for a licence or learner permit in your local area only. You can now apply for a licence at any NDLS centre in the country. Alternatively you can Apply Online. Our new online service caters for all application types.

You can apply online for:

  • first-time learner permit or full licence
  • renewing your driving licence or learner permit
  • updating personal details
  • replacement of a lost/stolen or damaged licence or permit
  • exchanging your foreign licence for an Irish licence

The locations of the NDLS centres ensure that 95% of the population is within 50 kilometres of a centre. You can now attend any NDLS centre in the country, not just the centre in your own county.

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm

Saturdays: 9am to 1pm (excluding Bank Holidays)

If you are attending an NDLS centre in person you must book an appointment as walk-in appointments are no longer available.

A walk-in service is no longer available. You must book an appointment here to attend any NDLS centre in person.

Yes. You can book an appointment here

You will need to bring the required supporting documentation, ID, and fee. Application forms are no longer required. However, if you wish to make your application in Irish you will be required to complete an Irish application form. Your photograph and signature will be captured electronically at the NDLS centre.

Why not save yourself a trip to the NDLS centre and Apply Online here for learner permit or driving licence if you have a Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID

  • 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 be 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

Because the NDLS centre is dedicated to taking applications for a learner permit or driver licence, the application process should not take any more than 15 minutes once you are seen by a Customer Service Agent.

If you have applied for your licence/permit at an NDLS centre, it should be processed within 5 to 8 working days. You should allow an additional 2-5 working days for delivery by An Post. You do not need to contact the NDLS if you have only made your application in the last three weeks. If you have not received your licence/permit three weeks from the date you visited the NDLS centre you can email the NDLS at [email protected].

If there is a discrepancy with your application or you have not submitted all the required supporting documentation your application will take longer to process.

Exchange of foreign licences to an Irish licence will take longer to process as the licence entitlements have to be verified by the original licensing authority.

Yes. application forms for the driving licence and learner permit allow applicants the option of having the code ‘115’ on their licence or learner permit to signify that they are willing to be an organ donor.

Your permit/licence will in the vast majority of cases be returned to you at the NDLS centre on making an application. There will be some exceptions which include permit/licences that are expired, addition or removal of some codes and permit/licences that are damaged. Licences issued by other countries being exchanged will continue to be retained.