How to apply for a Driving Licence

Photo of Licence

To apply for a licence you must be able to demonstrate that you are normally resident in Ireland; this generally means that you live here at least 185 days each calendar year because of work or personal ties. If you are studying or working abroad you may still be considered normally resident in Ireland provided you return here regularly. Where a person lives some part of the year outside of Ireland the question of personal, family and community ties helps determine whether or not you are normally resident. You can apply for a licence up to three months before the expiry date of the licence. If your licence has expired for ten years or more you must start the application process afresh and take a driver theory test, mandatory driving lessons and a driving test.

What you need in order to apply for or renew a driving licence, the fees that apply and the licence terms that are available.

Choose your Application Type

 

  • A fully completed NDLS Application Form for a Driving Licence D401
  • The appropriate fee
  • A Certificate of competency / proof of passing your driving test. Issue date of this cert must be within two years of application date.
  • Your current/most recent learner permit. If this has been lost / stolen or damaged please ensure the Garda Declaration on page 2 of the application form is completed. If your permit is unavailable you must present Photographic ID at the NDLS centre when applying
  • Documentation to verify your PPSN
  • A completed NDLS Medical report form if required in your case. For further details on when a medical report is required please click here
  • Evidence of address dated within the last 6 months is required where there has been any change in your address since your last application.
  • A fully completed NDLS Application Form for a Driving Licence D401
  • The appropriate fee
  • Your current/most recent full licence. If this has been lost / stolen or damaged please ensure the Garda Declaration on page 2 of the application form is completed. If your licence is damaged or unavailable you must present Photographic ID at the NDLS centre when applying
  • Documentation to verify your PPSN
  • A completed NDLS Medical report form if required in your case. For further details on when a medical report is required please click here
  • Evidence of address dated within the last 6 months is required where there has been any change in your address since your last application

Who can renew

 

  • Hold a licence due to expire within 3 months
  • Held a licence that expired less than 10 years ago
  • Wish to exchange a current valid licence issued by a Member State of the EU or of the European Economic Area or another 'recognised state'*

*Countries designated 'recognised states' have licensing systems broadly similar to ours. These include: Australia, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, New Zealand, Japan, Jersey, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland and Taiwan and Ontario in Cananda.

If you are disqualified from driving, or if your driving licence is suspended or withdrawn in the EU, or by a recognised state, you may not apply for a driving licence until the period of the disqualification/withdrawal of the driving licence has expired.

  • A fully completed NDLS Application Form for a Driving Licence D401
  • The appropriate fee
  • Your current/most recent full licence. If this has been lost / stolen or damaged please ensure the Garda Declaration on page 2 of the Driving Licence application form is completed
  • Your current learner permit for the category you are adding. If this has been lost / stolen or damaged please ensure the Garda Declaration on page 2 of the Learner Permit application form is completed.
  • If your old licence or learner permit is damaged you will require alternative photographic ID
  • A Certificate of competency for the relevant category. Issue date of this cert must be within two years of application date.
  • Documentation to verify your PPSN
  • A completed NDLS Medical report form if required in your case. For further details on when a medical report is required please click here.
  • Evidence of address dated within the last 6 months is required where there has been any change in your address since your last application.

When you have successfully passed a driving test in a new vehicle category, the additional category must be added to your driving licence. The fee for this service is €35. It is important to note that when adding a lower category (e.g BE or A1 or A2) where your licence also includes higher categories (e.g. C or D) a medical report may required to extend the term of the group 2 categories.

Simply apply in person at an NDLS centre

Important note -please ensure to complete any forms in block capitals using a black ballpoint pen. The application form must only be printed and not photocopied for quality control purposes.

All holders of full driving licences for categories C1 (large van/small truck), C (rigid truck), D1 (minibus), D (bus), C1E (large van/small truck with trailer), CE (articulated truck), D1E (minibus with trailer) or DE (bus with trailer) must produce a medical report (completed by a doctor) to add any of these categories to their licence.

If you have previously submitted a medical report for one of these categories and wish to add another category, the medical previously submitted must cover the full term of the new licence. If it does not, a new medical report is required

  • A fully completed NDLS Application Form for a Driving Licence D401
  • The appropriate fee
  • 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 licencing authority)
  • If you don’t have your licence you will need to provide an original letter of entitlement / driver statement from your relevant licencing authority and complete the Lost licence declaration (see question 16 of licence application form)
  • Documentation to verify your identity
  • Documentation to verify your PPSN
  • Proof of Address
  • Proof of residency entitlement
  • A completed NDLS Medical report form if required in your case. For further details on when a medical report is required please click here.
  • If your licence has expired you will need to present an original letter of entitlement from the appropriate licence authority.
  • If the licence you are exchanging is from a recognised State you must present an Eyesight report form D502

For more information in relation to foreign licence exchanges and a list of recognised Countries please refer to “Holders of Foreign Licences

The application form is available in NDLS centres, Driving Test centres, Driving Theory Test centres and Garda Stations. It is also available to download by clicking here. Guidance notes to help you complete the application form are available here.

Please ensure that you complete the application form in block capitals using a black ballpoint pen

As part of the application process your photograph will be taken so there is no need to submit photographs with your application.

Change of Personal Details

 

If you wish to change the name that appears on your driving licence you will be required to complete the application form D401 and provide the correct supporting documents to enable the name change. There are several circumstances that may require a change of name:

  • Marriage/Civil Partnership
  • Revert to pre marriage/civil partnership name
  • Deed Poll
  • Use of Irish name
  • Usage name

New Applicant

You need to submit:

  • Photographic ID (from the approved list)
  • Evidence of address if required
  • Proof of residency entitlement
  • Evidence of PPSN. This must be in the marraige name unless providing a marraige cert cert to show link original name and marraige name.
  • Your original civil marriage certificate* or original civil partnership certificate*, if primary photographic ID is not already in your married name.

Renewing your permit/licence

You need to submit:

  • Your previous permit/licence, if this item has been lost, stolen or damaged then you will be required to complete a declaration confirming the loss of the document and provide another form of photographic ID (from the approved list)
  • Your original civil marriage certificate* or original civil partnership certificate*
  • Evidence of PPSN
  • Your existing licence / Permit
  • Completed application form

*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.

Renewing your permit/licence

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

  • Photographic ID (from the approved list)
  • Proof of PPSN
  • 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 existing licence or permit
  • Completed application form

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

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

  • Your photographic ID
  • Original deed poll document, please note only deed polls enrolled in the High Court in Ireland are acceptable
  • Proof of PPSN which must be in the new name
  • Your existing licence or permit
  • Completed application form

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.

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

  • Your photographic ID
  • Two official documents that show you've been using your new name for two years on the date of application at the NDLS centre
  • Proof of PPSN
  • Your existing licence or permit
  • Completed application form

Otherwise, you can submit a photographic ID in the Irish version of your name or a Deed Poll, enrolled in the High Court in Ireland.

If the name by which you are known now differs from the version 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 documentary evidence of the constant use of that name for at least two years. Evidence of PPSN in this name is also required.

If your address has changed in any way since your last application you must submit acceptable proof of address along with a completed application form D401 and proof of PPSN. Please see below acceptable documents.

  • Utility bill (i.e. from electricity/phone/gas/cable television/broadband provider) Printed online bills are acceptable. Mobile phone bills are not acceptable
  • Statement or other correspondence from bank/building society/credit union including eStatements where the customer’s name and address are detailed. (Statements from store cards/catalogue companies are not acceptable)
  • Letter from Department of Social Protection/Revenue
  • Other official correspondence from an Irish state agency e.g. government departments; HSE; Register of Electors/polling card; CAO; Susi; An Garda Síochána; Private Residential Tenancies Board or third level college/training agency
  • Correspondence from an insurance company in relation an active house, car or health insurance policy.

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

Your age will determine the licence term you can apply for:

  • Under 60: 10-year cars and motorcycles, or 5 year for buses and HGVs.
  • 60-66: a licence that will expire when you reach 70
  • 67-69: 3-year licence
  • 70 or over: 3-year or 1-year licence (subject to certification of fitness to drive by your doctor)

The age in question is your age on the first day of the period for which the licence is being granted. A 1-year or 3 year licence may be granted in exceptional circumstances where, for medical reasons, a longer licence term cannot be granted.

Driving Licence
 New Driving Licences and Renewals €55 
 Three Year Licence (Age or Medical Grounds) €35
 One Year Licence (Medical Grounds) €25
 Replacement or Duplicate Licence €35

Exchange a Foreign Licence

 

€55

 

Learner Permits 

New learner permit and renewal applications.

Category added or removed.

€35

€35

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

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 1 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 1 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 1 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 1 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 returned to the NDLS when the new one issues and a Freepost facility will be available for this and advised to customers when the new licence is received.

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