alert NDLS
From Monday 9 April 2018 you will need a Public Services Card to apply for or renew a driving licence or learner permit. For more information visit www.psc.gov.ie or lo-call 1890 927 999 X

How to apply for a Driving Licence?

Renew a driving licence

First time driving licence

Add or remove a category

  • Application form for Driving licence D401 (Fully completed)
  • Cert of Competency (dated within 2 years) (if applicable) or IBT if gaining the bike category through the progressive option
  • Current Learner Permit
  • Current Full licence
  • If you do not have your most recent licence/permit you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D401) together with valid Photographic ID if both are lost
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of IBT if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • Evidence of PPSN
  • If the address has changed since your last learner permit/ driving licence 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

Personal Details Change

Change of name

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

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

  • Application form for Driving Licence D401 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent driving licence / Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent licence you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D401)
  • Your original civil marriage certificate* or original civil partnership certificate*, if primary photographic ID is not already in your married name.
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of IBT if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • Evidence of PPSN. This must be in the marriage name unless providing a marriage cert to show link between original name and marriage name
  • Photographic ID
  • Relevant fee
  • 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 from the list that we accept for Evidence of Address or PPSN 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 driving licence, you need to submit:

  • Application form for Driving Licence D401 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent driving licence / Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent licence you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D401)
  • 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 PPSN
  • Evidence of IBT 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 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 Driving Licence D401 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent driving licence / Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent licence you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D401)
  • 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 PPSN
  • Evidence of IBT 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 Driving Licence D401 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent driving licence / Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent licence you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D401)
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of IBT 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 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 Driving Licence D401 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent driving licence / Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent licence you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D401)
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of IBT 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 Driving Licence D401 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent driving licence / Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent licence you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D401)
  • Evidence if 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 can not 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:

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

Please note if you have supplied a medical to obtain existing licence/permit (101 notation on licence/permit) and terms of licence / permit are not being altered you may submit the NDLS Medical by Post to: Medical Fitness – Driver Licensing, Road Safety Authority, Primrose Hill, Dublin Road, Ballina, Co. Mayo.

Replace a lost, stolen or damaged licence

Where you are applying for a replacement for a lost, stolen licence, you must submit:

Where you are applying for a replacement for a damaged licence, you must submit:

Damaged licences/permits

It is accepted that there will be some wear and tear of licences and permits, particularly those in paper format, such as fraying or smudging. However if a licence/permit is significantly damaged, the applicant will be required to make a Garda declaration (see question *** of the application form) and to present another approved photographic ID when presenting at the NDLS centre. Significant damage is where the integrity of the document has been affected and can include but is not limited to where:

  • The text is no longer easily legible
  • Adhesive tape/contact paper has been applied to some or all of the document
  • The photograph has been damaged/dislodged
  • The paper has disintegrated such as due to water damage
  • The licence/permit is excessively torn or stained

The verification officer in the NDLS will confirm whether the document is deemed to be significantly damaged

Exchange a foreign licence

Click here to get information about exchanging a foreign licence.

Renew a driving licence while temporarily abroad

In order to be entitled to apply for an Irish driving licence, including the renewal or replacement of same, a person must be normally resident in Ireland.  It is considered that the country of normal residence of a person is the place where they usually live, for at least 185 days in each calendar year, because of personal and work ties, or, in the case of a person with no work ties, because of personal ties which show close links between that person and the place where he or she is living. 

A driver should attend a National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centre in person to apply for their driving licence.  They can book an appointment at a times that suits them by using our booking system or can visit a centre without an appointment and queue.

If a driver has taken up normal residence in another European Union member state or in another state with which Ireland has a licence exchange agreement (recognised state), they can apply to the licensing authority in that country to exchange their Irish driving licence.  They can then exchange that foreign licence for an Irish driving licence on their return to Ireland.

Where a person is living abroad and working on a fixed term contract or attending a college or university generally they can be thought of as resident in Ireland providing they have personal ties here.  If a driver considers themselves normally resident in the Republic of Ireland but is currently abroad and unable to attend an NDLS centre in person, they can contact lqueries@rsa.ie for details on how they can renew or replace their licence.  They will be required to provide documentary evidence i.e. if working, an original letter from their employer, on headed paper with signature and contact number of employer, stating the start date and expected duration of their fixed term contract abroad or if studying, original correspondence from the college/university confirming the title and duration of the course.  Where a driver is abroad on an extended holiday, this option will not apply.

Please note that as set out in road traffic legislation, when an Irish driving licence expires, the driver can apply to renew the licence within ten years of its expiry.  A driver can apply to renew their licence up to three months in advance of its expiry.

 

Licence term

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.

Licence Categories

 

Category Vehicle type Minimum age*
AM Mopeds and Light quadricycles. 16 years
A1 Motorcycles with an engine capacity not exceeding 125 cubic centimetres, with a power rating not exceeding 11 kW and with a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.1 kW/kg. Motor tricycles with a power rating not exceeding 15 kW. 16 years
A2 Motorcycles with a power rating not exceeding 35 kW, with a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.2 kW/kg and not derived from a vehicle of more than double its power. 18 years
A Motorcycles and Motor tricycles. 24 years or 20 with progressive access
B

Vehicles (other than motorcycles, mopeds, work vehicles or land tractors) having a MAM1 not exceeding 3,500 kg, designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver.

The vehicle may tow a trailer (a) where the MAM of the trailer is not greater than 750 kg or (b) where the MAM of the trailer exceeds 750kg the combined MAM of the towing vehicle and the trailer is not greater than 3,500 kg.

Quadricycles (other than those covered by AM) are also covered by this category.

17 years
BE Combination of drawing vehicles in category B and trailer where the MAM1 of the trailer is not greater than 3,500 kg. 17 years
W Work vehicles and land tractor with or without a trailer. 16 years
C Vehicles (other than work vehicles or land tractors) having a MAM1 exceeding 3,500 kg, designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver and where the MAM1 of the trailer is not greater than 750 kg. 21 years or 18 with CPC
CE Combination of drawing vehicles in category C and trailer where the MAM1 of the trailer is greater than 750 kg. 21 years or 18 with CPC
C1 Vehicles in category C having a MAM1 weight not exceeding 7,500 kg, designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver and where the MAM1 of the trailer is not greater than 750 kg. 18 years
C1E Combination of drawing vehicles in category C1 and trailer where the MAM1 of the trailer is greater than 750 kg and where the MAM1 of the drawing vehicle and trailer combined does not exceed 12,000 kg.
Combination of drawing vehicles in category B with trailer where the MAM1 of the trailer is greater than 3,500 kg and where the MAM1 of the drawing vehicle and trailer combined does not exceed 12,000 kg.
18 years
D Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of more than eight passengers in addition to the driver and where the MAM1 of the trailer is not greater than 750 kg. 24 years or 21 years with CPC
DE Combination of drawing vehicles in category D and trailer where the MAM1 of the trailer is greater than 750 kg. 24 years or 21 years with CPC
D1 Vehicles in category D designed and constructed for the carriage of not more than sixteen passengers in addition to the driver with a maximum length not exceeding 8 metres and where the MAM1 of the trailer is not greater than 750 kg. 21 years
D1E Combination of drawing vehicles in category D1 and trailer where the MAM1 of the trailer is greater than 750 kg. 21 years

Minimum age*:

This refers to minimun age at which you can hold a learner permit in that category

Note:

"Passenger accommodation" means seating accommodation for passengers in addition to the driver.

1 Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM1).  Manufacturers generally refer to it as gross vehicle weight (g.v.w.) and it is usually displayed on a metal plate attached to the vehicle by the manufacturer.

Important

Tricycle:  Where a person had an entitlement to the category B  full licence prior to 19 January 2013 that also covered them to ride tricycles. They still retain that entitlement. All first full Licences issued for the category B from 19 January 2013 would not have this entitlement and therefore they must take out the appropriate Bike category to ride a trike. The appropriate bike category will depend on the CC of the Tricycle.

Moped: Where a person was issued the category B full licence prior to 21 October 2006 that also covered them to ride mopeds and therefore are entitled to the moped category AM provided the category B licence has not expired for more than 10 years.

Current Fees

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 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.

More Information

Cars and Trailers

What you need to know about towing a trailer on a car licence.

Can I tow a trailer on a car licence?

If you have a category B driving licence to drive a vehicle (car/jeep) you can tow a small trailer. If you want to tow a larger trailer you must have category BE on your licence. For information on licence categories click here.

Is there a weight limit for a vehicle?

The owner's manual will generally set a limit on the total weight of the vehicle and its load. This is known as the maximum authorised mass (MAM) and is also sometimes known as Design Gross Vehicle Weight (DGVW). It covers the weight of the vehicle, passengers, fuel as well as any load carried on a roof-rack. The manual will also give the unladen weight of the vehicle, ie. the weight of the vehicle without any passengers or load. To know the load which can be carried you subtract the unladen weight from the MAM. If, for example, the MAM is 2010 kg and the unladen weight of the vehicle is 1535kg, then the load which can be carried is 475kg.

What aside from the licence affects my right to tow a trailer?

Even though your driving licence entitles you to tow a trailer, the kind of trailer you can tow will also depend on your vehicle specification. The owner's manual will generally set out a Towing Capacity- sometimes called Towing Weights or Maximum Trailer Weights- for the vehicle. Some small vehicles might not be allowed to tow any trailer while larger vehicles have restrictions set by the manufacturer of these vehicles on the size of trailer which can be towed. In all such cases the type of trailer you can tow will be the lesser of that allowed by your licence or the towing capacity of your vehicle.

How can I find out more about towing capacity?

The towing capacity is described for licensing purposes as the maximum authorised mass (MAM). Your owner manual/handbook will have a section in it about vehicle specification that will tell you this and almost all vehicles will have a metal plate fixed to its body which also gives this information.

For trailers the MAM is the weight of a trailer itself together with the heaviest load which it can carry as specified by the trailer manufacturer.

 

What trailers does my category B licence cover?

You can tow a trailer with a

  • MAM no greater than 750kg, and/or
  • Where the MAM of the trailer exceeds 750kg but where the MAM of the vehicle and trailer does not exceed 3500kg.

As a general rule your category B licence would not allow you to tow a horsebox or a livestock trailer for bringing animals to the local mart.

What trailers does my category BE licence cover?

You can tow a trailer

  • In all cases where the MAM of the vehicle and trailer combination is greater than 3500kg but less than 7000kg.
  • In cases where the MAM of the trailer is greater than 750kg. However, note previous question where in certain cases a category B licence will allow you to tow a trailer over 750kg.

A car with a towing capacity of 2000kg can draw a trailer with a plated MAM of 3500kg provided the combination of the weight of the trailer and any load does not exceed the towing capacity of the car e.g. 2000kg.

 

How do I obtain a car and trailer licence?

  • You must hold a current full driving licence in the category B (car).
  • You must first pass a driver theory test in the category BW (if not already passed to obtain a category B licence)
  • Apply for a learner Permit in category BE in an NDLS centre.
  • After passing a driving test in the car/jeep and trailer you can then apply for the category BE to be added to your full driving licence.

Why is it important that you tow the correct trailer for your vehicle?

If you tow a trailer that is greater than the permitted MAM you are not safe on the road and this has implications for your own safety as well as that of other road users. For that reason you should take time to understand what trailer is safe and legal to tow on our roads. Ultimately, you are legally responsible for ensuring that you have the correct licence and that you don't exceed the towing capacity.

How should the load on the trailer be positioned?

Loads should always be placed in a safe and secure position. Wherever possible, loads should be evenly distributed across the trailer and positioned in such a way as to keep the nose weight (i.e. the weight of trailer draw bar on the towing bracket) within the recommended limits for the towing vehicle. Consult your owner's manual for this figure.

For more information on trailers please click hereExternal Link.

Note this content is for reference and is not a statement of the law or a legal interpretation of the provisions relating to driver licences, this is a matter for the Courts.

Driving licence codes

Some driving licences or learner permits will have Codes noted under Column 12 on the card licence or permit. Codes generally set out information that restrict the use of the licence or permit or place an obligation on the driver. In some cases the Codes will result from the outcome of a medical examination, or as a result of an adapted vehicle presented for a driving test, or perhaps, because the driver held a foreign licence with restrictions that must now be placed on an Irish licence having exchanged the foreign licence.

Some new Codes are being introduced from 1 January 2017, including Codes 61, 62(30), and 64(80) which allows for a driver to be restricted to driving in daylight hours, driving within a particular radius or within a particular speed. It is intended that these options would provide an alternative to being forced to stop driving completely because of medical circumstances. If you hold a licence or permit and medical or other circumstances mean that one of the Codes become relevant to your situation eg. following a crash you need to drive a vehicle with an adaption, you should contact the NDLS for advice on next steps.

The table below sets out details of the Codes and what they mean for any particular driver.

Table - Details of Codes on a Driving Licence or Learner Permit

Code Reference Details of Restriction
01 Sight correction and/or protection
02 Must wear hearing  aid/communication aid
03 Prosthesis/orthosis for the limbs
10 Modified transmission
15 Modified clutch
20 Modified braking system
25 Modified accelerator system
30 Modified combined braking and accelerator system
 31 Pedal adaptations and pedal safeguards
 32 Combined service brake and accelerator systems
 33 Combined service brake, accelerator and steering systems
35 Modified control layouts
40 Modified steering
42 Modified rear/side view devices 
43 Modified driving seating position
44.01 Motorcycle with single operated brake
44.02 Motorcycle with adapted front wheel brake
44.03 Motorcycle with adapted rear wheel brake
44.04 Motorcycle with adapted accelerator
44.05 Motorcycle with adjusted manual transmission and manual clutch
44.06 Motorcycle with adjusted rear-view mirror(s)
44.07 Motorcycle with adjusted commands direction indicators, braking light
44.08 Motorcycle with seat height allowing the driver, in sitting position, to have two feet on the surface at the same time and balance the motorcycle during stopping and standing
44.09 Maximum operation force of front wheel brake … N (*)
44.10 Maximum operation force of rear wheel brake … N (*)
44.11 Adapted foot-rest
44.12 Adapted hand grip
45 Motorcycle with sidecar only
46 Tricycles only
47 Restricted to vehicles of more than two wheels not requiring balance by the driver for starting, stopping and standing
50 Restricted to a specific vehicle/chassis number (vehicle identification number, VIN)
61 Limited to day time journeys one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset                                           
62 (30) Limited to journeys within a radius of 30 km from holder’s place of residence.        
63 Driving without passengers
 64(80) Limited to journeys with a speed not greater than 80 km/h
65  Driving authorised solely when accompanied by a holder of a driving licence of at least the equivalent category
66 Without trailer
67 No driving on motorways
68 No alcohol
69 Restricted to driving vehicles equipped with an alcohol interlock
70 Exchange of recognised driving licence
71 Duplicate licence
73 Restricted to category B vehicles of the motor quadricycle type (B1)
78 Restricted to vehicles with automatic transmission
79 Restricted to vehicles which comply with the specifications indicated in brackets
79.01 Restricted to two-wheel vehicles with or without side-car
79.02 Restricted to category AM vehicles of the three-wheel or light quadricycle type
79.03 Restricted to tricycles
79.04 Restricted to tricycles combined with a trailer having a maximum authorised mass not exceeding 750 kg
79.05 Category A1 motorcycle with a power/weight ratio above 0.1 kW/kg
79.06 Category BE vehicle where the maximum authorized mass of the trailer exceeds 3500 kg
80 Restricted to category A vehicle tricycles until reaches age of 24 years
81 Restricted to category A vehicle of the two-wheel motorcycle type until  reaches age of 21 years
96 Category B vehicles combined with a trailer with a maximum authorized mass exceeding 750 kg where the maximum authorized mass of such combination exceeds 3 500 kg but does not exceed 4,250 kg
97 Not authorised to drive a category C1 vehicle where use of a tachograph is required.
100 Restricted to vehicles adapted to suit disability of licencee
101 Renewal subject to submission of a valid medical report
102 Diplomatic licence
109 Must undergo the driving test within 2 months of issue
115 Organ donor
991 Holders of Learner Permits in categories A1, A2, AM, A, W and B must wait for 6 months before taking the driving test
992

Second Learner Permit in category

993

Third or subsequent Learner Permit in category

999

Must be accompanied by qualified driver

New Regulations for motorcycles

Licensing requirements and safety regulations that apply to motorcycles and mopeds.

Licensing categories

There are four licensing categories for motorcycles

  • Riders can progress through the categories (progressive access) in some cases by doing prescribed training rather than taking a driving test.
  • A driver can drive the most powerful bike at 24 without any previous experience i.e. direct access.
Category Vehicle type Minimum age*
AM Mopeds and Light quadricycles. 16 years
A1 Motorcycles with an engine capacity not exceeding 125 cubic centimetres, with a power rating not exceeding 11 kW and with a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.1 kW/kg. Motor tricycles with a power rating not exceeding 15 kW. 16 years
A2 Motorcycles with a power rating not exceeding 35 kW, with a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.2 kW/kg and not derived from a vehicle of more than double its power. 18 years
A Motorcycles and Motor tricycles. 24 years or 20 with progressive access

Other regulations

Helmets:
Both rider and pillion must wear helmets while on a public road.

Licences:
You must hold a current driving licence or learner permit for a motorcycle or moped.

Tax/insurance:
You must display a current motor tax disc and have insurance cover before you can take your motorcycle or moped on a public road.

Pillion passengers:
It is a penal offence to carry a passenger if you hold a learner permit. And if you have a full licence, make sure your licence and insurance policy allow you to do so.

Alcohol:
The current limit for drink driving is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, 107mg of alcohol per 100ml of urine or 35mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

Sidecars:
These are permissible but must be properly constructed and fitted. They must have correct lighting and be adjoining the left side of the motorcycle.

Check this page regularly for new safety regulations for motorcyclists.

 
More about motorcycles

Vehicle standards External Link for motorcycles