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

My First Time Drivers Licence

Well done on completing your driver training and passing your driving test. Your final step in this journey is applying for your first driving licence. The certificate of competency you received when you passed your driving test does not entitle you to drive as a fully licensed driver. You must abide by the rules of your learner permit until you hold your full licence.

A person granted a first full driving licence must display N-plates on the vehicle for a period of 2 years.

To apply online for a first time driving licence

You can now quickly and easily apply for your driving licence online. No need to complete paper forms, make appointments or visit an NDLS centre in person.

All you need is the following:

You must book an appointment to attend an NDLS centre.

To apply in person at an NDLS centre you will need the following:

You can apply in person at any of the 34 National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centres nationwide.

  • A person granted a first full driving licence from 01 August 2014 must display N-plates on the vehicle for a period of 2 years, and during that period display them 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.
  • The novice period applies only once i.e. someone who holds a driving licence for a category of vehicle and who after a period of two years becomes entitled to drive another category, does not become a novice in respect of the new category.
  • Non-display of N-plates is an offence under traffic law and is punishable by a fine not exceeding €1,000 for a first offence. On becoming a fixed charge the failure to display an N-plate will carry 2 penalty points on payment of a fixed charge, or 4 on conviction.
  • A lower threshold of seven penalty points leading to disqualification will apply 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 driving licence.

    Where a driver held a learner permit before 1 August 2014 and obtain a first full licence after 1 August 2014 they will be disqualified on accumulating 12 penalty points in a 3 year period or on accumulating 7 new penalty points after 1 August 2014 whichever first until they have held the driving licence for 2 years.

  • There is no requirement for novice drivers to have an accompanying driver – this is still only the case for learner drivers. However, a novice driver may not act as an accompanying driver for someone who holds a learner permit.

For further details see FAQs on Novice Drivers here and Novice Plates for Drivers here.