Everything You Should Know About Learner Permit in Ireland

Dovie Salais

It is vital to remember that NDLS or the National Driver Licensing Service issues a learner permit. It is a beginner’s driver’s license to allow you to drive on public roads in Ireland, which means you should always have it. At the same time, you won’t take regular driving lessons […]

It is vital to remember that NDLS or the National Driver Licensing Service issues a learner permit. It is a beginner’s driver’s license to allow you to drive on public roads in Ireland, which means you should always have it.

At the same time, you won’t take regular driving lessons without having a learner permit. Besides, learner permit rules state that you should have it at least six months before preparing and arranging a driving test.

We wish to provide you advice and guidance on driving with learner permits for cars, trailers, trucks, buses, and motorcycles in this guide.

How to Apply for a Learner Permit?

Before you decide to apply for it, you should be eligible to learn how to drive. Therefore, you should follow specific regulations and gather documents as well.


You can easily apply for a learner permit for any vehicle, but you must:

  • Ireland Resident – It means that you live here at least half a year of 185 days annually.
  • Age Requirement – Before you can apply for a license to drive with ease, you must reach a particular age. Therefore, if you are under sixteen years of age, you cannot use any vehicle in a public area.
  • Pass a Theory Test – Applying for a learner permit means you must pass a theoretical test depending on the category of vehicle you wish to drive afterward. It is a regulation that applies to every single person depending on vehicle category. If your permit expired a few years ago, you must undergo another theory test before getting a regular license.

Apply for First Permit

We can differentiate two distinctive ways to apply for a permit. You can visit NDLS’s official website or book an appointment as its centre within your area.

  • Online Application – You should have a verified MyGovID account, PSC, or Public Services Card, and you can obtain the first permit online. Of course, you should pass a theoretical test based on a category you wish to drive. Present proof of your address in the last six months. Besides, you will need residential evidence, especially if your place of birth is outside the EU. Apart from these aspects, you should have an eyesight report, medical report, and CPC or certificate of professional competence. Finally, you should pay a fee of thirty-five pounds.
  • In-Person Application – The first thing you should do is book an appointment at a centre in your area. You won’t find a walk-in service, which means you should get your date and show on time. You do not have to fill an application form, but you should prove your identity and present supporting documents. We are talking about signatures and photographs. If you wish to apply for the first one, you will need the same documentation as the online one.

How to Renew It?

The main goal is you can renew the permit after expiration, depending on your preferences and needs. You can do it online through a similar application process as for the first one.

In most cases, the first and second will last up to two years, while the third and others will last for one year. If you wish to apply for a third or latter permit, you should confirm you used it for the driving test and failed it.

Essential Driver Training

If you have a learner permit, you should undertake EDT or essential driver training with ADI or Approved Driving Instructor by RSA. EDT is a training course to learn fundamental driving skills, which will help you ensure the best course of action.

You should click here to enter the official RSA website to learn more about EDT. The course requires twelve individual one-hour sessions. ADI will check your learner permit at each session and record it by adding a signature and stamp within your logbook.

The main goal is to complete the logbook during the driving test. If you get a full driving license from a country that doesn’t have a license exchange with Ireland, you should complete six EDT sessions before taking the whole test.

Things to Consider Before EDT Test

The first thing you should remember is you need to complete the EDT course with a certified instructor. Of course, you won’t be able to do it with a proper learner permit for at least six months beforehand.

At the same time, you will need a suitable vehicle in which you will handle testing. In case you do not own a car, you should take the instructor’s vehicle.

In case you pass the test in automatic cars, you can only drive automated vehicles. It means you should take another testing for the driving manual, which is an important consideration to remember.

You must ensure the car and have an up-to-date motor tax disc. The application can happen on RSE websites, which means you should pay a fee for each one. Of course, the price depends on the type of vehicle you are driving.

Besides, you can indicate the location, date, and time you wish to test, which is crucial for understanding.

The average waiting time from application to test is approximately ten weeks. If you decide to apply online, you should pick the appointment in case it is available.

If you cannot determine the proper slot, you will get a notice at least a month beforehand. In the letter, you can read the venue, time, and date of testing.

If you do not reach the test centre due to terrible road conditions or bad weather, you should contact them beforehand. You will not lose the test fee if you provide ten-day notice in advance.

You can also cancel it through the online application option. In rare situations, the centre will cancel your test, which happens only in specific problems such as the inability of the tester to come and severe weather conditions.

That is why you should follow notices and notifications before the due date. Of course, you should check out whether you have valid learner permit, which is older than six months to undergo a test. It is as simple as that.

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