It's legally required to have at least a provisional licence
if you want to drive a motor vehicle in a public place in
Ireland, and you must always carry your licence.
You can apply for a licence at any Motor Taxation Office
around the country - there are 29 Offices altogether.
Provisional licences are valid for two years (or one year
in certain circumstances) and cost 15 euro.
Once you have a provisional licence, you can drive a vehicle
in the category that your licence covers - a list of the different
categories is detailed below.
Categories of vehicles
Motor vehicles in Ireland are split into different categories
for driver licensing purposes. This is the usual practice
throughout the European Union. Ireland has 14 categories in
total, from motorcycles across to agricultural vehicles. Each
category of vehicle has its own prescribed minimum age for
Car drivers (category B) that have a provisional licence
must be accompanied at all times when driving, by a person
with a current full driving licence. (The single exception
to this is when the driver holds a second provisonal driving
licence to drive a car).
Motorcyclists (categores A, A1 or M) and work vehicle drivers
(category W) that have provisional licences, don't need to
be accompanied when driving.
Every other driver with a provisional licences has to be
accompanied by and kept under the supervison of someone with
a current full driving licence for the relevant vehicle category.
All provisional licence holders are required to display L-plates
to the front and rear of the vehicle, at all times.
If you are the holder of a provisonal driving licence, you
are not permitted to drive a vehicle drawing a trailer, drive
on a motorway, act as an accompanying driver or ever carry
other people for reward.
A theory test certificate has to be successfully obtained
before a first provisional licence is granted. To apply for
a third provisional licence you must show that you have (1)
taken a driving test in the two-year period prior to the application
or (2) or show evidence of an upcoming test date.
A two year provisional licence will be granted to the applicant
if you can produce evidence showing that you have taken a
driving test, and a one year provisional licence will be given
to you if you submit evidence of an upcoming test date.
However, if your provisional driving licence expired 5 years
ago, then you are required to take a Driver Theory test before
a new provisional licence will be issued.
When I change address do I need a new provisional licence?
It's not actually required by law to change your driving
licence if you change address, however it is recommended.
Contact your Motor Tax Office for more info on the procedure
- it's free to amend the address on your licence.
You are required to carry your driving licence with you at
all times when driving in Ireland. If requested by An Garda
Siochana (the Irish police force) to display your licence,
you are legally obliged to do so.
Replacing a lost or stolen provisional licence
If your most recent Irish provisional driving licence has
been either stolen or lost, but it is still valid, then you
can obtain a replacement driving licence. Apply at your local
motor taxation office, explaining the details of your case.
How to apply
Before you can apply for your first provisional driving licence,
you are required to complete and pass a Driver Theory Test.
People without any driving experience may only apply for
a provisional licence in categories A, A1, B, M or W. You
can download an application for a provisional driving licence,
from the oasis website, form D201. Make sure in advance though,
that your Motor Tax Office will accept downloaded application
This particular form is also available at the local Motor
Taxation Office and also by post through Oasis.
When you have completed the application form, you should
bring it to the motor taxation office together with: 2 identical
passport-type photographs (with the reverse of both photos
signed by you) and a birth certificate or passport. If you
already hold a current provisional or full licence, held a
full licence within the last 10 years, or held a provisional
licence within the last 5 years.
An eyesight report.
A full eyesight report form must accompany all first-time
provisional licence applications. This must be conducted by
a registered ophthalmic optician or a registered medical practitioner.
You can download an eyesight report form (D.502) from the
oasis website or collect one at the local motor taxation office.
You can also request that one be sent through the mail by
The optician will then fill out the D.502 form and oversee
your signed declaration on the form.
A medical report.
It's necessary to have a completed medical report form when
you are applying for the first time, for a provisional licence
for categories C1, C, D1, D, EC1, EC, ED1 or ED.
A registered medical practitioner should undertake your medical
examination and then complete the required form (D501). You
must sign the declaration on the medical report form under
the supervision of a registered medical practitioner.
A medical report is also obligatory for any category if you
will be 70 years of age or more on the first day of the period
for which the licence is being issued, are suffering from
any of the disabilities or diseases mentioned on the D.201
form, suffer from epilepsy or alcoholism or frequently take
drugs or medication that could have a detrimental effect on
your ability to drive safely.
The provisional driver licence costs €15. You can pay
by post using a cheque, bank draft or postal order, made payable
to your local authority. You can only apply by cash, if you
are applying in person.
Where to apply for the Provisional Licence
The application for the provisional driving licence should
be made at the local Motor Taxation Office. The telephone numbers
for the Motor Taxation Offices are located under the "Local
Authorities" section in your telephone directory.
Driver Testing Section,
Department of Transport,
Telephone: (096) 24200
Fax: (096) 24400
LoCall: (1890) 40 60 40 (charged local rate within Ireland)
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Full Driving Licence
The full driving licence may be applied for when you have
passed the driving test in Ireland. Applications are accepted
by post and in person, and forms are available at the motor
taxation section of your local authority. All drivers are
legally required to always carry their driving licence when
driving, since January 2003.
The full driving licence is also necessary in order to obtain
a licence in certain vehicle categories, and other benefits
include lower motor insurance (than holders of provisional
When you can apply or reapply for a Driving Licence
- have recently passed a driving test
- already have a licence that will expire within a month
- have a driving licence that expired within the last 10
- want to add an additional vehicle category to your current
licence, when no additional test is required.
- are exchanging a current driving licence from another
Where is the driver licence valid?
The full Irish driving licence is valid in all other EU/EEA
member states. If you happen to be venturing outside of the
EU/EEA and are planning to drive, you may need an international
How long is a licence valid?
The length of time
a licence is issued for, depends on the age of the applicant.
This is split into 4 categories, as follows:
Your age is...
- Under 60
You can apply for a 3 or a 10 year licence
- Between 60 and 67
You can apply for a 3 year licence, or a licence that expires
the day before your 70th birthday
- Between 67 and 70
You can apply for a 3 year licence
- Over 70
You require a certificate of fitness to drive
from your doctor and can apply for a 1 year or 3 year
What if your licence expires
You can renew your licence, provided that it has expired
within the last 10 years. If it has expired more than 10 years
ago, you will be required to take the Driver Theory Test,
and can then apply for a provisional driving licence
if you successfully pass. You will then have to resit the
driving test, before you are eligible for the full licence.
If your full driving licence expired 10 years ago, then you
must complete a Driver Theory Test. Following completion of
your Driver Theory Test, you can only then apply for a provisional
licence and you will have to re-sit your driving test again.
Categories of vehicles
Motor vehicles in Ireland are split up into different categories
for driver licensing purposes - this is the usual practice
right across the European Union. In Ireland there are 14 categories
in total, ranging from motorcycles to agricultural vehicles.
Is a new driving licence necessary, if I change address?It's not legally required to change your driving licence when you change address, but it is advised. You can contact the local motor tax office for more info on this - it's a free service.
Regardless, it is always legally required to carry your driving licence with you when driving, and you must produce your licence if requested by a member of the gardaí.
Replacing a lost or stolen full driving licence
If your most recent full Irish driving licence has been either
stolen or lost, but it is still valid, then you can obtain
a replacement driving licence. If your most recent licence
has expired, you can also obtain a replacement full driving
Costs for the different licences
One year = 5 euro
Three years = 15 euro
Ten years = 25 euro
Motorists over 70: Renewal is free
Exchanging licences to show change of address: Free
How to apply for the full licence
You can download and complete the application form D.401
from the government's website. This form is used in applying
for the driving licence, and also to renew it.,
Check that your local Motor Tax Office will accept applications
on downloaded application forms. You can also obtain this
form, from your local Motor Taxation Office, or you can ask
for a copy of form D.401 by post through Oasis (the government
Return the completed application form to your local Motor
Taxation Office including the following:
- 2 identical passport-type photos, with the reverse of
- current or most recently issued driving licence (if you
hold or held one in the previous 10 years), or the current
or most recently issued provisional licence (if you have
held one in the previous five years).
- A Certificate of Competency for those who have recently
passed their driving test.
- The requried fee. This may be a cheque, postal order,
or bank draft payable to the local authority. You may pay
the fee in cash, only if you are applying in person.
- Those who are exchanging a full and current driving licence
from another EU state (or other recognised state), should
also fill in and submit form D900 (available at the local
motor tax office). This form will include a declaration
that the licence you have at the moment is both current
- Drivers over 70 must submit a medical report, and also
drivers of category C1, C, D1, D, EC1, EC, ED1 or ED vehicles.
You can download form D501 from Oasis.
The medical report should be carried out by a GP, who
will fill in the form, and have you sign it in their presence.
(note: a medical report may also
be required if you suffer from any of the conditions listed
on form D401. These include alcoholism, epilepsy and some
Contact details for Driving Licence Authorities
Questions about the full Irish driving licence should be
referred toyour local Motor Tax Office. Your nearest Motor
Tax Office is located in your local authority.
Contact info for the government's Central Driver Testing
Section are as follows:
Driver Testing Section,
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Department of Transport,
Tel: (096) 24200
Fax: (096) 24400
LoCall: (1890) 40 60 40 (charged at local rate within Ireland)
Drivers in Ireland
Transferring Existing Licences
Those holding a driving licence issued by any of the countries
listed below may exchange it for an Irish licence of the same
vehicle category once they take up permanent residence in
Ireland, without being required to sit a driving test. This
transfer must be done within one year of arrival though.
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany,
Gibraltar, Greece, Iceland, Isle of Man, Italy, Japan, Jersey,
Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South
Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
If you aren't entitled to transfer your licence
Those holding driving licences from any other country are
required to pass an Irish driving test before an Irish licence
can be granted. They must first acquire a provisional licence
as detailed above, so will be required to also under go the
driver theory test, eye-test etc. You should also bring your
PPS number with you, when making applications for the provisional
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