Learner Driving Permits For Trailers

Introduction

It is a statutory requirement that you must hold at least a learner driving permit (previously known as a provisional licence) for the appropriate category of vehicle and trailer if you want to drive while pulling a trailer weighing more than 750kg when fully loaded, in a public place. You are required to carry your learner permit with you at all times when driving.

To apply for a learner permit, you must be normally resident in Ireland. If you usually live here for at least 185 days in each calendar year (because of personal and occupational ties), you are considered to be normally resident in Ireland.

Since 19 January 2013 the Road Safety Authority has responsibility for driver licensing. Since 29 October 2013 the application process has changed and, when applying, you will need to visit one of the new National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centres. As part of this face-to-face application process, your photo and your signature will be captured digitally. These will be included in the existing fee. You will have to bring additional documentation to confirm your identity. Further information is available on the NDLS website.

A new plastic card driver licence/permit has been introduced, replacing the paper driving licence and learner permit. Anyone who applies for a licence or learner permit after 12 January 2013 receives the new version. This is an EU initiative to introduce a secure, compact style of licence in all member states. Also, the number of driving licence categories increased and the minimum age requirement for certain categories changed. Further information is available on the Road Safety Authority's website.

Rules

Before you begin to learn to drive while pulling a trailer with a maximum weight greater than 750kg on public roads, you must hold a learner permit for the category of drawing vehicle plus trailer you wish to drive. A learner permit is usually valid for 2 years.

While driving with a learner permit, you must be accompanied at all times by, and be under the supervision of, someone with a current driving licence for the same category of drawing vehicle plus trailer. Also, the person accompanying you must have had the driving licence for at least 2 years.

If you hold a learner permit for a vehicle and trailer category, you are not allowed to drive on a motorway, act as an accompanying driver for that category or carry other people for reward.

Learner permit holders must display L-plates to the front and rear of the vehicle they are driving at all times. The plate should be a red ‘L’ on a white background and should not be less than 15cm high with a border of at least 2cm.

Since October 2011 the drink driving limit for drivers with trailers with learner permits or full driving licences is reduced to 20mg/100ml of blood. Information on other proposed measures to protect learner and inexperienced drivers is available on the Road Safety Authority's website.

The rules of the road are available at rotr.ie.

Trailer categories

Since 19 January 2013 the categories and minimum age of the driver that apply to a driver pulling a trailer, which has a maximum weight greater than 750kg when fully loaded, are as follows:

Trailer categories from 19 January 2013
Category Vehicle type Minimum age of driver
BE Vehicles in category B with a trailer of 3,500kg maximum weight 17 years
C1E Goods vehicles in category C1 where the combined weight of vehicle and trailer when fully loaded is not more than 12,000kg

Vehicles in category B with a trailer of over 3,500kg and where the combined weight of vehicle and trailer when fully loaded is not more than 12,000kg,

18 years
CE Goods vehicles in category C with a trailer (includes articulated trucks) 21 years (18 years with a Driver Certificate of Professional Competance)
D1E Passenger vehicles in category D1 with a trailer 21 years
DE Passenger vehicles in category D with a trailer 24 years (21 years with a Driver Certificate of Professional Competance)

Before 19 January 2013 the categories and minimum age of the driver that apply to a driver pulling a trailer were as follows:

Trailer categories before 19 January 2013
Category Vehicle type Minimum age of driver
EB Vehicles in category B with a trailer 17 years
EC1 Goods vehicles in category C1 where the combined weight of vehicle and trailer when fully loaded is not more than 12,000kg, and the fully loaded trailer is not heavier than the empty goods vehicle 18 years
EC Goods vehicles in category C with a trailer (includes articulated trucks) 18 years
ED1 Passenger vehicles in category D1 where the combined weight of vehicle and trailer when fully loaded is not more than 12,000kg, and the fully loaded trailer is not heavier than the empty passenger vehicle 21years
ED Passenger vehicles in category D with a trailer 21 years

Further information on the changes is available in a bus and truck FAQ (pdf) on the Road Safety Authority's website.

Your first learner permit

To obtain a first learner permit for drawing a trailer you must hold a current full driving licence for the category of the drawing vehicle. For example, to get a first learner permit for category EC you must have a current driving licence for category C.

If your provisional licence or learner permit for drawing a trailer expired 5 years ago, then your application will be regarded as applying for a first learner permit.

Your third learner permit

You may not apply for a third or subsequent learner permit unless you can provide:

  • Evidence that you have undergone a driving test in the 2-year period prior to the application (a 2-year learner permit will be granted)

    or

  • Evidence of a forthcoming test date (a 1-year learner permit will be granted)

If I change my address or name do I need a new learner permit?

While you are required to carry your learner permit with you at all times when driving, you are not required by law to change your permit if you change your name or address. However, it is advisable. You are required to show evidence of your permit if requested to by An Garda Siochana, so your permit should contain up-to-date information.

You will have to apply to one of the NDLS centres and you will require supporting documents, such as, an original marriage certificate. See ‘Where to apply’ below.

What other categories can I add to my learner permit?

If you already hold a learner permit for category CE, you can add category C1E. Similarly, if you hold a category DE learner permit you can add category D1E.

How do I replace a lost or stolen learner permit?

If your current learner permit is lost, stolen, damaged or defaced, you should apply to one of the NDLS centres for a replacement. The replacement permit is a duplicate or exact copy of your original learner permit.

If your learner permit has expired and is no longer valid, you can only apply for a new learner permit.

You can find out more in our document on replacing a lost or stolen Irish learner permit.

Rates

Learner permits are valid for 2 years (or 1 year in certain circumstances) and from 1 January 2013 the fee is €35.

They are free of charge to those aged 70 or over. Exchanging your driving licence to show a change of name or address is free.

Information on acceptable forms of payment is available on the application form.

How to apply

If you are applying for a learner permit to draw a trailer you should apply for a permit for the appropriate category. The application form for a learner permit, Form D201, is available from NDLS centres, Driving Test centres, Driving Theory Test centres and Garda Stations. You can also download Form D201 (pdf) as well asguidance notes (pdf).

You will have to apply in person to one of the NDLS centres. You will not have to provide photographs with your application but you will need to bring additional documents with you in order to confirm you are the person that is applying for the driving licence/learner permit. If you currently have an Irish driving licence/learner permit, you will need to bring the licence/permit and evidence of your PPS Number. If you do not have an Irish driving licence/learner permit, you will need to bring photographic ID, proof of your residency entitlement, evidence of your PPS Number and proof of address. See ‘Proof of identity’ section below.

Applying for your first learner permit

You must already hold a driving licence for the drawing vehicle category.

The completed application form D201 should be accompanied by:

  • Since 29 October 2013 you no longer have to provide photographs.
  • Your current driving licence
  • A Driving Licence Eyesight Report Form. A completed eyesight report form must accompany all first time learner permit applications - see below
  • A Driving Licence Medical Report Form may be required - see below
  • The appropriate fee - see Rates above

Applying for your second learner permit

  • Since 29 October 2013 you no longer have to provide photographs.
  • Your learner permit
  • A Driving Licence Medical Report Form may be required - see below
  • The appropriate fee - see Rates above

Applying for your third or subsequent learner permit

When applying for your third or subsequent learner permit, you have to provide evidence that you have undergone a driving test in the two-year period prior to your application or evidence of a forthcoming test date.

  • Since 29 October 2013 you no longer have to provide photographs.
  • Your learner permit
  • Evidence of having taken the driving test in the previous 2 years or evidence of a forthcoming test
  • A Driving Licence Medical Report Form may be required - see below
  • The appropriate fee - see Rates above

Eyesight report

A completed Driving Licence Eyesight Report Form must accompany all first learner permit applications. An eyesight report is not required where a medical report is provided unless indicated by the doctor.

A registered ophthalmic optician or a registered medical practitioner should conduct your eye test. He or she should then complete the form and witness your signed declaration on the form. The report is valid for 1 month.

You can download the eyesight report form here (pdf). It is also available from NDLS centres.

Medical report

A Driving Licence Medical Report Form is required if you are applying for a learner permit for categories CE, C1E, DE or D1E.

When you are applying for a learner permit for category BE you require a medical report if:

  • You will be 70 years of age or more on the first day of the period for which the permit is being issued or
  • You have any of certain disabilities or diseases or
  • You suffer from epilepsy or alcoholism or
  • You regularly take drugs or medication that would be likely to impair your ability to drive safely

A registered medical practitioner should carry out your medical examination and then complete the form. You must sign the declaration on the medical report form in the presence of the registered medical practitioner.

You do not have to provide a medical report if you have previously provided a satisfactory medical report which is still applicable.

You can download the medical report form here (pdf) (it must be printed back to back on one page). It is also available from NDLS centres.

Proof of identity

The following documents are accepted as proof of your identity:

  • Photographic ID
    - Irish passport
    - Current passport for all non-Irish citizens
    - Current National Identity Card for EU/EEA/Swiss Citizens
    - Irish Certificate of Naturalisation
    - Current UK (photo) driving licence
    - Current Public Services Card
    - Current Irish Travel Documents (issued by INIS)
  • Proof of your residency entitlement
    - Irish/UK long-form birth certificate or adoption certificate
    - Foreign birth registration
    - Irish passport
    - Current passport for all EU/EEA/Swiss Citizens
    - Current National Identity Card for EU/EEA/Swiss Citizens
    - Irish Certificate of Naturalisation
    - Current Certificate of Registration (GNIB card) for non-EU/EEA/Swiss Citizens
  • Evidence of your PPS Number
    - Public Services Card/Social Services Card
    - Correspondence from Revenue/Social Welfare showing PPSN
    - P21/Tax Assessment/ Notice of Tax credits
    - Receipt of Social Welfare Payment
    - Medical Card/Drug Payment Scheme (DPS) Card
    - Payslip or P60/P45
  • Proof of address (See Note below)
    - Utility bill such as electricity/phone/gas/cable television/broadband provider)
    - Correspondence with an insurance company
    - Statement from your bank/building society/Credit Union
    - Letter from the Department of Social Protection/Revenue
    - Other official correspondence from an Irish State agency, such as Government departments; HSE; Register of Electors/Polling card; CAO; Private Residential Tenancies Board or third level college/training agency

Note: Proof of address documents can be no more than 6 months old at date of application. Mobile phone bills and statements from store cards/catalogue companies are not accepted.

Where to apply

Since 29 October 2013 an application for a learner permit should be made in person to one of the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centres.

list of approved instructors is available on the Road Safety Authority's Approved Driving Instructor website. It also provides information on learner permits.

Road Safety Authority

Moy Business Park
Primrose Hill
Ballina
Mayo 
Ireland 

Tel:(096) 25000 
Locall:1890 506 080 
Fax:(096) 25252 
Homepage: http://www.rsa.ie 
Email: info@rsa.ie 

National Driver Licence Service

Tel:0761 087880 
Homepage: http://www.ndls.ie/en/about-us/where-are-the-new-ndls-centres.html 
Email: info@ndls.ie 

Car
 
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