Obtaining a Learner Permit
(Previously known as the Provisional driving licence)
Before you begin to learn to drive on public roads in Ireland, you must hold a Learner Permit. To undergo a driving test, you must hold a provisional licence covering the category in which you wish to be tested.
Motor vehicles are put into categories for driver licensing purposes and there is a minimum age requirement for all categories. A full or provisional licence only entitles you to drive the category of vehicle for which the licence has been issued.
Rules For Learner Permit Holders
- Car drivers with a Learner’s Permit (Provisional licence) must be accompanied at all times by a person who has held a valid full driving licence for more than two years minimum, in order to legally drive a car.
- All provisional licence holders must display L-plates to the front and rear of the vehicle they are driving at all times.
- If you hold a provisional driving licence, you can’t drive a vehicle drawing a trailer, drive on a motorway, act as an accompanying driver or carry other people for reward.
- Since 2001, a theory test certificate must be obtained before a first provisional licence is granted.
- If your provisional driving licence expired 5 years ago, then you must undergo a Driver Theory test before a new provisional licence can be issued. To begin the process of applying for you Theory Test, click here.
Applying for a Learner Permit
- You must submit your application for a learner permit to your local motor tax office. The form may be obtained at the Motor Tax Office or local Garda Station. You may also request that the form be posted to you on Dublin City Council.
- You may obtain the forms required from your local motor tax office, or download it here.
- You can find contact and address information for you local motor tax office here.
- You are advised to check that your local motor tax office accepts downloaded forms before you apply.
- Completed application forms should be accompanied by:
- Two identical passport-type photographs with the reverse of both signed by you.
- A birth certificate or passport.
- An eyesight report. A completed eyesight report form must accompany all first-time provisional licence applications. A registered ophthalmic optician or a registered medical practitioner should conduct your eye test.
- A medical report. A registered medical practitioner should carry out your medical examination and then complete the form. A medical report is compulsory 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, suffer from epilepsy or alcoholism or regularly take medication that would be likely to impair your ability to drive safely.
- Your current or last driving licence when you are renewing a provisional licence.
- The 45 euro fee.
If you are applying for your licence by post, pay the fee by cheque, bank draft or postal order, made payable to your local authority. If you are applying for your licence in person, you may pay the fee in cash.
A map has such small print, it's impossible to safely read it while driving. If you are needing to find a specific address, write out the basic directions in large writing and short sentences, before you drive there. If you must read the directions (not the map) while on the road, do it where you are stopped.