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How to apply for the learner permit?

First time learner permit application

For a first time learner permit application you must supply:

Renewal of a learner permit

To renew a learner permit you must provide

  • Application form for learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent Learner permit
  • Evidence of PPSN if required.
  • If you do not have your most recent learner permit you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201) together with valid photographic ID
  • If applying for a third or subsequent Learner permit, documentary evidence must be submitted that you have either sat a driving test (statement of driving test outcome dated within two years) or an acknowledgement of a forthcoming test.
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • If the address has changed since your last learner permit was issued, you must provide evidence of new address.
  • Relevant fee €35
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office.

Adding a category to a learner permit

To add a category to a learner permit you must provide

  • Application form for learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent Learner permit
  • Evidence of PPSN if required
  • A theory test pass certificate if applicable (dated within 2 years)
  • If you do not have your most recent learner permit you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201) together with valid Photographic ID
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required.
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • If the address has changed since your last learner permit was issued, you must provide evidence of new address which must be dated within 6 months
  • Relevant fee
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office.

Personal details changes

Change of name

There are several circumstances that may require a change of name:

I want my learner permit to reflect my marriage/civil partnership name - what must I submit?

  • Application form for learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent learner permit you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201) together with valid photographic ID
  • If applying for a third or subsequent Learner permit, documentary evidence must be submitted that you have either sat a driving test (statement of driving test outcome dated within two years) or an acknowledgement of a forthcoming test.
  • Your original civil marriage certificate* or original civil partnership certificate*, if primary photographic ID is not already in your married name.
  • Evidence of PPSN. This must be in the marriage name unless providing a marriage cert to show link original name and marriage name
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • If the address has changed since your last learner permit was issued, you must provide evidence of new address.
  • Relevant fee
  • Photographic ID (from the approved list)
  • Proof of residency entitlement
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office.

*Certified translations are required for all marriage certificates or civil partnership certificates which are not in English or Irish. Translations must be provided by a reputable company who must be a member of the Irish Translator and Interpreters Association. The original marriage or civil partnership certificate must be submitted together with the certified translation.

Otherwise, you will need to submit Photographic ID in your married name or two official documents that show you've been using your married name for two years on the date of application at the NDLS centre.

I want to revert to my pre marriage/ civil partnership name – what documents do I need to submit with my application?

If you've been using a married name and want to revert to your maiden name on your learner permit, you need to submit:

  • Application form for Learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent learner permit you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201)
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Original evidence of divorce/separation or dissolution of civil partnership or evidence of initiation of same for example; a judicial separation court order or a separation agreement or a divorce decree or a letter from a solicitor confirming that a separation has been sought
  • Your original UK/Irish birth certificate or your original civil marriage certificate or original civil partnership certificate
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • Evidence of PPSN.
  • Photographic ID
  • Relevant fee
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office

Otherwise, you will need to submit Photographic ID in your pre marriage name or two official documents from the list that we accept for Evidence of Address or PPSN that show you've been using your pre marriage name for two years on the date of application at the NDLS centre.

I’ve changed my name by Deed Poll - what documents do I need to submit with my application?

If you’ve changed your name by Deed poll and wish to change the name that appears on your licence, you need to submit:

  • Application form for Learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent Learner permit you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201)
  • Original deed poll document, please note only deed polls enrolled in the High Court in Ireland are acceptable
  • Evidence of PPSN which must be in the new name
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • Photographic ID
  • Relevant fee
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office

Otherwise, you will need to submit photographic ID in your new name or two official documents that show you've been using your new name for two years on the date of application at the NDLS centre.

I wish to use the Irish version of my name - what documents do I need to submit with my application?

If you wish to use the Irish version of your name on your licence, you need to submit:

  • Application form for Learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent Learner permit you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201)
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • Evidence of PPSN.
  • Relevant fee
  • Your photographic ID in the Irish version of your name or two official documents that show you've been using your new name for two years on the date of application at the NDLS centre
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office

I wish to use the my usage name - what documents do I need to submit with my application:

If the name by which you are known now differs from the name entered on your birth/adoption certificate or most recent photographic ID, other than through civil marriage, civil partnership or change of name via deed poll you will be required to submit:

  • Application form for a learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent learner permit you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201)
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • Evidence of PPSN which must be in the usage name
  • Relevant fee
  • Your photographic ID in the usage name or two official documents that show you've been using your new name for two years on the date of application at the NDLS centre
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office

Change of address:

If your address has changed in any way since your last application you must submit:

  • Application form for learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Current/ most recent Learner permit
  • If you do not have your most recent learner permit you must present a completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201)
  • Evidence of your new address from the approved list and dated within 6 months
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of IBT if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • Evidence of PPSN
  • Relevant fee

Please Note: Replacement applications cannot be accepted where the reason for the change is the addition of an Eircode

The NDLS centres cannot accept the following documentation as proof of address.

Change of medical details:

If, following consultation with your GP, your medical condition is one that needs to be noted on your driver record you must submit a Medical Report Form to the NDLS. You will need to apply for a change of personal details through any NDLS centre.

You will need to attend in person at any NDLS centre with the following documentation:

  • Application form for a learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • Your current learner permit
  • Evidence of PPSN if required
  • NDLS medical form D501 (dated within 1 month)
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • If the address has changed since your last learner permit was issued, you must provide evidence of new address dated within 6 months
  • Photographic ID
  • Relevant fee
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office

If you have more questions on this please email medicalfitness@rsa.ie or telephone 1890 40 60 40.

Replace a lost, stolen or damaged learner permit

To replace a lost or stolen learner permit

  • Application form for a learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • A completed lost licence declaration (question 17 on D201)
  • Evidence of PPSN if required
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • If the address has changed since your last learner permit was issued, you must provide evidence of new address dated within 6 months
  • Photographic ID
  • Relevant fee
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office

To replace a damaged learner permit

Already hold a full driving licence and are applying for a Learner permit in a different category

  • Application form for a learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  • A theory test pass certificate (if applicable) (dated within 2 years)
  • Current Learner Permit
  • Current Full licence
  • Evidence of PPSN if required
  • NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  • Evidence of CPC if required
  • If the address has changed since your last learner permit was issued, you must provide evidence of new address (must be dated within 6 months)
  • Relevant fee
  • Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office

Current Fees

New learner permit and renewal applications.

Category added or removed.

€35

€35

* The Over 70's Renewal Driving Licences /Learner Permits will remain free.

Payments

The National Driver Licence Service will accept the following payment methods with your application:

• Cash (where you attend in person at the NDLS centre)
• Cheque
• Bank draft
• Money order
• Debit card / credit card / prepaid credit card

The NDLS will only accept one method of payment for each application. The NDLS will only accept one payment for one application – a single payment for multiple applications will not be accepted.
Cheque, bank drafts or money orders must be made payable to 'National Driver Licence Service (NDLS)'. For applications paid for by cheque, please note that those applications will be placed on hold until the cheque clears.

The NDLS will process debit and credit card payments in accordance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) rules. If you wish to use a third party debit or credit card for payment, then the third party must be present in person to make the payment.

Period of a learner permit

A first and second learner permit usually lasts for two years each time while a third and subsequent permit lasts for one year. If you are taking out a third or subsequent permit you must show evidence of having taken a driving test in the previous two years or hold an appointment for a forthcoming driving test. If you have taken a test you will be given a two year permit while if you hold a test date your permit will last only for one year.

What is a Learner Permit?

General Information

A learner permit is a licence issued to learner drivers. It enables them to learn to drive and to apply for a driving test at the same time. A learner permit is issued to enable the permit holder to learn to drive and is not valid in Northern Ireland or in any other country outside of Ireland.

The learner permit replaces the provisional licence, which is no longer issued.

Further important changes to the licensing regime came into force on 1 July 2008.

The most significant of these is that as a holder of a learner permit you must:

  • Hold a licence for the category of vehicle you are driving and comply with the conditions attached to that licence when driving
  • Be accompanied at all times by a person who holds a full driving licence in the same category for a continuous period of two years (this applies to categories B, BE, C1, C, D1, D, CE, C1E, DE & D1E)

From the 6th December 2010 all new first time learner permit holders for motorcycles are required to undertake mandatory initial basic training (IBT) External Link with an approved driving instructor (ADI). The course is comprised of 16 hours training which is broken up into four modules. Once this course of lessons is complete the learner permit holder is issued with a certificate of satisfactory completion which must be kept with their learner permit. Motorcycle riders must complete the programme before driving on the road while a learner.

From the 4th April 2011 all new first time learner permit holders for cars will be required to undertake mandatory essential driver training (EDT) External Link with an approved driving instructor (ADI). The course is made up of of 12 individual one hour lessons. The learner will be able to take the lessons at any point during the learning process and can practice with an accompanying driver during the time while taking lessons. Evidence of completing the lessons will be signed off in a learner's logbook by the Approved Driving Instructor. The logbook showing completion of the lessons may have to be presented before taking a driving test.

In addition, a number of penal offences have been introduced for learner drivers. These include driving unaccompanied (see above), not displaying 'L' plates when driving, and the carrying of a passenger by a learner motorcyclist.

These offences are punishable by a minimum €1,000 fine for a first offence.

Other requirements

  • Age

There are legal restrictions on what types of vehicle you can drive at what age. For example, you have to be 16 to ride a moped, 17 to drive a standard car, 18 to drive a truck with Certificate of Professional Competency (CPC) or 21 without CPC and 21 to drive a bus with CPC and 24 without CPC.

  • 'L' plates

All learner permit holders, with the exception of those who hold learner permits in category W(work vehicles/land tractors), must display 'L' plates while they are driving. Vehicles in categories B, C1, C, D1, D, BE, C1E, CE, D1E or DE must display L plates at all times. The letter L should be at least 15cm high and appear as red on a white background, in clearly visible vertical positions to the front and rear of the vehicle.

Drivers of vehicles in categories A, A2, A1 and AM must also display L plates at all times. The plates must be displayed on a yellow fluorescent tabard worn over the person's outside clothing. The letter L should be at least 15cm high and appear as red on a white background and in clearly visible vertical positions to the front and rear of the person's body.

  • Accompaniment

All learner permit holders, with the exception of those who hold a learner permit in category A1, A2, A, or AM (Mopeds), must be accompanied by a qualified driver at all times while driving. A qualified driver is one who holds a full licence for a continuous period of two years in respect of the vehicle category being driven by the learner permit holder.

A person holding a category W(work vehicles/land tractors) learner permit is not permitted to carry a passenger unless the vehicle is constructed or adapted to carry a passenger and the passenger is a qualified driver – ie, a person who has held a full licence for the vehicle category for a continuous period of at least two years.

Motorcyclists, Description of licensing categories from 19th January 2013

Minimum age
Motorcycle
Category
Description* Direct
Access
Progressive
Access
AM

 (Previously known as "M") Mopeds and 3 wheeled vehicles with a maximum design speed of 45km/h as well as light quadricycles

16 ------
A1 Motorcycles up to 125cc, with a power rating not more than 11kW with a power to weight ratio no greater than 0.1kW/kg 16 ------
 A2  Motorcycles less than 35kW, with a power/weight ratio not greater than 0.2kW/kg and not derived from a vehicle more than double its power  18  18
 A  

 All motorcycles including those greater than 35kW

 24  20

Vehicles in categories A, A2, A1 and AM (motorcyles and mopeds) cannot carry a passenger and are required at all times to display 'L' plates front and rear on a yellow fluorescent tabard.

Restrictions

A person who holds a learner permit in:

  • Vehicle categories A1, A2, A and AM (motorcycles/mopeds) is not permitted to carry a passenger
  • Any vehicle category is not allowed to carry any passenger for reward
  • Vehicle category W (work vehicles/land tractors) shall not carry a passenger unless the vehicle is constructed to carry a passenger and the passenger is a full licence holder for a continuous period of two years
  • Vehicle categories B, C1, C, D1 or D (cars, buses and trucks) shall not be driven while towing a trailer

Note: if you are granted a learner permit for vehicles in category A, A2, A1, AM, W, or B and have not held a learner permit in the five-year period prior to the granting of a permit in any of these categories you cannot sit a driving test within six months of your permit coming into force, although you may apply for a test within this period. The code 991 will be printed on your licence opposite the vehicle category in the column headed 'restrictions/information.' Where you opt to take Progressive Access (where you have held the lower category for a minimum of 2 years) from category A1 to A2 or Category A2 to A and wish to take a driving test, you do not need to wait six months to sit the driving test.

There is no longer a requirement for a person who holds a learner permit in category BE to hold the permit for 6 months before sitting their driving test.

If you hold a full driving licence or permit in the category corresponding to the category on your learner permit which was issued by the competent authority of another jurisdiction and shows that you have had that entitlement for at least 6 months, then you do not need to wait 6 months before sitting a driving test.