Apply for An Irish Learners Permit

Apply for An Irish Learners Permit

EDT School of Motoring has one of the highest passing rates in the entire country but despite this record, you cannot expect to get your driving licence unless you first get your Irish Learner’s Permit. If you do not know what a learner’s permit is all about and all the more how you can get one, this is a primer that can answer all of your learner’s permit related concerns.

What is a learner permit?

A learner permit is a form of licence which is given to individuals who want to learn how to drive and eventually get a driver’s licence. By having a learner permit, an individual is allowed to drive legally on the streets (with proper supervision) as well as apply for a practical driving test. A learner permit is only valid within the country and not in Northern Ireland or any other country outside the Republic of Ireland. The learner permit replaces the provisional permit which has been discontinued.

There are different types of learner permits and you must be a holder of a permit in the category which you are applying for. For those who are holding learner permits for cars, they are required to complete a mandatory Essential Driver Training (EDT) course which has to be facilitated by an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) and hold their permits for at least six months before they book a practical driving test. This stipulation is necessary for all those who have gotten their learner permit starting the 4th of April 2011.

What are the requirements for getting a learner permit?


Depending on the age of the learner permit holder, there may be certain vehicle restrictions. For instance, 16 is the youngest age to be allowed to ride a moped while 17 is the youngest age that you have to be before you are allowed to drive a standard car. On the other hand, to learn to drive a bus, you have to be at least 21 years old.

‘L’ Plates

Unless those individuals who are holding learner permits for the W category or in order to learn to drive work vehicles and land tractors, anyone who holds a learner permit would have to display an ‘L’ on their licence plates while they are driving on the road. This should be the last of your concerns if you choose to have your driver’s education administered by a reputed driving school such as EDT School of Motoring.


A qualified driver must accompany a person who is only holding a learner permit while he or she is on the road. This is mandatory except for those who are holding learner permits for categories A1, A2, A or AM. On the other hand, those who are learning to drive a car must be accompanied by a qualified driver.

How can apply for a learner permit?

A learner permit costs around €35 and is useful for just two years. However, unless a person is 70 years old and above during the commencement date of the licence then that person should be exempted from paying the fee. Starting October 29, 2013, all individuals who want to apply for a learner permit must personally appear in any of the NDLS centres within the country for the application process.

When you go to the NDLS to apply for a learner permit, you will need to bring some documents with you. The first one is a fully completed NDLS Application Form for Learner Permit D201. You can retrieve this NDSL application form not just in any NDLS centres but also from Driving Test centres, Driver Theory Test centres, and Garda Stations.

On top of the application form, you must also bring the following other requirements:

  • The application fee
  • A theory test certificate
  • Your present learner permit
  • Your present full licence if you are applying for a higher category
  • A fully completed NDLS Eyesight report form
  • A fully completed NDLS Medical report form
  • Document that can verify your identity
  • Document that can verify your PPSN
  • Lost permit declaration to address question 15 of the application form

A failure certificate for those who have sat through their driving test and failed or a driving test application acknowledgment if you have a forthcoming driving test, should you be applying for your third or subsequent learner permit

As mentioned in the list of requirements, you would first have to get a theory test certificate which is only given to you if you pass the Driver Theory Test. The Driver Theory Test will include questions that will be taken from the following topics: rules for the road, risk perception, eco-driving, hazard awareness, and good driver behaviour. This test is administered in a completely computerized manner but you do not have to worry too much about being computer-literate. To pass the Driver Theory Test, you should score 35 points of the total 40 items.

What it the Rules of the Road?

If you want to pass the Driver Theory Test, then you should read the book titled “Rules of the Road” which is priced at around €5 and can be purchased in major bookshops. The reason for why this booklet was published is to help learner drivers find out about the safe ways to drive to prevent injury to people and property, and prevent accidents from happening. The Rules of the Road applies to all those who use the road including drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, horse-riders and cyclists. Once you have finished taking the Driver Theory Test and successfully passed the same, then you can take your theory test certificate and apply for a learner permit.

When should you get your learner permit?

By the time that you pass your theory test, you can apply for a learner permit. The pass certificate should be valid for around two years and you must pick up your learner permit within that amount of time. If you forget to apply for a learner permit within the two-year period, then you will have to retake and Driver Theory Test and pass it before you can get your learner permit.