Applying for your License

How to apply

What you need in order to apply for or renew a driving licence, the fees that apply and the licence terms that are available.

Motor vehicles in Ireland are divided into different categories for driver licensing purposes. This is a standard practice throughout the European Union. Ireland has 15 categories in total, ranging from motorcycles to agricultural vehicles.

You may apply for a driving licence if you:
• Recently passed a driving test
• Hold a driving licence that is due to expire within three months and you wish to renew it
• Held a driving licence that expired less than 10 years ago and you wish to renew it
• Hold a driving licence and you wish to have an additional category of vehicle added to it and a driving test is not required
• Are exchanging a current valid driving licence issued by another Member State of the European Union or of the European Economic Area External Link or another *recognised state'.

*Recognised state, A number of countries are designated as 'recognised states'; this means that their driver licensing systems are broadly similar to ours. Australia, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland and Taiwan are 'recognised states' for the purposes of exchanging driving licences.

To view the Information Videos on the NDLS and for a step by step guide to applying for your learner permit or driving licence. Please Check the NDLS  website.

Working/studying abroad

To be eligible to apply for an Irish driving licence you must be what's termed 'normally resident' in Ireland, ie living here for at least 185 days in each calendar year.

However, if you have family here yet are working or studying abroad for a specific period you may still be regarded as being normally resident in Ireland provided you return here regularly. Working abroad on a specific task or attending a foreign university or college does not mean you have transferred your normal residence to another country.

Why is the application process changing to a face to face application?

We are adding a layer of security to make sure that the only person who applies for your licence is you. For that reason, a number of new security measures are being introduced to the licensing process as part of the changeover to the NDLS.
These changes include:
• A requirement for applicants who do not or have never previously held an Irish learner permit of full licence to bring additional documentation to confirm their identity;
• A face to face meeting with a Customer Service Agent in an NDLS centre;
• Having your digital photograph taken and digital signature captured by a Customer Service Agent in an NDLS centre.

What do you need to bring when applying for your licence?

What you need to bring with you when applying for a full licence depends on the circumstances of your application. In all cases, It is necessary to submit
• A fully completed NDLS "Application Form for a Driving Licence D401"
• Documentation to verify your PPSN
• Documentation to prove your address

The application form is available in NDLS centres, Driving Test centres, Driving Theory Test centres and Garda Stations. It is also available to download by clicking here. Guidance notes to help you complete the application form are available here.

Please ensure that you complete the application form in block capitals using a black ballpoint pen

You will also be required to submit a combination of the following documents depending on whether you have previously held a licence, the category of licence you are applying for, your age and if required on medical grounds (please see full check list by type of licence application below)
• The appropriate fee
• Certificate of Competency
• Your current learner permit
• Your current full licence
• A completed NDLS Medical report form
• Documentation to verify your identity
• Documentation to prove your address
• Documentation to verify your PPSN
• Lost licence declaration (see question 15 of licence application form)

As part of the application process your photograph will be taken so there is no need to submit photographs with your application.

Verification of identity

If you are a first time applicant for an Irish driving licence or learner permit, you will be required to verify your identity as part of the face to face application process. This means that you will have to submit documentation to prove your identity, your address & your PPSN, as well as confirmation of your country of birth/residency entitlement.

In order to verify your identity, it is necessary to produce one document from each of the four lists below. You must provide original identity documents; photocopies or laminated documents are not acceptable.

Photographic I.D.

• Irish Passport which cannot be expired over 12 months
• 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 Document

Evidence of residency entitlement

• Irish/UK Long-form Birth Certificate or Adoption Certificate
• Certificate of entry in the Irish Register of Foreign Births
• 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 must be produced with current national passport

Verifying your PPSN

• Public Services Card/Social Services Card
• Correspondence from Revenue/Department of Social Protection 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

Evidence of address

• Utility Bill (i.e. from your electricity/phone/gas/cable television/broadband provider). Printed online utility bills are accepted. Mobile phone bills are not acceptable
• Correspondence from an insurance company regarding an active insurance policy
• Statement from Bank/Building Society/Credit Union (Statements from Store cards/catalogue companies are not acceptable)
• Letter from Department of Social Protection/Revenue
• Other official correspondence from an Irish state agency e.g. government departments; HSE; Register of Electors/Polling card; CAO; Private Residential Tenancies Board or third level college/training agency

These documents can be no more than 6 months old at date of application

Please note: in some cases the same document could satisfy more than one requirement e.g. an Irish/EU passport is adequate as photo ID & proof of residency entitlement; a letter to you from Revenue which shows your PPSN could be used as both proof of your address & proof of your PPSN.

Secondary Identification Process

Where an Irish or UK born customer cannot provide the primary photographic identity documents outlined in list 1 above they must submit their long form birth/adoption certificate/foreign birth registration and secondary identification document together with evidence of PPSN and address to prove their identity.

The Certificate of Identity Form  will be accepted in the above circumstances. Instructions on completing this form are on the rear of the form.

Should the customer present this document to verify their identity, this document may be retained at the NDLS centre

For a list of documents that will not be accepted in the NDLS centres please click here.

Medical matters

An applicant for a Driving licence or Learner Permit who is or will be 70 years of age on the commencement day of their Driving Licence or Learner Permit must submit a medical report with their licence application. An applicant may apply to renew his/her driving licence three months in advance of its expiry and if he/she is over 70 years of age or 70 on the commencement day of the Driving Licence / Learner Permit it is a requirement that a medical is submitted with the application for the licence,

Certain medical conditions will preclude you from driving; others require a Medical Report before you can be issued with a licence. For more information, see the Medical Issues section.

Licence term

Your age will determine the licence term you can apply for:
• Under 60: 10-year cars and motorcycles, or 5 year for buses and HGVs.
• 60-66: a licence that will expire when you reach 70
• 67-69: 3-year licence
• 70 or over: 3-year or 1-year licence (subject to certification of fitness to drive by your doctor)

The age in question is your age on the first day of the period for which the licence is being granted. A 1-year or 3 year licence may be granted in exceptional circumstances where, for medical reasons, a longer licence term cannot be granted.

Current Fees

Driving Licence

New Driving Licences and Renewals €55 
Three Year Licence (Age or Medical Grounds) €35
One Year Licence (Medical Grounds)  €25
Replacement or Duplicate Licence  €35
Exchange a Foreign Licence €55

Learner Permit

All Learner Permits €35
Replacement or Duplicate Learner Permit €35

Driving Licence/Learner Permits

Category added/removed
 €35

* The Over 70's 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.

Checklist for your application

Where it is your first application for a full licence having passed a driving test, you must submit:
• A fully completed NDLS "Application Form for a Driving Licence"
• The appropriate fee
• A Certificate of competency
• Your current/most recent learner permit
• Documentation to verify your PPSN
• A completed NDLS Medical report form if required in your case

Where you are renewing your full licence, you must submit:
• A fully completed NDLS "Application Form for a Driving Licence"
• The appropriate fee
• Your current/most recent full licence
• Documentation to verify your PPSN
• A completed NDLS Medical report form if required in your case

Where you are applying for a replacement for a lost or stolen licence, you must submit:
• A fully completed NDLS "Application Form for a Driving Licence"
• The appropriate fee
• Lost licence declaration (see question 15 of licence application form)
• Photographic ID
• Documentation to verify your PPSN
• A completed NDLS Medical report form if required in your case

Where you are adding a category to an existing licence, you must submit:
• A fully completed NDLS "Application Form for a Driving Licence"
• The appropriate fee
• Your current/most recent full licence
• Your current learner permit for the category you are adding
• A Certificate of competency
• Documentation to verify your PPSN
• A completed NDLS Medical report form if required in your case

Where you are exchanging a full licence from another EU or recognised country, you must submit:
• A fully completed NDLS "Application Form for a Driving Licence"
• The appropriate fee
• Your current full licence (Please note, if your licence does not have a category start date you will need to provide a letter of entitlement / driver statement from your relevant licencing authority)
• If you dont have your licence you will need to provide a letter of entitlement / driver statement from your relevant licencing authority and complete the Lost licence declaration (see question 16 of licence application form)
• Documentation to verify your identity
• Documentation to verify your PPSN
• A completed NDLS Medical report form if required in your case.

 

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