You are required to carry your driving licence with you at all times when driving. Since 19 January 2013 the Road Safety Authority has responsibility for driver licensing. The principal local authorities, through their Motor Taxation Offices, process and issue driving licences. You should make your application to the Motor Taxation Office nearest to where you live.
To apply for a driving licence, you must be normally resident in Ireland. You are considered to be normally resident in Ireland if, because of personal and occupational ties, you usually live here for at least 185 days in each calendar year.
Driving licence changes from 19 January 2013: a new plastic card driver licence 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, from that date 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.
This document explains the current situation regarding renewing a driving licence in Ireland.
You are entitled to apply to renew your driving licence if:
The period of time a driving licence is issued for depends on the age of the applicant. There are 4 age brackets that the period of a licence falls under.
While you are required to carry your driving licence 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 licence if requested to by An Garda Siochana, so your licence should contain up-to-date information.
You must send a completed application Form D401, 2 passport type photographs (signed on back) and any required supporting documents, such as, an original marriage certificate. Contact your Motor Tax Office for more information
If your current driving licence is lost, stolen, damaged or defaced, you should apply to your local Motor Taxation Office for a replacement. The replacement licence is a duplicate or exact copy of your original driving licence. You can find out how to replace your current driving licence in our document on replacing a lost or stolen Irish driving licence.
If your lost or stolen driving licence has already expired and is no longer valid, you can only apply for a new driving licence. See How to apply below.
Since 1 January 2013, the cost of driving licences is as follows:
*Five-year bus and/or truck driving licence since 19 January 2013.
Motorists over the age of 70 can get their driving licence renewed for free.
Exchanging a driving licence to show a new name or address is free, but to add a new category is €35.
You can obtain a copy of application form D401 from your local Motor Taxation Office. You can also download Form D401 (pdf).
Your completed application form should be returned to your local Motor Taxation Office and must include the following:
An application for a driving licence should be made directly to your local Motor Taxation office.
The Road Safety Authority provides information on driving licences.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.