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Renewing a full driving licence

Information

You are required to carry your driving licence with you at all times when driving. 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.

Since 19 January 2013 the Road Safety Authority has responsibility for driver licensing. Since 29 October 2013 the application process has changed and, when applying, you will need to visit one of the new National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centres. As part of this face-to-face application process, your photo and your signature will be captured digitally. These will be included in the existing fee. You will have to bring additional documentation to confirm your identity. Further information is available on the NDLS website.

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, 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.

Rules

You are entitled to apply to renew your driving licence if:

  • You hold a driving licence that will expire within 3 months
  • You held a driving licence that expired less than 10 years ago

If your driving licence expired 10 years ago or more, you must complete a Driver Theory Test and then apply for a learner driver permit.

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.

  • If you are under 60 years of age, you may apply for a 3-year (on medical grounds) or a 10-year licence. Since 19 January 2013 the maximum period is 5 years for a bus and/or truck driving licence.
  • If you are older than 60 but younger than 67 years of age, you may apply for a licence that will expire the day before your 70th birthday. The maximum period is 5 years for a bus and/or truck driving licence.
  • If you are older than 67 but under 70 years of age, you may apply for a 3-year licence.
  • If you are over the age of 70, you will need a certification of fitness to drive by your doctor to apply for a 3-year or a one-year licence.

If I change my name or address do I need to apply for a new driving licence?

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 licence 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 will have to apply to one of the NDLS centres and you will require supporting documents, such as, an original marriage certificate. See ‘How to apply’ below.

How do I replace a lost/stolen driving licence?

If your current driving licence is lost, stolen, damaged or defaced, you should apply to one of the NDLS centres 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.

Rates

Since 1 January 2013, the cost of driving licences is as follows:

  • One-year driving licence costs €25
  • Three-year driving licence costs €35
  • Ten-year driving licence costs €55*

*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.

Information on acceptable forms of payment is available on the application form.

How to apply

The application form for a driving licence, Form D401, is available from NDLS centres, Driving Test centres, Driving Theory Test centres and Garda Stations. You can also download Form D401 (pdf) as well as guidance notes (pdf)..

You will have to apply in person to one of the NDLS centres. You will not have to provide photographs with your application but you will need to bring additional documents with you in order to confirm you are the person that is applying for the driving licence/learner permit. If you currently have an Irish driving licence/learner permit, you will need to bring the licence/permit and evidence of your PPS Number. If you do not have an Irish driving licence/learner permit, you will need to bring photographic ID, proof of your residency entitlement, evidence of your PPS Number and proof of address. See ‘Proof of identity’ section below.

Your completed application form must include the following:

  • Since 29 October 2013 you no longer have to provide photographs.
  • Your current or most recently issued driving licence. If your most recent driving licence has been lost or stolen, the application form must be signed and stamped by a Garda in your local Garda Station.
  • A Driving Licence Medical Report Form may be required. A medical report is compulsory if:
    - you are applying for Categories C, C1, D, D1, CE, C1E, DE or D1E unless you previously provided a medical report which is still applicable
    - you will be 70 years of age or more on the first day of the period for which the licence is being issued
    - you have any of certain disabilities or diseases
    - you suffer from epilepsy or alcoholism
    - you regularly take drugs or medication that would be likely to impair your ability to drive safely
    You can download the medical report form here (pdf) (it must be printed back to back on one page). It is also available from NDLS centres. A registered medical practitioner should carry out your medical examination and then complete the form. You must sign the declaration on the medical report form in the presence of the registered medical practitioner.
  • A Driving Licence Eyesight Report Form may be required if you no longer need glasses or contact lenses. You can download the eyesight report form here (pdf). It is also available from NDLS centres.
  • The appropriate fee - see Rates above.

Proof of identity

The following documents are accepted as proof of your identity:

  • Photographic ID
    - Irish passport
    - 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 Documents (issued by INIS)
  • Proof of your residency entitlement
    - Irish/UK long-form birth certificate or adoption certificate
    - Foreign birth registration
    - 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
  • Evidence of your PPS Number
    - Public Services Card/Social Services Card
    - Correspondence from Revenue/Social Welfare 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
  • Proof of address (See Note below)
    - Utility bill such as electricity/phone/gas/cable television/broadband provider)
    - Correspondence with an insurance company
    - Statement from your bank/building society/Credit Union
    - Letter from the Department of Social Protection/Revenue
    - Other official correspondence from an Irish State agency, such as Government departments; HSE; Register of Electors/Polling card; CAO; Private Residential Tenancies Board or third level college/training agency

Note: Proof of address documents can be no more than 6 months old at date of application. Mobile phone bills and statements from store cards/catalogue companies are not accepted.

Where to apply

Since 29 October 2013 an application for a driving licence should be made in person to one of the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centres.

The Road Safety Authority provides information on driving licences.

The rules of the road are available at rotr.ie.

Road Safety Authority

Moy Business Park
Primrose Hill
Ballina
Mayo
Ireland

Tel:(096) 25000
Locall:1890 506 080
Fax:(096) 25252
Homepage: http://www.rsa.ie
Email: info@rsa.ie

National Driver Licence Service

Tel:0761 087880
Homepage: http://www.ndls.ie/en/about-us/where-are-the-new-ndls-centres.html
Email: info@ndls.ie

Page updated: 6 December 2013

Language

Gaeilge

Related Documents

Contact Us

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.