You are required to carry your driving licence with you at all times when driving. When your driving licence expires, you must renew it if you wish to continue driving. This document explains how to renew your driving licence.
If your licence is lost, stolen or damaged, you should read our document on replacing a lost, stolen or damaged driving licence.
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.
The Road Safety Authority now has responsibility for driver licensing and has set up a new National Driver Licence Service (NDLS). In addition, the application process has changed and, when applying for a driving licence, you have to visit one of the new NDLS centres. As part of the face-to-face application process, your photo and your signature is captured digitally. You have to bring additional documentation to confirm your identity.
A new plastic-card driving licence has been introduced, replacing the paper driving licence. This is an EU initiative to introduce a secure, compact style of licence in all member states.
The number of driving licence categories has increased and the minimum age requirement for certain categories has changed also. Further information is available on the Road Safety Authority's website.
You are entitled to apply to renew your driving licence if:
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.
A bus or truck driving licence is issued for a maximum of 5 years.
Since January 2013, the cost of driving licences is as follows:
Motorists over the age of 70 can get their driving licence renewed for free.
Information on acceptable forms of payment is available on the application form.
Any required eyesight tests or medical examinations are not free of charge.
You 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 evidence of your PPS Number and proof of address with you in order to confirm you are the person who is applying to renew your driving licence. See ‘Proof of identity’ below.
You apply to renew your driving licence using the driving licence application form (D401) which is available from NDLS centres, driving test centres, driving theory test centres and Garda stations. You can also download the driving licence application form (pdf) as well as guidance notes (pdf).
Your completed application form must be accompanied by the following:
You will require a Driving Licence Medical Report Form if you are applying for driving licence categories C, C1, D, D1, CE, C1E, DE or D1E (buses and trucks), unless you previously provided a medical report which is still applicable.
You will not require a Driving Licence Medical Report Form if you are applying for driving licence categories AM, A1, A2, A, B, BE or W (motorcycles, cars and work vehicles) unless:
You can download the medical report form (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. It must be submitted within 1 month.
You will require a Driving Licence Eyesight Report Form if you no longer need glasses or contact lenses. You can download the eyesight report form (pdf) (pages 1 and 2 should be printed back to back on one page). It is also available from NDLS centres. It must be submitted within 1 month of completion.
The following documents are accepted as proof of your identity:
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.
The National Driver Licence Service provides information on renewing a driving licence on its website.
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.