Renewing your driving licence
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:
- 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.
Duration of licence
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 10-year licence or a 3-year (on medical grounds).
- 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
- 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
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:
- Ten-year driving licence costs €55
- Five-year bus or truck driving licence costs €55
- Three-year driving licence costs €35
- One-year driving licence costs €25
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.
How to apply
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:
- Your current or most recently issued driving licence
- A Driving Licence Medical Report Form may be required (see below)
- A Driving Licence Eyesight Report Form may be required (see below)
- The appropriate fee - see Rates above
Medical report form
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 will be 70 years of age or more on the first day of the period for which the licence is being issued or
- You have a specific disability or condition (see application form)
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.
Eyesight report form
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.
Proof of identity
The following documents are accepted as proof of your identity:
- Evidence of your PPS Number
- Public Services Card/Social Services Card
- Correspondence from Revenue or 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 from your 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 or Revenue
- Other official correspondence from an Irish State agency, such as government departments; HSE; Register of Electors/polling card; CAO; 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
The National Driver Licence Service provides information on renewing a driving licence on its website.