Applying for a driving licence


When you pass a driving test, you can apply for a driving licence. You can apply to renew your licence online or in person by appointment at an NDLS office.

The Road Safety Authority has responsibility for driver licensing. The National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) manages licence applications and renewals.

This page explains how to apply for your driving licence after you have passed a driving test.


You can apply for a driving licence if you have passed the driving test for that category of vehicle in the last 2 years. If your Certificate of Competency (the document that proves that you passed the driving test) is over 2 years old, you will have to take the driving test again.

You must bring your driving licence with you when driving.

What is normal residence?

To apply for a driving licence, you must be normally resident in Ireland. You are normally resident if you usually live here for at least 185 days in each calendar year.

Asylum seekers can use their temporary residence certificates as proof of normal residence in Ireland when applying for a driving licence or learner permit.

Categories of vehicles

Motor vehicles are divided into different categories for driver licensing purposes. When you pass a driving test, you apply for a driving licence for a particular category of vehicle. Your type of driving licence may allow you to drive certain other types of vehicles. You can read more in our page on categories of vehicles and minimum ages of drivers.

How to apply for a driving licence

There are 2 ways that you can apply for your driving licence.

  1. Online at, or
  2. In person by booking an appointment at an NDLS centre.

Apply online

To apply for your driving licence online, you will need:

*If your PSC photo is over 10 years old, you must renew it on MyWelfare first using a verified MyGovID. Then apply online at for your driving licence.

If you apply online, you do not have to provide your Certificate of Competence (the document that proves that you passed the driving test).

Read more about the online application process on the NDLS website.

Apply in person

You can apply for your driving licence in person by booking an appointment at one of 34 NDLS centres nationwide. There is no walk-in service available.

You will need to bring:

  • Appropriate Identification,
  • Supporting documentation, and
  • The fee (see ‘Rates’ above)

Unless you want to make your application in Irish, you are no longer required to submit an application form. However, you do need to prove your identity. Your photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS centre.


In most cases, a Public Service Card (PSC) is used to verify your details to process your application.

If you don’t have a PSC, you will need to submit the following 4 pieces of documentary evidence:

  1. Photo ID
  2. Evidence of your address
  3. Evidence of your PPS number
  4. Evidence of your normal residence

You can read more about the types of documents the NDLS will accept as evidence regarding each of these criteria in their guidance notes (pdf).

Supporting documentation

Additionally, to support your application, you will have to submit your:

  • Current or most recently issued learner permit, or
  • Current driving licence, if you are adding a category to your driving licence or applying to exchange a foreign licence

Depending on the nature of your application, you may also need a:

Medical report form

You will need a Driving Licence Medical Report Form if you apply 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 need 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 have a specific disability or condition.

If you are aged 75 or over, you will need a certification of fitness to drive from your doctor to apply for a 3-year or a one-year licence. You can read the medical fitness to drive guidelines (pdf).

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 complete 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. You must send it within 1 month of the medical examination.

Eyesight report form

Generally, your medical practitioner will report any eyesight issues in the Driving Licence Medical Report Form.

But you will need a Driving Licence Eyesight Report Form if you no longer need glasses or contact lenses to drive (for example if you've had laser eye surgery).

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. You must send it within 1 month of completion.

Medical fitness guidelines and health information leaflets

You can get medical fitness guidelines and, forms on the NDLS website. There are also health and driving information leaflets. The leaflets have information to help drivers with medical and other conditions.

How long is a driving licence valid?

Period of Driving Licence

Licence Categories

10 years

Group 1 - Motorcycles, Cars and Tractors

5 years

Group 2 - Buses, Trucks and Articulated Vehicles

Your age and medical fitness will decide the duration of licence which can be issued. The age in the table below is your age when you apply.


Licence Term

Under 65 years

Maximum* 10 year licence - Cars and Motorcycles or

Maximum* 5 year licence - Trucks and Buses


65 - 71 years

A licence which will expire on the eve of your 75th birthday at the latest. However please note that any group 2 categories (trucks and buses) will be for a maximum of five years which could expire before the driver turns 75.

72 - 74 years

3 year licence

75 or over

3 year licence or 1 year licence (subject to certification of fitness to drive by your doctor)

How much does a driving licence cost?

You can see the rates below:

Driving licence rates

Driving licence Cost
Ten-year driving licence €55
Five-year bus or truck driving licence €55
Three-year driving licence €35
One-year driving licence (medical grounds) Free
Category added €35

If you are aged over 70, you can get your driving licence for free.

Any required eyesight tests or medical examinations are not free of charge.

What are the restrictions on novice drivers?

Novice plates

You must display N-plates on your vehicle when driving for 2 years from the date your first licence was issued. Motorcycle riders must wear an N-tabard. The novice period only applies once. So, if you get a licence to drive a different category of vehicle, you don't have to display N-plates again. More information is available on the Road Safety Authority website.

Disqualification threshold

If you get 12 penalty points in a 3-year period, you are disqualified from driving for 6 months.

If you have a learner permit, you are disqualified if you have 7 penalty points. This lower threshold also applies for the first 2 years of your first full driving licence. More information is available on the Road Safety Authority website.

Drink driving limit

The drink driving limit is 20mg per 100ml of blood, 27mg per 100ml of urine and 9mg per 100ml of breath, if you have a learner permits and for the first 2 years of your full driving licence.

More information

National Driver Licence Service

Road Safety Authority
Po Box 858
Southside Delivery Office

Opening Hours: Lines open Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm (excluding Public Holidays) and Saturdays 9am – 1pm.
Tel: 0818 700 800

Road Safety Authority (RSA)

Moy Business Park
Primrose Hill
Co Mayo

Page edited: 26 March 2024