How to renew your driving licence

Introduction

You are required to carry your driving licence with you at all times when driving. When your driving licence runs out, you must renew it if you want to continue driving. If your licence is lost, stolen or damaged, you can find out about 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 has responsibility for driver licensing and the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) manages licence applications and renewals. You can renew your driver licence online if you have a Public Services Card and a MyGovID verified account - see 'How to apply’ below. Alternatively you can visit an NDLS centre to renew your licence.

COVID-19 and NDLS services

The Government has announced an extension to the expiry dates of full driving licences for those who have not benefited from a previous extension.

The extension will apply to driving licences expiring from 1 July 2021 to 31 October 2021 with 10 months added to the expiry date.

  • If your licence was due to expire on 5 July 2021, you have a new expiry date of 5 May 2022.
  • If your licence was due to expire 5 August 2021, you have a new expiry date of 5 June 2022.
  • If your licence was due to expire on 5 September 2021, you have a new expiry date of 5 July 2022.
  • If your licence was due to expire on 5 October 2021, you have a new expiry date of 5 August 2022.

You can check the expiry date of your licence on the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) website. You will not get a new licence during the period of your extension, but your driver record will be updated to show that your licence or learner permit is still valid.

If you are a driver who has benefited from previous extensions and the new renewal date is due, you must renew your driving licence with the NDLS.

NDLS Centres are open by appointment. There is no walk-in service available. If you have a Public Services Card or MyGovID, you can apply online at ndls.ie.

If you are over 70 years of age, or your current licence expires on the eve of your seventieth birthday you will be sent an application pack by NDLS to renew your driving licence by post or you may renew online at NDLS.ie.

There are no application fees payable by persons aged 70 and over when renewing their driving licence.

Learner permits

The Government announced a new 10-month extension to the validity period of learner permits. This is in addition to previous extensions granted.

The new extension means that:

  • Permits that expired between 1 March and 30 June 2020 that were previously extended by 8 months will now be extended by a further 10 months, so 18 months in total
  • Permits that expired between 1 July to 31 October 2020 that were previously extended by 4 months will now be extended by a further 10 months, so 14 months in total
  • Permits that expired or will expire between 1 November 2020 and 31 July 2021 will be extended for 10 months

For example, where the date of expiry on your physical learner permit (which can be seen at opposite number 4b on the permit) shows 5 March 2020, your new expiry date is 5 September 2021. Similarly, if your permit had been due to expire on 5 July 2020, your new expiry date is 5 September 2021.

However, if you have already renewed your permit, and it had an expiry date between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2021, the new 10-month extension will not apply, and the expiry date of your permit will be as shown on your new permit.

Read more about licence extensions on the NDLS website.

Rules

You can 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

Your age determines how long your licence will be issued for, so you may be able to renew your licence for 10 years, 3 years or something in between, depending on how old you are.

  • If you are under 60, you can apply for a 10-year licence or a 3-year licence (on medical grounds).
  • If you are 60 to 67 years old, you can apply for a licence that will expire the day before your 70th birthday
  • If you are between 67 and 70 years old, you can apply for a 3-year licence. If your current licence is due to expire within 3 months of your 70th birthday, your new licence will be issued for either 1 year or 3 years. The shorter duration will apply if your GP chooses this option on your medical report.

A bus or truck driving licence is issued for a maximum of 5 years.

Rates

The cost of a driving licence is:

  • Ten-year driving licence — €55
  • Five-year bus or truck driving licence — €55
  • Three-year driving licence — €35
  • One-year driving licence (medical grounds) — No fee

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

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

How to apply

Online applications

You can apply to renew your driving licence online if you have a Public Services Card (PSC) and a MyGovID verified account. You also need to have:

Applying in person

If you cannot renew your licence online, you will have to apply to an NDLS centre in person. You do not have to provide photographs with your application, as your photo and signature will be digitally recorded.

You are no longer required to submit an application form. See guidance notes on applying for a Driving Licence and Applying for a Learner Permit on ndls.ie.

You must bring the following documentation with you when renewing your driving licence:

  • Your current or most recent driving licence
  • Proof of your PPS number
  • The appropriate fee - see ‘Rates’ above
  • Documentation to prove your identity
  • Proof of address
  • A Driving Licence Medical Report Form, if required (see below)
  • A Driving Licence Eyesight Report Form, if required (see below)

Medical report form

You will need 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 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) if 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). 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 of the medical examination

Eyesight report form

Generally any eyesight issues will be reported in the Driving Licence Medical Report Form. However, you will require 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. It must be submitted within 1 month of completion.

Where to apply

You can apply to renew your driving licence online if you have a Public Services Card (PSC) and a MyGovID verified account, see ‘Online applications’ above. Alternatively you can apply in person to one of the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centres- see ‘Applying in person’ above. You must book an appointment online. There is no walk-in-service.

The National Driver Licence Service provides information on renewing a driving licence on its website.

National Driver Licence Service

Road Safety Authority

Po Box 858
Southside Delivery Office
Cork
Ireland

Tel: 0761 08 7880

Road Safety Authority (RSA)

Moy Business Park
Primrose Hill
Ballina
Co Mayo
Ireland

Opening Hours: - Lines open Monday - Friday 8.30am - 5pm
Tel: 096 25800
Locall: 1890 406 040 (Note: rates charged for using lo-call numbers may vary
Fax: 096 25252

Page edited: 13 September 2021