How to renew your driving licence
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 details and exclusions in ‘How to apply’ below. Alternatively you will have to visit an NDLS centre to renew your licence.
In 2013 a plastic-card driving licence was introduced, replacing the paper driving licence. This is an EU initiative to introduce a secure, compact style of licence in all member states.
COVID-19 and NDLS services
If you have a driving licence or learner permit that is due to expire between 1 March and 30 June 2020, your licence is automatically renewed for a further 4 months. This applies to all categories of licence.
You will not receive a new licence during this time, but your driver record will be updated to show that you licence or learner permit is still valid.
National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) offices reopened on a phased basis from 8 June 2020. You can find details of which NDLS offices are open on the Road Safety Authority website. NDLS offices will not operate a drop-in service. You can book an appointment to attend an office in person.
If you are over 70, you will not have to supply a medical report from your doctor, unless you have a specified medical condition. This applies up until 31 July 2020.
If your licence or learner permit expired before 1 March 2020, you can renew your licence online. You will need a Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID account to apply online. You cannot renew your licence or learner permit online if:
- You hold a bus or truck category on your licence
- You are over 70
- You are applying for your third or subsequent leaner permit
- You have a medical condition that requires a medical report (see the driving licence form (pdf) for a list of applicable medical conditions)
You can read more in our document Driving and transport during COVID-19.
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.
- If you are 70 or over, you need a certification of fitness to drive from 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.
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
- Your current driving licence is valid for more than 3 months
- You have a truck or bus category on your licence
- You are aged 70 or over
- You need to get a medical report to renew your driving licence because of a medical condition
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 need to complete the driving licence application form (pdf). There are guidance notes (pdf) to help you with this form. You can also get the form and notes from NDLS centres, driving test centres, driving theory test centres and Garda stations.
You must bring your completed application form and the following documentation with you when renewing your driving licence:
- Your current or most recently issued driving licence
- The appropriate fee - see ‘Rates’ above
- Documentation to prove your identity (see below)
- A Driving Licence Medical Report Form, if required (see below)
- A Driving Licence Eyesight Report Form, if required (see below)
Proof of identity
You can use your Public Services Card (PSC) as proof of identity. The address on your driving licence application must match the address on your PSC, if you want to use your PSC as proof of address.
If you don’t have a PSC, you need one document from each of the two sections below:
- Evidence of your PPS Number
- Public Services Card or Social Services Card
- Correspondence from Revenue or the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, showing your PPS Number
- Statement of Liability (formerly known as P21), Tax Assessment or notice of tax credits
- Receipt of social welfare payment
- Medical card, Drug Payment Scheme (DPS) card or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
- Proof of address (See Note below)
- Utility bill from your provider of electricity, phone, gas, cable television or broadband.
- Correspondence with an insurance company regarding an active policy.
- Statement from your bank, building society or credit union.
- Letter from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection or Revenue.
- Other official correspondence from an Irish State agency, such as: a government department, HSE, CAO, SUSI, An Garda Síochána, public hospital, Residential Tenancies Board, third-level college, training agency, An Post, or the National Cervical and breast screening programmes. Also NCT reports or reminders, TV Licence, Register of Electors or polling cards.
Note: Proof of address documents must be less than 6 months old when you apply. Mobile phone bills and statements from store cards or catalogue companies are not accepted.
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 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 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 are eligible and 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 can book an appointment online.
The National Driver Licence Service provides information on renewing a driving licence on its website.