The Driving Test
Once you meet all the conditions for learner permit holders described in Section 1 and 2 and you have taken driving instruction, the next step is to apply for your driving test.
If you intend to apply by post, you can get an application form from any Garda station or Motor Tax Office. Send the completed form, with a cheque for the test fee, to:
Driver Testing Section
Road Safety Authority
Lo-call: 1890 40 60 40
If you intend to apply online, visit www.drivingtest.ie. You will need to have a credit or debit (Laser) card to hand to pay the fee.
You can get further details about the test, including fees, by contacting the Road Safety Authority or by visiting www.drivingtest.ie.
The Road Safety Authority will introduce a Register of Approved Driving Instructors. All trainee drivers will be recommended to obtain instruction from an Approved Driving Instructor.
To undergo a Driving Test, you must hold a Learner Permit covering the category in which you wish to be tested. You must hold a Learner Permit for a minimum for 6 months before taking your driving test.
What you need to do on the day of the test
- Use the correct vehicle for your test.
- Under current regulations specific guidelines set out the minimum requirements that determine whether or not a vehicle is acceptable for use by you during a driving test (see appendix 5). You will be advised of the vehicle requirements on the appointment notice. However, if you have any concerns, please refer to www.drivingtest.ie where full details are available.
- Make sure your vehicle displays:
- a current valid motor tax disc,
- an NCT disc for vehicles obliged to pass the National Car Test (see page 22),
- proper 'L' plates at the front and back, (other than Category A, A1, M and W), and
- a current valid insurance disc (except if you are being tested in a category A, A1, M and W vehicle).
- Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy.
- Be in the test centre at least 10 minutes before your test appointment time.
- Give the driver tester your current Irish provisional licence or learner permit. The tester will check the licence / permit to confirm that it
relates to you, is current and is for the correct category of vehicle.
Your test will be cancelled and you will lose your fee if:
- you are late,
- your vehicle does not show the correct discs or L plates,
- your vehicle is not roadworthy,
- you do not have the correct vehicle for your test ( See Appendix 5 ).
You can get more information from wwww.drivingtest.ie.
The Driving Test
The driving test will determine if you have the skills necessary to progress to being a full driving licence holder. It includes questions on the Rules of the Road and how your vehicle works and then assesses your driving skills while you drive in different road and traffic conditions.
The driver tester will evaluate your driving skills using the Driving Test Report Form. A complete version of this form is in `
Before undergoing the test you should have achieved a level of knowledge and skill that will satisfy the tester that you are entitled to a full licence.
The requirements for the test process will change on an ongoing basis and to make yourself aware of any changes, visit www.rsa.ie
The following table highlights some recent changes. Some requirements apply to more than one type of vehicle.
|IF YOU ARE BEING TESTED||YOU MUST KNOW HOW TO|
|In a car||
|On a motorcycle||
|Using a trailer||
|In a heavy vehicle||
|In a bus||
Secondary controls and Technical checks
Work the secondary controls, such as windscreen wipers and washers, demisters, rear window heater, lights and air-conditioning, fans, rear foglights, air vents and temperature control.
Demonstrate technical checks such as air pressure and the condition of tyres, oil, fuel, windscreen washer fluid level, coolant, brakes (including handbrake), steering, lights, indicators, reflectors and horn.
The Driving Test Report Form explains the technical checks and the secondary controls in detail. Make yourself familiar with the content of the Driving Test Report Form. See appendix 6.
From September 2008, motorcyclists will be further tested on: control of speed, control when braking and obstacle-avoidance.
How long the test lasts
The test for categories A, A1, B, EB, M and W vehicles lasts about 40 minutes and assesses your driving skills over eight to ten kilometres.
The test for vehicles in other categories lasts about 70 minutes and assesses your driving skills over about 20 kilometres.
What happens when your test is finished
If you pass, the tester will give you a Certificate of Competency to drive. This certificate is valid for two years and allows you to apply to your local motor tax office for a full driving licence.
Make sure you apply in time. If you wait more than two years after passing your test, you will have to sit and pass it again to get a full licence.
Remember that if you sit your test in an automatic or an adapted vehicle and you pass it, your licence will apply only to the same type of vehicle.
If you fail, you will receive a detailed report on the faults that occurred during the test. When you are preparing for your next test, pay particular attention to these faults while continuing to work on other areas of your driving.
What to do if you are not happy with your test result
If you fail your test, but you believe it was the wrong decision, you may appeal the tester's decision to the District Court. The District Court may either refuse the appeal or, if it concludes that the test was not properly conducted, direct the Road Safety Authority to give you another test free of charge.
For more information on the driving test, please read the leaflet Preparing for your Driving Test. This is available at www.rsa.ie.