Section 3

The Driving Test

How to apply for your driving test

Once you have learnt to drive safely and completed mandatory training (EDT for category B or IBT for Category AM (M), A1, A2 or A) the next step is to apply for your driving test.

NOTE: bus drivers and truck drivers should refer to page 15 for the CPC Driving Test.

You can apply and pay for your driving test online at You will need a credit or debit card together with a valid email address to complete the application on online.

Alternatively, you can download a driving test form from or obtain one from your local Garda station or Motor Tax Office. Send the completed form, with a cheque, postal order or money order made payable to the Road Safety Authority to:
Driver Testing Section
Road Safety Authority,
Moy Valley Business Park,
Primrose Hill,
Dublin Road,
Ballina, Co. Mayo.


To take a Driving Test you must comply with the following requirements:

  • Hold a Learner Permit for the vehicle in which you wish to be tested;
  • Comply with the 6 month rule, that is, you must have held a valid Learner Permit for at least 6 months on the day of the test (this applies to cars, motorcycles and work vehicles);
  • Learner Permit holders in Category BE (EB) (Car/van and trailer) do not need to wait 6 months before undergoing practical driving test in that category;
  • Have use of a suitable vehicle;
  • If your first Category B learner permit was issued on or after 4 April 2011 you must have completed an Essential Driver Training (EDT) course;
  • If your first Category A type learner permit was issued on or after 6 December 2010 you must have completed an Initial Basic Training (IBT) course.

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 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 25),
  • proper 'L' plates at the front and back, (other than Category A, A1, A2 and M or AM where you wear it on your person), and
  • a current valid insurance disc (except if you are being tested in a category A, A1, A2, M or AM 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 learner permit. The tester will check the permit to confirm that it relates to you, is current and is for the correct category of vehicle.
  • Read checklist on entitled 'Final Checks for Your Driving Test'.

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, or
  • you do not have the correct vehicle for your test (see Appendix 5).

You can get more information from

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. The test 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 appendix 6.

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

The following table highlights some recent changes. Some requirements apply to more than one type of vehicle.




A Car B
  • Demonstrate technical checks.
  • Work the secondary controls
  • Adjust the seat, seat-belt, head restraint, mirrors and ensure the doors are closed.
A Motor-
AM (previously M), A1, A2, A
  • Demonstrate technical checks.
  • Remove and replace the machine from its stand.
  • Adjust your protective outfit. (personal safety equipment).
  • Move the motorcycle without the aid of the engine.
A Trailer BE (EB)
  • Demonstrate technical checks.
  • Connect and remove the trailer to or from your vehicle.
  • Reverse up to a loading bay.
A Heavy Vehicle C, C1, CE (EC), CE1 (EC1)
  • Demonstrate technical checks.
  • Work the secondary controls.
  • Use any retarder or exhaust brake fitted to the vehicle.
  • Reverse up to a loading bay
A Bus D, D1, DE (ED), DE1 (ED1)
  • Demonstrate technical checks.
  • Work the secondary controls.
  • Use any retarder or exhaust brake fitted to the vehicle.
  • Open and close by hand any powered doors fitted to the vehicle.

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 ).

Motorcyclists are further tested on: control of speed, control when braking and obstacle avoidance.

How long does the test last

The test for categories A, A1, A2, B, EB (BE), M (AM) and W vehicles lasts about 40 minutes and assesses your driving skills over a distance of approximately 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. You should change it for your full driving licence as soon as possible.

If you are not successful, 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 were not successful and believe that your driving test was not conducted properly or fairly, 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 .

From January 2013 it may be possible, in certain circumstances, to progress to a higher category of driving licence for motorcycles without having to undergo an additional driving test. This is known as 'progressive access'.

At the age of 24 years a rider may also proceed directly to a large unrestricted motorcycle. This is known as 'direct access'.

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