Who has to do the test?

Anyone who applies for a first provisional licence after April 2001 has to do the theory test.

How many classes of theory test are there?

There are four classes of test:

Mopeds and Motorcycles – (categories A, A1 and M)
Cars – (B, EB and W)
Rigid & Artic Trucks – (C, C1, EC and EC1)
Minibus & Coaches – (D, D1, ED and ED1)

What does the test entail?

There are 40 questions in the test and candidates have to answer 35 questions correctly to be successful. You have 45 minutes to answer the 40 questions in the test.
The test is taken using a touch screen computerised system. Candidates select their answers by touching the computer screen. A practice session can be undertaken before you take the actual test so that you can get used to the system. You don’t need to be computer literate in any way.
If you wish to complete your test through Irish, this can be facilitated at your test centre and during your test.
The test is scored automatically and results are made available to you immediately. You will receive a pass certificate for your theory test at the test centre.

How many questions are in the test?

The questions you will be asked in your driver theory test are based on the Rules of the Road and current road traffic legislation in Ireland. The Driver Theory Testing Service has a bank of 1,250 questions. For each test, a random selection of 40 questions will be used from the question bank.
This means for example that if you fail the test and have to re-sit, it is unlikely you will be asked the same questions again. From 21 October 2006 new test questions have been added to the question bank.

What if I am unhappy with the result of the test?

If you are unhappy with the result of your theory test, you have the right to appeal this decision. Speak to the Driver Theory Test supervisor before leaving the test centre. You may also fill out an appeal form, available at each of the Driver Theory Test Centres.

What I have to do if I need a new learner permit?

Applicants for a provisional driving licence must submit some or all of the following with their application:
A completed application form D201
Two identical passport photographs
A Driver Theory Test pass certificate
A birth certificate or passport
A medical report
Your current or last driving licence when you are renewing a provisional licence.

How many driving test centres are there in the country?

There are 51 test centres in the Country at present.

Do I have to do my driving test at my local test centre?

No. You can apply to do the test at any test centre. You might note that certain vehicles cannot be tested at all centres. Tests in works vehicles or tractors can be conducted, where possible, at a location closer to your home than the nearest test centre.

How do I know which licence category applies to my vehicle?

The application form for a driving test on this website sets out a list of licence categories and the vehicles to which they apply.

What are the fees for the various categories of test?

A, A2, A1, B, BE, AM,W €85
All other categories €120
CPC Driving Test  
(Bus and Truck Category):  
Driving Test Part 1 €120
Driving Test Part 2 €32


How soon after I apply can I expect to be called for the test?

You should refer to the waiting times page on this website which will give you an idea of the timescale involved. These waiting times are approximated and are indicative only. You will receive your appointment notice four to five weeks in advance of your test.

Can I look for an early test for employment purposes?

An early test can be arranged in such cases; you must however provide written confirmation from your employer (prospective employer) that you are being offered employment, which requires a full driving licence. The confirmation should be on the employers headed paper and must include the employers RSI number. In such cases the candidate may get short notice of a test appointment.

What happens if I must cancel my test appointment?

It is imperative that you notify the Authority as soon as possible. Another person, who will have been waiting for some time, will be able to take up your time slot. You can cancel by writing to Driver Testing Section, Road Safety Authority, Government Offices, Ballina, Co. Mayo, or by fax at (096) 78290, or by telephone during office hours LoCall 1890 40 60 40. If you give at least 10 days notice and have not previously cancelled more than one appointment on foot of this application your test fee will not be forfeited.

What happens if my test is cancelled through no fault of my own?

The Department has a system in place to cover unexpected absences of testers, however, it is not possible to cover all such situations. Occasionally, because of illness to the tester, hazardous weather conditions, etc., the Department cancels tests at short notice. Every effort is made to notify the test candidate immediately. In such circumstances the Department will arrange a further test free of charge at the earliest date possible. The Department will also consider reimbursing certain out of pocket expenses, e.g., hire of vehicle on the day of the cancelled test, due to illness of the tester, on receipt of the appropriate claim in the Department.

What do I do when I arrive at the driving test centre?

You should aim to arrive at the centre before the appointed time. Do not wait in your car or outside the centre, you should go into the test centre where the tester will call you for your test.

How is the driving test conducted?

The tester will ask you to present your provisional driving licence for the appropriate category; you will also be required to sign a declaration that you are insured to drive the vehicle. You will then be asked a number of questions relating to the rules of the road. Following this, the practical “on the road” element of your test will commence. Following the completion of your test the tester will bring you into the test centre and give you the result of the test.

Will a Certificate of Insurance suffice if I have not received my insurance disc?

No, the vehicle must display an up to date disc. It would not be practicable, given the time constraints involved for the tester to examine the Certificate of Insurance.

Can I use a foreign registered vehicle?

No. Any vehicles registered outside the state cannot be used for driving test purposes.

Can I take my driving test on foot of a provisional licence from another country?

No. You must hold a current Irish provisional licence in the appropriate category.

If I hold a full driving licence from another Country do I have to undergo a driving test in Ireland?

If you hold a current valid full driving licence issued by an EU member State or from one of the “recognised states” you can exchange your licence for a full Irish Licence. Your local Motor Tax Office should be contacted for more details.

What are the principal vehicle requirements for the test?

The vehicle must be roadworthy. Among other things this means that the brake and indicator lights must be working, where seats are designed for headrests they must be in place and tyres must be properly inflated with at least 1.6 mm. tread depth. If the vehicle is considered not to be roadworthy the test will not be conducted, you will forfeit your fee and you will have to re-apply for the test.

What is a works vehicle?

Vehicles such as JCB’s, forklifts or road rollers are categorised as works vehicles. Works Vehicles have a maximum design speed not exceeding 40 Kilometres per hour.

I have an appointment for a driving test but am unable to take up the appointment, can I transfer the appointment to a friend?

No. Only persons having made a valid application who is scheduled for appointment by the Department can be sit the test.

Is it necessary to display a National Car Test disc?

Yes, on all cars four years and older. It is a legal requirement that the NCT disc is displayed on any car that has undergone the NCT. Your driving test will not be conducted if the NCT disc is not displayed on cars having undergone the NCT.

Does the Department supply the vehicles for the test?

No, the applicant must supply a roadworthy vehicle for the test.

How is a motorcycle or tractor test conducted?

The tester will give you details of the route to follow and will then follow you in a car.

Are there any special arrangements in place to facilitate a test candidate who has a disability or a language difficulty?

If you are deaf or cannot speak English you may have an interpreter accompany you. This person may not be your driving instructor and s/he cannot accompany you on the practical element of the test. The tester may show written instructions for this part of the test and display them as appropriate; the tester may also use basic sign language. You should also note that if the vehicle you present for the test is adapted to suit a disability e.g., additional controls, this will be noted on your full driving licence. There is a question on the application form for the driving test about special needs. Any candidate with special needs should indicate this on the form so that necessary arrangements can be in place when they attend for the test.

How does the Theory Test affect the driving test?

The Theory Test affects persons who are applying for a first Irish provisional licence on or after the date of the introduction of the Theory Test. It is not directly linked to the driving test.

If I pass my Theory Test must I still undergo the oral (rules of the road) part of the driving test?

Yes, the oral test still forms part of your driving test.

Is there a facility whereby the test can be conducted in Irish?

Yes. If you apply for the test in the Irish language version of the application form your test will be conducted in Irish.

Can I use a car with an automatic transmission for the test?

Yes. If you pass the test in a vehicle using automatic transmission your full driving licence will restrict you to driving such vehicles.

For how long may the expiry date on a full driving licence have lapsed before you must undergo a further driving test in order to obtain another full driving licence?

Ten Years.

If my provisional licence is lost or damaged what should I do?

Obtain a duplicate licence from your local Motor Tax Office.

What happens if I pass my driving test?

The tester will issue you with a Certificate of Competency, which you can then exchange for a full driving licence at your local Motor Tax Office.

Does my Certificate of Competency have an expiry date?

It will expire two years after date of issue.

What happens if my Certificate of Competency is over two years old and I have not exchanged it for a full licence?

You will be required to re-sit and pass the test to obtain a full licence.

What happens if I lose my Certificate of Competency within the two year period?

You will have to obtain a duplicate from the Driver Testing Section in the Department. You will have to provide a statement certified by a Garda that you have lost the Certificate of Competency.

What happens if I fail the test?

The tester will present you with a report detailing aspects of your driving that led you to fail the test. You will also receive a Certificate indicating that you failed the test; you should retain this as you may require it when renewing your provisional licence. Unfortunately, the tester is not permitted to discuss your test results with you. If you wish to apply for a further test, application forms are available at test centres or you can apply online.

If I fail my driving test can I renew my provisional licence?

Eligibility for a third or subsequent provisional licence is dependent on you having undergone a driving test within the previous two years or providing medical evidence for not having undertaken it or having evidence of a forthcoming test appointment. Your local Motor Tax Office will clarify issues relating to your eligibility for a provisional licence.

If I fail my test will the same tester conduct any subsequent test?

Occasionally you will be scheduled with the same tester. However, it is the policy of the Department that you are not scheduled repeatedly with the same tester.

If I fail the test can I appeal against the decision of the tester?

Article 33 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961 provides for an appeal to the District Court. The Court may affirm the decision of the tester or direct that a further test be offered to you free of charge.

Areas Covered:

co. Carlow, co. Kilkenny and co .Laois