03 Jul 2022

Get road ready

Step 1. Pass the Theory Test

Step 1. Pass the Theory Test

The theory test examines your knowledge and understanding of the rules of the road, good driving behaviour, risk perception and hazard perception. You must pass this test before applying for a first learner permit. The test involves answering questions on a touch screen computer in a test centre. It is run by the Driver Theory Testing Service. To apply for a theory test, contact the Driver Theory Testing Service or apply online at

Step 2. Get your Learner Permit

To apply for a first Learner Permit you will need: Completed application form (D.201) Valid Theory Test Certificate Birth Certificate/Baptismal Certificate/Valid Passport/Certificate of Registration Card Marriage Certificate required if name differs to that on Birth Certificate/Passport Medical report (D501), completed by a Registered Medical Practitioner, if required An eyesight report (D.502) for classes A, A1, B, EB and W - eyesight report valid for one month from issue. Two recent identical passport-type photographs (signed on the back)

Drop all this into your local County Council office and they will issue you with your valid Learner Permit. Learner Permits are valid for two years. You cannot take a driving test for at least six months after getting your first learner permit.

Step 3. Take Driving Lessons

When you get your Learner Permit you should book driving lessons with an RSA approved driving instructor to learn how to drive safely and competently. You can find a range of approved driving instructors in your area on the website.

As a rule of thumb you will need 1 1/2 to 2 hours of lessons for each year of your life. So, if you are a 17 year old you would need 25 lessons. That would be a minimum, no two pupils learn at the same rate. Remember, you must have your Learner Permit in your possession while driving.

Step 4. Get your L-Plates

When you feel comfortable enough to drive without your instructor and you’re insured on a car, it’s recommended you get valuable experience driving the car that you’re going to take your driving test in. Remember that you must be accompanied by a person that holds a full driving licence for at least two years. Confidence and experience are everything!

Step 5. Take Your Test

Once you have met all the conditions for learner permit holders and you have taken instruction, the next step is to apply for your driving test. You can apply online here:

On the day of your test, Make sure your vehicle displays: - a current valid motor tax disc, - an NCT disc for vehicles obliged to pass the National Car Test - proper “L” plates at the front and back, - a current valid insurance disc

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. The tester will check the licence to confirm that it relates to you, is current and is for the correct category of vehicle.

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.

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.