The system of licensing learner Drivers is under scrutiny and may well change in Ireland in the coming year or so. In the meantime the procedure is very straightforward but takes a little organising.
(1) First you must study for, book and then pass the Driver Theory Test which was introduced in 2001. The theory test is a multi choice test done on computer and most major towns have a designated Theory Test Centre.
(2) The pass mark is 35 out of a total of 40 questions.
(3) Booking can be done by phone and usually you will get a Test appointment inside about ten days.
(4) You will get the result immediately.
(5) It is advisable to study for the Test via the official Book or preferably the C. D. Rom which enables you to replicate the test on your own computer.
(6) Recent revisions to the question bank have taken place as road regulations continue to evolve.
(7) This is an important stage in your Learning to drive so take it seriously and study.
The next phase of getting your Provisional License should have already been dealt with before you sit the Theory Test since after passing the Theory Test you can go straight to the Local Motor Tax Office and obtain your Provisional License.
Requirements are as follows:-
(1) Theory Test Pass Certificate.
(2) Provisional License Application Form.
(3) Provisional License Fee.
(4) Two Passport Photographs in Colour.
(5) Identification. Either Passport or Original Birth Certificate
(6) Eye Test Certificate from a registered Optician.
(7) Items 2 to 6 should be dealt with while you are waiting for your Theory Test.
Some additional important notes especially for Recent Immigrants:-
(1) You are not allowed to Drive without a Provisional License.
(2) You must be accompanied by a fully Licensed Driver when you start Driving.
(3) A Provisional License from any other Country cannot be exchanged for an Irish Provisional License.
(4) A Full Driving License from a Country outside the E. U will mostly not be eligible for exchange for a full Irish License. There are a few exceptions.
(5) A Full License from an Accepted Country or from an E. U. Country will need to be exchanged for a full Irish License if you intend to reside permanently in Ireland.
(6) You must display regulation L Plates at the front and rear of your vehicle until you have passed the Driving Test.
(7) Road Tax, Insurance and N. C. T Certificate (where required) must be displayed on your vehicle.
(8) Buying a car is or can be full of pitfalls for the unwary including quite an amount of paperwork. If you are unsure of your responsibilities check with a reputable Driving School who will often help you in your choice and answer questions.
(9) You must be in full possession of all the Regulations before you take to the Road for the first time.
(10) Gardai (Police) have the power to impound vehicles that do not comply with the Law.
All the necessary forms can be found at your local Motor Tax Office.
Robin Piggott is a Driving Instructor in Ireland who brings four decades of experience to his Astral Driving School based in Limerick. His newly refurbed web site can be found at http://www.astraldrivingschool.ie Here you can find a treasure trove of everything for the Learner Driver and also pages for the visitor who is contemplating Touring Ireland by Car. Pick up a free seven part mini course "Passing the Driving Test First Time" and stack the cards in your favour.