About GDL

Find out what the graduated driving licensing measures are, why they have been designated and who they will affect.

What is a Graduated Driver Licensing system?

Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) is a programme of staged licensing, with privileges gained over time, that aims to increase road safety by providing new drivers the opportunity to gain driving experience, skills and maturity. GDL systems generally cover a range of measures that apply to learner drivers and to novice drivers, for a period of two years, after passing a driving test.

The RSA has already begun to implement a GDL programme in Ireland and is now implementing a second phase of actions. The measures involve the introduction of mandatory sessions, Initial Basic Training(IBT) for learners taking out motorcycle permits (on or after 6 December 2010) and Essential Driver Training(EDT)taking out car permits (on or after 4 April 2011).

Why is GDL important?

The RSA has studied the effectiveness of graduated driving licensing systems internationally, and found that GDL programmes result in an increase in driving skills and a significant decrease in fatal accidents.
With the aid of a detailed public consultation process, the RSA has sought to introduce measures that maximise the safety of inexperienced drivers and other road users, whilst seeking to avoid penalising responsible, compliant novice drivers.

How does GDL effect me?

The modernisation of driver training and licensing is a key foundation stone of the Government's current Road Safety Strategy.
The first phase of the modernisation project has been completed and an additional nine actions have been announced. These will effect:

  • Learner drivers
    If you have yet to acquire your learner permit, in the future, in order to pass your test, your accompanying driver will be more involved in your training and you will have to take compulsory driving sessions. Learners preparing for their driving test should also be aware that changes are being made to the driving test itself.
  • Novice drivers
    In Ireland, in the first two years of holding their full license, individuals will be classed as 'novice drivers'. Read on for applicable date and more complete information about new GDL measures.