Car driving lessons (EDT)
Essential Driver Training (EDT) covers 12 sessions of training to help keep you safe on the road.
Essential Driver Training (EDT) is a structured training programme for learner drivers consisting of 12 driving sessions with an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI), or six sessions if you are eligible for reduced EDT.
EDT was introduced as part of the government’s road safety strategy under the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) programme. It is also one of a range of measures introduced by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to enhance the way that learner drivers like you are trained, tested and licensed in Ireland.
Why EDT is mandatoryThe purpose of EDT is to save lives. Getting a driving licence is a privilege, not a right. As a learner driver you are exposed to greater risks when using the roads due to inexperience. Maximising your road safety knowledge and behaviours helps you to develop the skills and confidence needed to share the road safely with others. By completing EDT you will build a strong foundation on which to become a better and safer driver.
The EDT sessions
EDT for learner drivers is a 12-hour course delivered in 12 one-hour sessions.
It is recommended that you allow two weeks between each session so that you can take further driving instruction, practise your new-found skills and do the required road safety reading. It’s best to spread your EDT course over a six-month period.
Alternatively, you may be eligible for reduced EDT which is delivered in six one-hour sessions.
|1||Car controls and safety checks||✓|
|2||Correct positioning 1|
|3||Changing direction 1|
|5||Correct positioning 2 (more complex situations)||✓|
|6||Anticipation and reaction||✓|
|7||Sharing the road||✓|
|8||Driving safely through traffic|
|9||Changing direction 1 (more complex situations)||✓|
Learn more about EDT by reading our booklets. You can also download a sample logbook below:Essential Driver Training (EDT) booklet pdf | 897 KB Reduced Essential Driver Training (EDT) booklet pdf | 851 KB Sample EDT Learner Logbook pdf | 2442 KB
Your Approved Driving Instructor (ADI)
By law, Essential Driver Training sessions can only be delivered by an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI).
See how your ADI helps you learn to drive safely:
Every ADI is assessed by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to ensure they have the necessary driving skills and road safety knowledge as well as the ability to teach you properly. They are all garda-vetted and must display a valid ADI permit. For you, this means better, more consistent and safer standards of driving instruction.
You should choose an ADI that provides EDT for licence category B (cars and lights vans). Your ADI will give you a logbook in which your sessions and progress will be recorded, as well as online in your MyEDT portal account.
Check the status of your EDT sessions to ensure your records are up-to-date.
How to find an ADI near you
Today, you’ll find over 1,700 ADIs nationwide who have been approved and registered by the RSA as full ADI permit holders. Here are a few tips to consider when choosing one that’s right for you:
- There is no standard fee for EDT sessions. Each ADI is self-employed and sets their own fees. Contact different ADIs to compare fees, arrangements and convenience
- You can switch from one ADI to another during your EDT
- Paying in advance for more than one session will limit your ability to switch instructors or change your scheduled sessions
- Ask family and friends for recommendations or advice on choosing your ADI
- Only training sessions with a currently approved ADI count as part of your EDT. Check their registration when you enquire, book and turn up for each session.
Check our register of Approved Driving Instructors for one near you.
Find an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI). Driving instructors must have a valid ADI permit. Check the RSA register of Approved Driving Instructors
ADIs delivering tuition to learners requiring special accommodation (deaf, hard of hearing or adapted vehicles) pdf | 227 KB
Frequently asked questions
Yes. As a learner driver, you must complete all 12 EDT sessions before you can sit a driving test. You can apply online for a driving test before your 12 EDT sessions are completed. However, you cannot be scheduled for your driving test until your ADI confirms that you have completed all 12 sessions and these have been uploaded to the system.
Please note: you must complete EDT if your first car learner permit was issued on or after 4 April 2011. If this is the case, a ‘code 991’ will appear on your learner permit.
- only when accompanied by an ADI or someone who has held a full, valid driving licence in the same category for more than two years
- on all public roads, except motorways, for the purposes of learning to drive
- if your car also complies with all other roadworthiness, insurance, motor tax, NCT and L-plate display requirements.
- you must take session 1 first to check that your learner permit and car roadworthiness checks are all in order
- you make take sessions 2 to 8 in any sequence
- you may take sessions 9 to 12 in any sequence as long as you have completed sessions 2 to 8.
Before each session, you should prepare by studying the EDT booklet and the relevant section of the Rules of the Road. Your ADI can give you more guidance on what reading material to cover.
After each session, your ADI will give feedback on your progress so you know what driving skills to concentrate on. These can be practised with your driving instructor or driving sponsor. The RSA recommends at least three hours practice on aspects covered in your previous session. You should also regularly refer to your EDT information booklet to prepare in advance.
No. EDT applies to first-time learner permits issued on or after 4th April 2011 in category B (car or light van). Before you can become a category BE (car or light van with trailer) driver, you must:
- already hold a full, valid category B (car or light van) driving licence
- have previously passed a category B (car or light van) theory test before you can apply for a category BE (car or light van with trailer) learner permit
If you received your first category B learner permit before the introduction of the theory test on 25 April 2001, you must complete a theory test before applying for a category BE learner permit.
If you are unsure, please contact the National Driver Licence Service.
Not always. Depending on where and when your licence was issued, you can apply for reduced EDT or an exemption from the six months rule.
Unless you have been granted an exemption from the six months rule or have been notified that you qualify for reduced EDT, you must complete the full EDT programme.
If you currently hold a full category B (car or light van) driving licence from a country that does not have a licence exchange agreement with Ireland, you may be eligible for reduced EDT. This involves six one-hour sessions. To qualify you must:
- hold a full foreign driving licence for at least two years
- hold a licence that has not expired by more than six months on the date of receipt of your application form
- be resident in Ireland
- hold an Irish learner permit
Reduced EDT will help you learn some of the most vital driving skills as well as improve your knowledge and understanding of road safety in Ireland. You can apply for reduced EDT here.Please note: if you have a booking for a driving test, you cannot legally take this test until you have completed the reduced EDT programme.
Below are some links to further information if you’re a learner driver considering taking the EDT programme.