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Learner Drivers

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 mandatory

The 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. 

SessionTopicReduced EDT
1Car controls and safety checks
2Correct positioning 1 
3Changing direction 1 
4Progression management 
5Correct positioning 2 (more complex situations)
6Anticipation and reaction
7Sharing the road
8Driving safely through traffic 
9Changing direction 1 (more complex situations)
10Speed management
11Driving calmly 
12Night driving 

 

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. 

MyEDT Portal

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. 
  

Services Approved Driving Instructor

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.
No. You are not required to complete EDT with one ADI. You may choose to change your ADI at any point in the EDT programme. Once your current ADI stamps, dates, signs your logbook and uploads the session to MyEDT upon completion, you can move to another ADI for your next session, if you so wish.
There are over 1,700 ADIs to choose from nationwide. All have been approved and registered by the RSA to ensure you get a consistent standard of driving tuition. A list is can be found on the RSA register of Approved Driving Instructors.
Most of the sessions involve practical driving. However, your ADI may first show you how to use the vehicle controls and explain the theory and reasoning behind the instruction and guidance being given to you.
The RSA does not set the charges for EDT sessions. Individual ADIs set their own fees. For this reason, the RSA recommends that you shop around to compare EDT fees, arrangements and proximity to where you live. You might also ask family or friends to recommend an ADI that suits you.
If your car meets roadworthiness and other legal requirements, it may benefit you to practise in it as you will be more familiar with its handling. However, you should discuss this with your ADI as they may wish to use a dual-controlled vehicle for the first few sessions.
No. There is no exam at the end of your EDT programme. However, each session has specific content that must be covered. Your ADI will plan each EDT session to achieve the expected outcomes listed and will provide you with both verbal and written feedback at the end of each session. Your logbook contains a page where you can analyse your own performance and make notes of things to practise, learn or ask your ADI the next time you meet.
EDT is just part of your driver training. You will need to get more driving experience by taking further instruction and practising what you have learned in EDT until your ADI confirms you’re ready to take the driving test.
You should contact your ADI who will be able to advise you on how to report a lost logbook. You will be charged a replacement fee and there may be a waiting period.
No, not if you follow the laws that apply to your learner permit. These allow you to drive:

  • 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.
However, you will have to complete EDT before you can sit your driving test.
No, generally not. EDT consists of 12 one-hour sessions set out as follows:

  • 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. If you fail your driving test you do not have to repeat EDT. The only exception is if your learner permit has lapsed for more than five years. In this case you will have to:




 

The only time an ADI would see your previously recorded EDT sessions is if you lose your logbook and you have changed to another ADI. In this case, you can access the completed sessions online with MyEDT and print a statement to act as proof of completion. Your new ADI must then stamp the logbook for the sessions they complete.
Yes, additional driving lessons are recommended to supplement the EDT programme and give you the opportunities to practise and develop your new-found driving skills.
Yes, you can. However, to get the most from the EDT programme, you should take enough time to practise and develop safe driving. The RSA recommends taking two weeks between each of the 12 EDT sessions. Also, remember that you cannot sit a driving test until you’ve held your first learner permit for at least 6 months.

 

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.

 

 

The six months rule applies to first-time learner permit holders. It states that you must have held your first learner permit for at least six months before sitting a driving test. This is to ensure that you allow yourself enough time to complete your training and safely practice what you’ve learned before attempting a driving test
Yes, you need to complete the reduced EDT programme before taking a driving test as there’s no exchange agreement in place between the U.S. and Ireland.

Below are some links to further information if you’re a learner driver considering taking the EDT programme.

A sponsor is someone who helps, supports and improves your driving skills by accompanying you on practice drives. Your sponsor must hold a full valid licence for a minimum of two years and can be your ADI.
No, but your sponsor can also be an ADI if you wish. The important thing is that your sponsor should be a responsible person who will help you learn to become a better and safer driver. Ideally they will discuss aspects of your practice and progress with your ADI.
No. However, as a learner driver it is mandatory that you be accompanied by a full licence holder at all times while you are driving on a learner permit. Your sponsor could meet this mandatory requirement.
Yes. It is important that you feel comfortable with the person who is acting as your sponsor. Inside your logbook you can find details of the criteria for choosing a sponsor. So, any person who fulfils the criteria may act in that role.
There are a number of ADIs across the country delivering driver training to students who require special accommodation. This includes students who are deaf, hard of hearing or those who may require vehicle adaptions.