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Bus - D

Steps to become a bus driver.

This is an overview of the steps you must take to become a qualified driver in your chosen licence category.

To learn to drive a category D vehicle in Ireland, you must already hold a full, valid category B (car or light van) driving licence. You must also prove your identity and your entitlement to a driving licence or learner permit. This means proving that you are at least 24 years of age when applying for a learner permit, that you are normally resident in Ireland, that you have a valid address and personal public services number (PPSN), and that you are medically fit to drive. You should also ensure that your vehicle is safe, roadworthy, insured, taxed and displays L-plates.

The theory test is computer-based and user-friendly. You can choose to sit it online in your own home or book an appointment at one of our 40+ theory test centres nationwide. The theory test checks your knowledge of topics such as the Rules of the Road, risk perception, eco-driving, hazard awareness, and safe driving behaviour. When you pass the theory test you are issued with a theory test certificate. This is valid for up to two years.

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A learner permit allows you to drive on all public roads, except motorways, for the purposes of learning to drive a bus and only when accompanied by someone who has held a full, valid driving licence in the same category for more than two years.

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To prepare for your driving test, it is recommended that all new first-time category D learner permit holders take lessons with an RSA Approved Driving Instructor. These will help you develop the additional driving and road safety awareness skills you will need to drive a bus. 

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The bus driving test checks your knowledge of the Rules of the Road and your ability to drive competently and safely in accordance with those rules and with regard for other road users. The test takes about 100 minutes. It's a combination of questions to test your knowledge and a practical test of your driving skills and awareness. 

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When you pass the driving test you are issued with a certificate of competency. This is valid for up to two years. You must apply for a category D driving licence within that time. This allows you to drive on all public roads, including motorways. If you are still a category B (car and light van) novice driver, you must display N-plates on any vehicle you drive for the first two years.

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Passing the driving test is just one step in becoming a truly safe and competent driver. You should continue to drive carefully and build up your experience in different traffic, weather, lighting and road conditions. The Road Safety Authority offers a range of learning materials that will help you develop your road safety awareness and skills.

Services MyRoadSafety portal

You can now easily manage all your driver services, tests, permits and licences online on MyRoadSafety.