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Small truck or large van with trailer - C1E

Steps to become a small truck or large van with trailer driver.

This is an overview of the steps you must take to become a qualified driver in your chosen licence category. For more detail on these steps and a personalised guide to becoming a safe, fully qualified driver visit our portal.

To learn to drive a category C1E vehicle in Ireland, you must already hold a full, valid category C1 (light truck or large 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 18 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 and trailer are safe, roadworthy, insured, taxed and display L-plates.

If you want to learn to drive a category C1E vehicle as a professional driver, and do not already have a category C certificate of professional competence (CPC), please choose both category C1E and category C (CPC) goals.

You must have previously passed a category C (truck) or category C and D (bus and truck) theory test before you can apply for a category C1E learner permit. If you got your first category C learner permit before the introduction of the theory test on 25 April 2001, you must complete a theory test before applying for a category C1E learner permit. 

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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 light truck or large van with trailer 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 C1E 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 light truck or large van with trailer. 

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The light truck or large van with trailer 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. This includes uncoupling and recoupling a trailer as well as reversing from the left or right. 

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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 C1E driving licence within that time. This allows you to drive a light truck or large van with trailer 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 light truck or large van with trailer 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.