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Work vehicles and tractors

Steps to become a work vehicle or tractor driver.

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

Category W vehicles are work vehicles and tractors with a maximum design speed of 40 km/h that are constructed primarily for work other than for the carriage of goods or burdens by road. To learn to drive a category W vehicle in Ireland, you must first prove your identity and your entitlement to a driving licence or learner permit. This means proving that you would be at least 16 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 and taxed.

The work vehicles and tractors theory test (which is the same as the car theory test) checks your knowledge of topics such as the Rules of the Road, risk perception, eco-driving, hazard awareness, and safe driving behaviour. The theory test is computer-based and user-friendly. When you pass the theory test you are issued with a theory test certificate. This is valid for up to two years and enables you to obtain a learner permit within that time.

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A learner permit allows you to drive on all public roads, except motorways for the purposes of learning to drive. If your vehicle has been designed to carry a passenger, the passenger must have a valid driving licence in the same category for at least two years. You must hold a first learner permit for at least six months before you can take the driving test. This is to give you enough time to practice safe driving.

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The category W (work vehicles and tractors) driving test takes about 60 minutes and is conducted at an appropriate location where test manoeuvres can be safely undertaken. The 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. 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 W driving licence within that time. This allows you to drive on all public roads, except motorways. You can apply for a driving licence online with a Public Services Card and your verified MyGovID or in person at your local National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centre. 

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Passing your driving test is just the first 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.