The six-month rule
First-time learner permit holders and the six-month rule.
First-time learner permit holders (in certain categories) must wait six months after the date of issue of the particular licence category before they can sit their driving test. In the past, some people took the test shortly after getting their first learner permit and research has shown that the more practice and experience a person gets, the better a driver they become.
This is particularly important if you have added a licence category to your permit as it is the date the category was added that is relevant not the date that your permit was issued.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have checked your permit details and that you are eligible to sit the test.
If you have made a booking for a driving test and you are not eligible to sit the test, your driving test will not go ahead and you will lose your fee.
Who does it apply to
It applies to first-time learner permit holders for:
- works vehicles (eg, tractors, JCBs)
Initial Basic Training (IBT)
Where you opt to take Progressive Access (where you have held the lower category for a minimum of 2 years) from category A1 to A2 or Category A2 to A and wish to take a driving test, you do not need to wait six months to sit the driving test.
Reduced Essential Driver Training (EDT) and/or exemption from the 6-months rule
On 21 January, 2019 the RSA introduced a shorter EDT programme for foreign licence holders whose full licence from another country (jurisdiction) with which Ireland does not have an exchange agreement and may qualify for an exemption from EDT lessons 2,3,4,8,11 and 12.
For more information on EDT shortened programmes and/or exemption from 6-months wait to sit a driving test please see the information leaflet below. You can also download an application form to apply for the shortened EDT programme.Information about Reduced EDT for Full Foreign Licence Holders pdf | 541 KB Application form for reduced EDT and/or exemption from 6-months wait time pdf | 428 KB
When are the six months up
If you look at your learner permit you will see the code 991 on the restriction column and then also the date that the permit was issued for your particular licence category - You need to add 6 months to this date of issue.
In the example below, you can see a plastic card learner permit which has been issued on the 30th January 2013, and the holder of the learner permit cannot sit their driving test until on or after the 30th July 2013 i.e. six months after the date of issue of the category.
Why was it introduced
Research shows that the longer a learner is supervised while driving, the less likely they are to be involved in a collision.
The rule was introduced into the Rules of the Road in 2007. It allows a learner driver to become more experienced, and therefore most likely, a safer driver.