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Learner Drivers

After you pass your test

What to do after passing your driving test and where to bring your certificate of competency. 

When you pass the driving test, you are issued with a certificate of competency. This certificate does not entitle you to drive as a full licence holder. You must abide by the rules of your learner permit until you are issued with a full driving licence. 

Only once you are in possession of a full valid driving licence are you legally allowed to drive while unaccompanied. 



You need to apply for your driving licence within two years of receipt of your certificate of competency. If you don't apply for your licence within this time, your cert will no longer be valid and you will have to pay for and sit the driving test again. 

You can apply for a driving licence online at ndls.ie  with a Public Services Card and verified MyGovID or you can book an appointment to attend in person at a National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centre. 

NDLS Online

If you have lost your certificate of competency you can request a duplicate copy by: 

  1. Downloading a statement of loss
  2. Complete the form and have it certified and stamped by a garda. 
  3. Send the form to us at the address below and we’ll issue a duplicate. 

Driver Testing Section 
Road Safety Section 
Primrose Hill 
Ballina 
Co. Mayo 
F26 V6E4 


Safe driving

Remember, now that you’re a driver, you’re even more responsible for your safety and the safety of others so you should never stop learning more driving skills and road safety awareness. The Road Safety Authority offers a range of learning materials that will help you develop these skills. 

Getting a full driving licence allows you to drive unaccompanied on all public roads in the category of vehicle for which you hold a full licence. If you passed your driving test in an automatic vehicle you will only be licensed to drive that type of vehicle. 

There are also some special conditions that apply to novice drivers during the first two years: 

  • you must display N-plates on any vehicle you drive for the first two years 
  • you cannot act as a sponsor or accompanying driver for a category B learner driver 
  • a lower blood alcohol concentration threshold applies (20mg) 
  • a lower threshold of seven penalty points leading to disqualification usually applies to novice drivers. 

Remember: passing the driving test is not the end of the learning process; continue to drive carefully and build up your experience in different traffic, weather, lighting and road conditions.