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Professional drivers

5(b) Trainee Instructor Licence

Optional scheme to get a trainee instructor licence

If you’ve passed your ADI stage 2 driving assessment you can apply for a six month trainee licence to get experience teaching students ahead of your ADI stage 3 instruction or teaching ability assessment.

Who can apply

To be eligible to apply for a trainee driving instructor licence:

  • You must have passed the ADI stage 1 theory test and stage 2 driving assessment in the previous 2 years in the category you're applying for the trainee instructor’s licence, or have received an exemption.
  • You must not have previously held a trainee driving instructor's licence.

Time limit

When deciding whether to apply for the trainee licence please ensure that you're allowing yourself enough time to also complete the full application process for approval as an RSA Approved Driving Instructor.

An ADI candidate must complete the entire qualification process within 24 months of passing their Stage 1 theory test, otherwise you will have to restart the process.

Rules for applying

Before applying for a trainee instructor licence you must hold a Certificate of Completion of 20 hours of practical training with an RSA Registered ADI who agrees to mentor you.

As part of this, your ADI mentor must cover 36 competency areas with you and these have to be documented on this initial practical training log as each subject is covered. It is expected that the first 17 subjects on this log can be covered in approximately 4 hours and the remaining 19 subjects can be covered within 16 hours.

    A note about your sponsor

    • Your RSA Registered ADI sponsor must be qualified to give instruction in the vehicle category for which you are applying.
    • They must not have another trainee instructor at the same time and for the duration of your trainee licence.
    • It is your responsibility to check these details with your proposed RSA Registered ADI sponsor before you start your practical training.
    • The trainee driving instructor’s licence is issued for a maximum of six months and the period of its validity cannot be extended. Trainee instructors are only permitted to hold one trainee driving instructor’s licence (a second trainee licence will not be issued).
    • The trainee driving instructor’s identity card must be displayed at all times in the vehicle while instruction is being delivered.
    • It is not possible to change to a different ADI Sponsor without advising and receiving prior approval from the RSA. If you need to change ADI sponsor please  complete this form.
    • Trainee driving instructors can only provide instruction in the category that is covered by their trainee driving instructor’s licence.
    • Trainee driving instructor licence holders are not permitted to provide training under either the EDT (Essential Driver Training) or IBT (Initial Basic Training for Motorcyclists) programs. However, it may be helpful to accompany a qualified ADI during either type of training providing the learner is in agreement.
    • The expiry date of the trainee driving instructor’s licence will be clearly visible on the front and of the ID card. They must be returned to the RSA, along with the  Training log, within 7 days of finishing the ADI training i.e., on its expiration or after having successfully completed stage 3 whichever occurs first.
    • Trainee driving instructors cannot be paid for giving driving lessons unless they hold a valid trainee driving instructor’s licence.

    Please note that the trainee driving instructor’s licence may be revoked by the RSA Registrar if:

    • any of the conditions of the scheme under which the licence was granted are not kept; or
    • the licence was issued by mistake or gained by fraud.

    How to apply for the trainee licence

    You need to post the following documents to: Driver Education, Road Safety Authority, Moy Valley Business Park, Ballina, Co Mayo:

    Frequently asked questions

    If all is in order with your application the trainee driving instructor’s licence and ID cards showing your name, vehicle category of instruction and expiry date will be issued to you by registered post along with your record of training provided log within 3 to 4 weeks of your application. 

    If there are any errors with your trainee driving instructor’s licence or ID cards you must contact the RSA Driver Education Section by phoning 096 25000 or please complete this form.

    Yes. A Training Log must be completed as a record of all of the driver training you give to learners after each driving lesson, whether or not the training is provided without payment of a fee. This log must also be countersigned by your sponsoring RSA ADI for each of the lessons that they supervise. This is where they will accompany you on student lessons to monitor the quality of your teaching. 

    A minimum of 20% of the lessons that you provide to learners must be under the direct personal supervision of your RSA sponsoring ADI.  This is a legal requirement.

    You can apply to the RSA for your stage 3 instruction ability assessment at any stage during the 6 month validity period of your trainee driving instructor’s licence.

    Please note that there can be a wait period of between 6 and 12 weeks for your stage 3 instruction ability assessment date.

    You will need to return the trainee driving instructor’s licence, ID cards and the Record of Training Log if you pass your stage 3 assessment before the expiry of your trainee driving instructor’s licence.

    Your trainee driving instructor’s licence lasts for a maximum of 6 months. When it runs out you must stop giving driving lessons and return the trainee driving instructor licence, ID cards and the training log to the RSA.

    You should apply for your stage 3 assessment and please remember that the application for approval as an RSA Approved Driving Instructor requires that a candidate ADI must complete the entire ADI qualification process within 24 months of passing their Stage 1 theory test., otherwise you will have to restart the ADI application process.

    If you have a query that's not covered in our information above, please complete this form and we will reply to you as soon as possible.