Skip to Content
Professional drivers

4. Learner permit


A learner permit allows you to drive on all public roads, except motorways, for the purposes of learning to drive and only when accompanied by an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) or someone who has held a full, valid driving licence in the same category for more than two years.

However, to help keep you and others safe while you learn, some restrictions apply:

  • you must display L-plates at all times on any vehicle you drive
  • you must not tow a trailer
  • you must not carry any passenger for reward.

In order to give yourself enough time to practice safe truck driving, we recommend that you take driving lessons with an RSA Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) before you take your driving test.

Learner permit durations

A first and second learner permit are normally valid for two years. In order to get a third or subsequent learner permit you must have booked or sat and failed the driving test in the previous two years.

If you have sat and failed a driving test in the previous two years you will be issued with a two-year learner permit.

If you have booked an upcoming driving test you will be issued with a one-year learner permit.

Apply for your learner permit within two years of passing your driver theory test

At the theory test centre you would have been issued with a driver theory test certificate. You have two years from the date on the certificate to apply for a first learner permit in the category. After two years the certificate becomes invalid and you will have to pay for and pass the driver theory test again.

Your learner permit fee

The fee for your learner permit for a category C vehicle (truck) is €35.00.

How to apply for your learner permit

Apply online with MyGovID

You can now quickly and easily apply for your learner permit online. No need to complete paper forms, make appointments or visit an NDLS centre in person. All you need is your Public Services Card and your verified MyGovID for safe, secure access to

To apply for a learner permit online you will need the following:

Apply in person at any NDLS centre

To apply for a learner permit in person at any NDLS centre you will need the following:

Book an appointment online to attend an NDLS centre

Due to social distancing requirements, a walk-in service is no longer available. You will need to book an appointment online to attend any of the 36 National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centres in person. We ask that you familiarise yourself with the Covid-19 safety measures for NDLS centres before your visit and please ensure that you have the required forms and ID prepared in advance to minimise any possible delays on the day.

The National Driver Licensing Service is currently only accepting debit or credit card payments and GooglePay or Apple Pay. 

Your photograph and signature will be captured electronically at the NDLS centre.

Your medical report

Everyone applying for a learner permit for a category C, C1, D or D1 vehicle must also submit a medical report form. Your medical practitioner may also refer you to an optometrist to have an  eyesight report form completed.

Now might be a good time to book an appointment with a registered medical practitioner or optometrist.

If you have lost your driver theory test certificate

Call us on 1890 606 106 (lo call rate) and we will arrange for a replacement to be issued, subject to a fee of €15.00. You will be asked for some personal details and the reference number for your theory test. A replacement will not be necessary if you're applying for your learner permit online.

Frequently asked questions