6. Practical driving test
Everything you have learned so far will help make our roads safer for you and everyone else. Your learning and practice, plus any training you have taken will improve your chances of passing your driving test first time.
The practical driving test is conducted at one of the many driving test centres across Ireland and takes about 100 minutes. It checks your knowledge of the Rules of the Road, your ability to drive competently and safely in accordance with those rules and with regard for other road users and road conditions. It also examines whether you're properly trained and ready to drive safely by yourself on public roads.
- what you know about the Rules of the Road, road signs, basic vehicle roadworthiness and maintenance, vehicle controls and more
- your ability to perceive risks and act accordingly
- your awareness of hazards
- your knowledge and application of good driver behaviour
- your ability to safely and competently drive a vehicle under a variety of road and traffic conditions.
Read more about your Practical driving test and how to prepare for it.
You must be accompanied at all times
Remember, when driving as a learner permit holder, you must be accompanied at all times by a qualified driver who has held a full, valid licence in the same category for at least two years. This includes to and from the test centre on the day of your test, even after you have passed.
Driving test requirements
In order to take the practical driving test, you must meet a number of requirements.
You must have:
- a valid learner permit which you need to bring to your driving test appointment.
- supply a vehicle for the driving test
- be insured to drive it
- display valid, original insurance and motor tax discs
- have L-plates fixed to the front and back.
The vehicle must meet the minimum requirements for the category, be roadworthy and, if applicable, display a valid Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Test (CVRT) certificate.
Your driving test fee
The driving test fee for a category C, C1, D or D1 driving test is currently €120.00.
You can pay with a valid debit or credit card (Visa or Mastercard).
Choosing a driving test centre
There are numerous driving test centres across Ireland. Before booking your test, check that your chosen centre can provide you with a test in the category required. If not, you should choose another centre.
View all the driving test centres and choose the one that's right for you.
View the latest driving test centre pass rates.
Driving test waiting list
As a result of Covid restrictions, we now have a backlog in the number of customers awaiting a driving test. When booking your test, you'll be given an option to add yourself to a waiting list if there are no suitable dates available. We will contact you when new slots open up at your chosen test centre and you will then be invited to book a driving test date and time convenient to you. View our current driving test waiting times.
Prepare for your test
Now that you've booked your driving test, it's time to prepare.
In the days and weeks before your test appointment you should get as much driving practice as possible. You should also revise what you have learned, including safety, vehicle maintenance, and the Rules of the Road.
Watch some tips about preparing for your driving test:
In keeping with public health guidelines, we have put in place certain measures to enhance the safety of our customers, our testers, and to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The video below explains what changes have been made to the driving test and what we are doing to protect you. You can also download a copy of our Covid-19 information leaflet below.
It is essential that you familiarise yourself with this information as failure to comply may lead to your test not going ahead or being cut short.
Pre-test calls when you arrive
Your driver tester will carry out a pre-test introduction over the phone using the mobile number listed in your My Profile page on MyRoadSafety.ie. Please remember to bring this mobile phone to the test appointment and make sure its settings allow calls from a private number.
What happens at the practical driving test
On the day of the practical test you should arrive at your chosen driving test centre in plenty of time. Remember, if you drive there yourself you must at all times be accompanied by someone who has held a full, valid driving licence in the same category for at least two years.
The driving test is straightforward and takes about 100 minutes to complete.
Your tester will ask you to confirm that:
- your vehicle is roadworthy
- your insurance is correct and up-to-date.
You will need to have passed your theory test and case study test before you can take your practical driving test. You will also have to produce your valid learner permit before the driving test can begin.
The practical driving test is split into two parts:
- vehicle safety and technical questions
- practical road driving
1. Vehicle safety and technical questions
The vehicle safety and technical questions will test your knowledge in a number of areas of your truck or bus:
- technical checks - including tyres, lights, oil levels
- in-cab checks - including seat and mirror adjustments
- secondary controls - including windscreen washers, wipers, lights
2. Practical road driving
The practical road driving will test your ability in a number of areas:
While driving approximately twenty-five kilometers in a variety of road and traffic conditions, your driving will be assessed in these situations:
- a hill-start
- using the vehicle controls
- moving away uphill
- doing reverse manoeuvres
- using the mirrors
- giving appropriate signals
- showing awareness and anticipation of other road users' intentions
- managing your progress and control your vehicle speed
- dealing with hazards
- selecting a safe place to stop.
Aspects of your driving assessed will include:
- road positioning
- overtaking and passing
- anticipation and observation
- use of mirrors and signals
- progress speed
- compliance with traffic lights, road signs and markings
- use of the vehicle controls (accelerator, clutch, gears, brakes and steering).
These documents will give you more detail on what you need for your practical driving test:Checklist for your driving test (English) pdf | 1432 KB Checklist for your driving test (Irish) pdf | 977 KB Preparing for your driving test (English) pdf | 1177 KB Preparing for your driving test (Irish) pdf | 1940 KB
Frequently asked questions
To apply for a driving test and add yourself to the waiting list, visit MyRoadSafety.ie and follow these steps:
Log in or sign up using your verified MyGovID or register your details with the RSA. If you have any difficulties, please read our registration and login FAQs.
Choose your vehicle category (e.g. car, bus, truck) and set your goal
Scroll down to the driving test step and click on 'book a driving test'
Choose your test centre. If there are no appointment slots available click on 'join waiting list'
When appointment slots become available at your chosen test centre, we’ll email you an invitation to book a test.
How to join the waiting list
Please note: We are aware of an issue with our payment provider Global Payments where some customers may be charged more than once for their driving test fee. We are working to resolve this issue and we are in the process of refunding the additional payments made back to the credit/debit card from which you made the payment. Please note it can take up to 7 days for these refunds to be processed. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Read our MyRoadSafety FAQs for help and guidance.
If you have applied for your driving test and are on the waiting list, please wait for us to contact you by email.
When applying for your driving test you will need the following:
- your learner permit. You’ll need to supply your driver number to apply for your driving test. This is the number listed at 4(d) on your learner permit
- your Personal Public Service number (PPSN)
- a valid debit or credit card (Visa or Mastercard) to pay your driving test fee online
If you would like your driving test to be conducted through the Irish language, please:
- indicate this when you book online
- if you are booking your test by post, complete the Irish language version of the driving test booking form and indicate on the form that you wish to have your test conducted through Irish
You should notify the RSA's Driver Testing Section in advance if you:
- have a severe hearing problem
- have restricted movements or a disability which could affect your driving
- drive an adapted vehicle.
We can then make any necessary arrangements for you. This will ensure you don't face any delays on the day of your test.
You should also note that if the vehicle you use for the test is adapted to suit a disability (e.g., it has additional controls), this will be recorded on your full driving licence.
You can bring an interpreter to the first (oral) part of the test if:
- English is not your first language.
- You are deaf or hard of hearing.
You can ask the RSA to organise an interpreter for you or advise us that you are bringing an interpreter with you.
When making your application for a driving test you must tell us that you will be using an interpreter, otherwise your test will not go ahead and you may forfeit your fee.
You are also allowed an interpreter to be present at the following sections of your driving test:
- the technical checks
- secondary controls
- in-car checks
- hand signals (which will be conducted at the desk).
This person must be at least 16 years of age and must not be an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI). They cannot accompany you on the practical driving element of your test.
To apply for your driving test by post:
- Download the application form in English or Irish
- Complete the form in full
- Include your payment by bank draft, postal order, money order made payable to the Road Safety Authority
- Post your completed form and payment to: Driver Testing Section, Road Safety Authority, Primrose Hill, Dublin Road, Ballina, Co. Mayo, F26 V6E4.
At the moment emergency driving test appointments can only be offered to critical frontline workers. If you are employed by the HSE, a private hospital or the emergency services and need to drive as part of your job (not including commuting to your place of work) you can request an emergency test
If you’re a critical frontline worker who has not yet applied for a driving test, you need to:
- Register or log in to MyRoadSafety.ie
- Apply for a driving test and add yourself to the waiting list
- Request an emergency test
You must have completed all driver training before sitting a driving test
Even if you're a critical frontline worker, you must have completed all 12 of your Essential Driver Training (EDT) sessions before sitting your car driving test. You must have completed Initial Basic Training (IBT) before sitting your motorcycle driving test.
If your request for an emergency test is successful
You will be placed on a priority list, and we will email you a booking invitation when driving test appointments become available.
If your request for an emergency test is unsuccessful
Don’t worry, you’re still on the driving test waiting list and we will email you a booking invitation when we reach your application in the queue.