GDL rollout

Learn more about the GDL measures that have been put in place, that are upcoming and that are being planned for the future.

Measure Timeframe Applies to Details
New learner permit

30 October 2007  instated

Learner drivers The provisional licence replaced with a new learner permit.
Reinforce accompanient rules and use of L Plates 30 June 2008 instated Learner drivers The rules on accompaniment and use of L Plates were strengthened.
6 month practical requirement before driving test 30 October 2007 instated Learner drivers Six months practical experience are now required before sitting the driving test.
Reduce wait time for driving test Achieved 2008 Learner drivers With a goal of reducing the wait time for scheduling a driving test from an average of 34 weeks to 10 weeks, the national average is currently  8 weeks.
Regulate driving instruction industry 30 April 2009 instated Learner drivers Regulations were introduced into the driving instructor industry and FETAC accredited training for all approved driving instructors.(There are 1860 approved driving instructors currently registered.
Improve driver theory test October 2011 instated Learner drivers Driver theory test material was revised with a view to improving the content and its effectiveness as a learning tool. Changes were introduced in October of 2011.
Public consultation process on GDL Completed in 2009 Learner drivers and novice drivers A detailed public consultation process was completed on Graduated Driver Licensing , published in 2009(PDF)
Public consultation process on CBT Completed 2007 Learner drivers and novice drivers(motorcyclists) A detailed public consultation process was completed on Compulsory Basic Training for motorcycling, published in 2007 (PDF)
Formal recommendations on GDL Complete Learner drivers and novice drivers Formal recommendations on Graduated Driving Licensing were made to the Minister for Transportin December 2009 (PDF). The Minister accepted these recommendations in full in May 2010 and the RSA is now progressing with implementation.
Mandatory motorcycle driving lessons

Complete. Effective from 6 December 2010

Learner drivers who take out first learner permit on or after 6 December 2010 Learner motorcyclists who obtained their first driving permit on or after 6 December 2010 are required to undertake 16 hours of initial basic training (IBT) with an approved driving instructor (ADI). A course syllabus has been designed, along with official legislation. IBT is not required for those who obtained their first learner permit before the implementation date; however, we do encourage all learner drivers to undertake structured training.
Mandatory car driving lessons

Complete. Effective from 4 April 2011

Learner drivers who take out first learner permit on or after 4 April 2011 Learner car drivers who obtained their first driving permit on or after 4 April 2011 are required to undertake 12 hours of Essesntial Driver training (EDT) with an approved driving instructor (ADI). A course syllabus has been designed, along with official legislation. EDT will not be required for those who obtained their first learner permit before the implementation date; however, we do encourage all learner drivers to undertake structured training.
Lower blood alcohol limit

Introduction:
September 2011

Learner drivers and novice drivers The blood alcohol concentration limit will be reduced to 20mg/100ml (from 50mg/100ml) for all learner drivers and novice drivers. The Road Traffic Act 2010 made provision to implement this measure; the Act was been signed by the President in July 2010 and the implementation date is September 2011.
Improve driving test

Introduction:
Autumn 2011

Learner drivers The current driving test will be modernised to better indicate driver competencies and influence the learning undertaken by learners. The RSA will introduce a new, externally accredited driving test format towards the end of 2011.
Introduce hazard perception test

End 2014

Novice drivers Hazard protection tests (HPT) examine a driver's ability to recognise and manage risks and hazards. Following a study on HPT and subsequent legislation, the RSA plans to begin implementing HPT amongst novice drivers in mid-2012.
Strengthen role of supervising driver Ongoing Learner drivers Guidance manuals will be published and legislation is pending to encourage accompanying drivers to play a greater part in the learning to drive process. The RSA has introduced a requirement for learner drivers to keep a learner log to be signed by their accompanying driver and their approved driving instructor (ADI); it also allows a sponsor to record details of practise hours. The log will encourage learner drivers to execute a minimum of hours driving with a supervising driver, including a minimum of night-time hours.
Increase penalty points Legislation is being prepared Learner drivers and novice drivers In order to counter risk-taking behaviour associated with new drivers, a doubling of penalty points for certain offences is proposed for learner and novice drivers. Applicable offences may encompass speeding, seatbelt infractions, handheld mobile phone use, dangerous overtaking and non-compliance with traffic lights.
Introduce N Plates Legislation being prepared. Expected Summer 2013 Novice drivers Pending legislation, novice drivers will be required to display an R (restricted) plate to support the restrictions in place during the first two years of their full driving licence.
Expand sentencing options Following new legislation All learner permit holders and novice drivers once new legislation is entacted 

It is proposed that a range of additional sentencing options be made available to the Courts for learner and novice drivers convicted of offences. The RSA recognises that the majority of learner and novice drivers are responsible road users, and additional sentencing options are only to be applied to certain road traffic offences. These offences will be decided after consultation with the Department of Justice and Law Reform, the Gardai and the Courts Service.

  • Additional sentencing options to be appraised include:
    Requirement to re-take a driving test.
  •  Prohibition on the carriage of passengers.
  • Specific curfew on permitted driving times.
  • Requirement to undertake a specific rehabilitation programme.
  • Requirement to undertake a set number of driving lessons with an approved driving instructor (ADI).
  • Requirement to fit a certified and monitored speed limiter device.
  • Requirement to fit a certified and monitored tachograph device.
  • Requirement to fit a certified and monitored speed recording and tracking device.
  • Requirement to fit a certified and monitored alcolock device.