Is éard atá ann

What the driving test involves and what you need in order to sit the test

The driving test

Driver testing in Ireland is carried out directly by the Road Safety Authority to a standard that complies with the EU Directive on Driving Licences.


From 1st February 2011 the driving test fees are:

Category  Fee
A, A1, B, EB, M,W  €85
All other categories  €120

You can now apply and pay for your driving test online. You will need a credit card to do this (Visa or Mastercard) or a debit card(Laser) plus a valid e-mail address. Alternatively, you can download a driving test application form, or obtain a copy from any motor tax office.

Payment should be made by cheque, postal order or money order. These should be crossed and made payable to the Road Safety Authority. The correct fee must accompany your completed application form. Fees are non-refundable but you can cancel your test twice before your fee is forfeit as long as you give the mandatory 10 days notice.

Taking the test

The driving test is a rite of passage for most people – up there with your first day at school and learning to ride a bicycle. The test has a bit of a daunting reputation but the pass rates are probably higher than you think. And, as with any examination, with a good instructor and proper preparation you have a good chance of passing.

To pass the driving test you will need to:

  • Maintain proper control over the vehicle at all times
  • Show anticipation and awareness
  • Take proper precautions when moving off, stopping, overtaking, changing direction and meeting other traffic
  • Make safe and reasonable progress when driving and when meeting and crossing the path of other vehicles

But first…

To do the test, you must have held a valid learner permit for at least six months on the day of the test (in the case of a first time learner permit holders, the code 991 will be printed under the restrictions/information section on your learner permit opposite the vehicle category) . This only applies to cars, motorcyclists and works vehicles. You must also have the use of a suitable vehicle.

Preparing for your driving test



  • Unnecessarily obstruct traffic or annoy other road users
  • Practise on driving test routes for the most part; congestion on these routes causes inconvenience to residents and test applicants alike

Your appointment

Appointments for driving tests are organised on a first-come-first-served basis approximately one month in advance of your test. This will indicate the time, date and venue for the test together with conditions which must be met. Please read this notice carefully as it may help avoid problems on the day of the test.

It will also set out the arrangements for cancelling your appointment should this prove necessary.

Testing is conducted out of many test centres throughout the country. Where possible, your test will be arranged for the centre you nominate on your application form.

You can apply for your driving test to be conducted through Irish (just complete the Irish language version of the application form and submit as normal).

Day of the test

You should be present in the test centre before the appointed time of your test. If you are late, the test cannot be conducted and the fee will be forfeit.

The driver tester will check your learner permit to establish that it is:

  • Yours and not someone else’s
  • Current
  • For the correct category of vehicle

You will be asked to read and sign a statement confirming that:

The test

The driving test for cars lasts half-an-hour to 40 minutes and includes:

  • Questions on the Rules of the Road (including identifying road signs)
  • Demonstrating hand signals
  • Reversing round a corner
  • A U-turn in the road
  • A hill start
  • Driving approximately five miles in a variety of road and traffic conditions

Your driving will be assessed in the following situations:

  • Moving off
  • Driving in traffic
  • Stopping Reversing around a corner
  • Turning about, to face in the opposite direction
  • Starting on a hill

Parking 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)
  • Use of secondary controls such as wipers, de-misters, etc