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Frequently asked questions

You log into the NDLS online website, click on “Existing Application” and click on the plus sign. This will present one of the following status values:

(1) Completed – this means that the application is being processed and you should expect to receive your licence/permit within 3-5 working days

(2) Submitted – this means that the application is currently being processed by the NDLS QA Team.

(3) Awaiting submission, this means that the application was saved by you but that it was not submitted. This is known as a partial application and it will be available to you for 20 days from the application start date. After this date if you have not resumed this application, it will be deleted and you will need to start a ‘New Application’ when you log in. 

To amend any of your personal details, please contact the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection (DEASP) on 1890 837000.  

A DEASP staff member will amend your personal details only if they are satisfied that they are talking to the applicable customer and have the relevant back up documentation scanned in.  If the issue with the data cannot be rectified over the phone, you will be advised to attend the Intreo office where you registered for your PSC. 

The answer to this is No. You will need to submit separate applications online for a Learner Permit and a Driving Licence. You should make the second application 24 hours after the first.

Your licence will expire on the eve of your 70th birthday which is why the duration of your licence is less than 10 years. The reason this is the case is because you are required to present a Medical report at the age of 70 years.

The fee for a driving licence is set in legislation and any driving licence issued for a greater term than 3 years the fee is €55.

On entering the online website you can select learner permit or full licence if you are eligible to proceed with both those applications. You must then select whichever application you wish to proceed with. You may have selected the wrong application.

You will be given this option if you passed a driver theory test between April 2001 and October 2006 and hold a full licence in the motorbike or car as at that time the driver theory test covered both motorbikes and the car categories.

A driving licence issues for a maximum 10 year period commencing on the date you renew your licence. A licence can be renewed for up to 3 months in advance of expiry but the unexpired period on the previous licence will not be included. This is due to an EU law which states a licence can issue for a maximum period of 10 years, therefore the unexpired period of a previous licence cannot be included for this reason.

Once you have passed your theory test you can apply online from the next working day.  We will have a record of your test result.



Once you have passed your theory test you can apply online from the next working day.  We will have a record of your test result.

Once you have passed the driver theory test, you can apply the next day for a learner permit.




You are only entitled to apply for Category AM and/or A1 at age 16.

That learner permit has ceased to be valid as it has expired over 5 years. You must pass the driver theory test in category AM to obtain a learner permit in any of the motorcycle categories.

You must first complete the motorcycle driver theory test in Category AM.

You must first complete a driver theory test in the Category AM.

You must first pass your driving test in category B car before you can apply for  Category BE car & trailer learner permit.

Your category BE learner permit must be limited to automatic transmission because the towing vehicle you are licensed to drive is limited to automatic transmission. To obtain a car & trailer learner permit in a manual you must first pass a driving test in a manual car.

You must have attained the age of 17 before applying for your Category B car learner permit.

Your must have passed the driver theory test within the previous two years, if outside of two years you will have to pass a driver theory test now.

Yes, you can apply for a learner permit up to the commencement date of the disqualification. The learner permit must be surrendered to NDLS PO BOX 858, Southside Delivery Office, Cork, on commencement of the disqualification.


You must hold your full driving licence in Category A2 for a period of 2 years before you can progress to Category A or be aged 24 or more for direct access.


You cannot apply for a Category C learner permit when under 21 years unless you have completed the truck CPC case study test.


You must pass your Category C driving Test and have obtained the category C on your driving licence before you can obtain a Learner Permit in Category CE.


You must pass the category C Driving test and obtain a full driving licence in Category C before obtaining a Category CE learner permit.


You are unable to apply for a Category D learner permit when under 24 years unless you have completed CPC case study test.


You cannot obtain a Category D learner permit when under 24 years without completing CPC case study test.


To apply for a learner permit in category CE, you must have passed a driver theory test in category C (truck) or the combined C and D (bus and truck) theory test. If you took out your first C learner permit before the introduction of the theory test on 25 April 2001, you would not have needed to complete the driver theory test at that time and must now pass a driver theory test before applying for a CE learner permit.


You have not sat a driving test and have had two or more learner permits for the category/ categories which expire after one year. You will have to apply for a driving test first to add them onto your permit for the second year.


If you are on your third or more learner permit you must have sat a driving test in the category in the last two years to get a two-year permit. If you have applied for a diving test the learner permit will issue for one year only.


If you do not have any of the medical conditions listed, then there is exemption until 31 December 2020 to the requirement to provide a medical report.

Where you do answer "yes" to any of the medical conditions then you are required to submit a medical report to have your application processed.


You cannot obtain a driving licence for a moped without having passed a moped driving test.


You cannot obtain a driving licence for a Category BE (car & trailer) without having passed a BE driving test.


It is not possible to make both applications on the same day. Once your application for a driving licence is processed for the category B then you can apply for the learner permit in the category BE.


No, you cannot obtain a driving licence without the automatic transmission recorded on it. In order to drive a manual vehicle, you are required to obtain another learner permit in Category B and pass the driving test in a manual Category B vehicle. While driving on the learner permit you are required to be accompanied by a qualified driver in category B who is not restricted to automatic vehicles.


If you previously held any additional licence categories within the last ten years but do not have them on your current licence, you can apply to add those categories to your licence. If you wish to add any group 2 categories (trucks and buses) you will be required to submit a medical report. Please note that if you have not held a category on your driving licence within the last ten years, you will have lost your entitlement to it. Where a driver has lost a driving licence category entitlement but now requires that category, they must pass the relevant driver theory test, take out a learner permit and pass a driving test before they can add the category to their driving licence.


Unfortunately, the system is not yet designed to recognise that you are only entitled to a 3-year driving licence. We apologise for this and can assure you a refund will be issued asap for the difference.


The medical report on record must cover the duration of the issue of your driving licence. When a category is added to your driving licence the licence is issued for a period of 5 years for the truck and bus and 10 years for the car and bike categories. A medical is only valid for a maximum of 10 years therefore the previous medical will not cover the period of issue of the driving licence.


In order to change the name on your driving licence or learner permit using the online application service, you will first have to update your details with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP). Once your details are updated with them you can proceed with your online learner permit or driving licence application by clicking into Change of Details and then selecting the DEASP personal details.


You can update the address on your learner permit or driving licence in 2 ways:

1. If your address is the same as the DEASP address then you can select that address and it will update to that address without doing anything further.

2. You can enter a new address in the "address details" section. You will then be required to upload or post in evidence of that address. Please see https://www.ndls.ie/identity-validation.html#evidence-of-address for items that can be accepted as proof of your new address. Please note that this option will update the address on your driver record only; you will have to contact DEASP to update your address with them.


To renew a third or subsequent learner permit you must have either failed a driving test in the past 2 years or have applied for a driving test, if you have not then it is not possible to renew that category at this time.


You must apply for a driving test and then you can apply to renew your learner permit provided it is not over 5 years since you last held the category.


You can update your phone number and email address on your driver record but that will not update your DEASP or MyGovID record.


The name presented to you when you log in to the online system is the name that will appear on your learner permit/driving licence, if you wish to change that name you will have to update with DEASP and then apply for a change of name on your learner permit/driving licence.


Yes, you will need to have a medical report form completed by your doctor and make an application under Change of Details to update your medical details. When making an online application, you will be given the option to upload or post in the medical report. The form is available to download here: https://www.ndls.ie/images/Documents/Forms/Medical_Report_D_501.pdf


If you are not sure how to answer any of the medical questions, please consult your doctor for advice. A medical report form must be completed by your G.P.


You will need to have an eyesight report form completed by your optometrist or doctor. When making your online application, you will be given the option to upload or post in the eyesight report. The form is available to download here: https://www.ndls.ie/images/Documents/Forms/Eyesight_Report_D_502_Form.pdf


Your driver number has nine digits and is available at field 4d on the front of a plastic card permit/licence or at field 5 on an older paper format permit/licence.


The licence number is unique to the particular learner permit or driving licence you currently have but if you renew your permit/ licence or get a replacement, this number will change. Your individual nine-digit driver number does not change.


When you receive your new learner permit or driving licence, you should check that all the details are correct. If there are any errors (including with the image or signature) on the card, please return it by post with an explanation of the error, to the National Driver Licence Service, PO Box 858, Southside Delivery Office, Cork. However, if the issue is with your name, date of birth or place of birth you should first check that your details are recorded correctly by DEASP.


The code 115 on a learner permit or driving licence indicates the holder has decided that they wish to be an organ donor.

Further information on codes which may appear on a learner permit/driving licence can be found on https://www.ndls.ie/how-to-apply.html#driving-licence-codes


DEASP share Name, Address, DOB, Place of birth, Gender, Nationality, Photo, Signature, phone number and email address with NDLS.


Online applications are processed within 3 to 5 working days of receipt of a complete application. Customers should allow a further two to three working days for postal delivery. A complete application is when any outstanding information is received by the NDLS where required.


A driving licence exchange can take longer to process as the details of the foreign driving licence must be verified with the foreign driving licence authority. In most cases the application will be processed within 15 to 20 working days. In some circumstances this can take 3 months.


Old learner permits and driving licences should be safely and securely destroyed. Once a new learner permit or driving licence has been issued to you, your previous one is no longer valid and is invalidated on your driving record.


Applications are processed within 3 to 5 working days of receipt of a complete application. When the application has been processed, you should receive an email to advise you of this. If you have not received an email, please go back into the online application and check the status of your application by clicking on "your application status" icon. If the status is awaiting submission, this means that the application was saved by you but not submitted. This is known as a partial application and it will be available to you for 20 days from the application start date. After this date if you have not resumed this application, it will be deleted, and you will need to start a ‘New Application’ when you log in.

If you have received an email to say that your card has been dispatched and your learner permit or driving licence has not arrived after 10 working days, please contact NDLS on 0761 087 880 or by email to [email protected] to report the non-delivery of your card.



The new start date of your driving licence will be the date you apply online. If you are applying for a change of details application, the start date of your licence will remain the same.

Exchange, Registering a foreign licence:

This will be the date the application is processed after all documents have been received.



The driving licence will be delivered to the address that you provided when you made your application. On receipt of that driving licence you can then make an application for a driving licence with your new address.


A refund will not be provided where an application is rejected as that is an administration fee.


Yes, you can apply to renew online, your learner permit/driving licence will be retained by NDLS until the expiry of your disqualification.


Your first and second learner permit in a category can be issued for 2 years, third and subsequent learner permits will only be issued for 2 years where you have failed a driving test in the category in the previous 2 years, otherwise it will be for 1 year.


Where you hold an EU driving licence in category B, then you can apply for a learner permit by registering the EU driving licence. On passing the driving test then you must exchange the EU driving licence to add the new category to your driving licence.


You will only be required to provide proof of residency where the DEASP records shows a place of birth and nationality as outside of the EU, EEA or Switzerland.


You must be normally resident in Ireland to apply for a driving licence. "Normal residence" means the place where a person usually lives, that is for at least 185 days in each year, because of personal and occupational ties, or, in the case of a person with no occupational ties, because of personal ties which show close links between that person and the place where he or she is living. However, the normal residence of a person whose occupational ties are in a different place from his or her personal ties and who consequently lives in turn in different places situated in 2 or more Member States shall be regarded as being the place of his or her personal ties where the person returns there regularly. This last condition need not be met where the person is living in a Member State in order to carry out a task of a definite duration. Attendance at a university or school does not imply transfer of normal residence. If you satisfy the above criteria you can apply online to renew your driving licence. Your licence will be posted to the address you confirm on your application. A driving licence cannot be issued to an address outside of Ireland.


The name printed on your driving licence will be the exact version of that recorded by DEASP, this name will be presented to you when making your application. If you do not want to have this exact version of your name on your driving licence, then you should exit the application and first change your name with DEASP.


This is because your place of birth and nationality are recorded with DEASP as outside of the EU, EEA or Switzerland.


A garda stamp is required, you can download the form from NDLS.ie and post or upload the completed form. On completing your application your old driving licence/learner permit will be invalidated and therefore no longer valid to use even if you find it. Your driver record will be updated with this information and therefore available to the Gardai and on Resper (the hub to exchange information with driving licence authorities and enforcement in other EU countries).


1. Scan or upload a photo of your document to your device.

2. If the document is more than one page, copy and paste the images to a word document and save as a PDF.

3. When making your application you will be prompted when to upload the required supporting documentation (PDF).