Learn the step-by-step process of getting your Irish Driver’s Licence…
Ireland and America have a long standing diplomatic connection. But when it comes to driver’s licences, things are a little different! Whether you’re 50 years old and you’ve been driving since you were 16 or you’ve only been driving for 5 years, you’ll need to go through the Irish driver’s licence process like any new driver. Our step-by-step guide and lessons are here to help!
Step 1: Driver Theory Test
Schedule your driver theory test with the RSA (Road Safety Authority) and then get studying! There is often a long wait time to sit your theory test, so we recommend scheduling the test and then learning the rules of the road. The theory test is composed of 40 multiple choice questions and includes topics like statistics, understanding signs, basic car mechanics, and predictive driving.
There are some good study resources including books and online practice tests to get you ready.
Step 2: Apply for Your Learner’s Permit
While you’re studying and waiting for your test date, send your American Driver’s License along with proof of your driving history of the issuing state to the RSA. This will waive the normal 6 month waiting period that new drivers have after they pass their theory test, but before they’re allowed to take their driving lessons. Which is good for you because you want to fast track this process as much as possible! Click here for the details.
Step 3: Apply for Your Learner’s Permit
Once you pass the theory test hold on to your certificate and go to the National Drivers Licence Service website to go over all requirements needed to apply for your Learner’s Permit. There are a series of forms to fill out and you’ll need to get your eyes tested by your GP or optometrist before heading in to acquire your Learner’s Permit. Click HERE to find out what you’ll need.
There are 3 circumstances in which you’ll need to get a medical examination:
1) You’re 70+ years of age
2) You plan to drive a vehicle in Categories B, BE, or W
3) You answer yes to any of the medical questions in the Learner Permit D201 application
Once you’ve got your paperwork in order you can either schedule an appointment with a local NDLS center or just walk-in and apply for your Learner’s Licence!
Please note that once you receive your Learner’s Licence, you’ll need to place an L sticker on both the front and back windscreens of your vehicle. And you cannot drive alone, no matter how long you’ve been driving stateside. You must be accompanied by a driver wh4 has had their licence for at least 2 years. Click here for more info.
Step 4: Take 12 hour long driving lessons
Depending on your circumstances and learning style you can schedule your lessons in any way you’d like. From once per week for an hour to all 12 in one week! Your instructor at Bantry Driving Academy will help you with all aspects of safe and defensive driving along with practical tips on how to pass your Irish driving test at the first time attempt.
Once again, wait times to sit your Driving Test can be long, from 4-6 months so it’s best to apply while going through your driving lessons so you can hurry the process along.
Step 5: Take your Test
By now you should be feeling confident and ready to take your test. Good luck!
Step 6: Get your full Irish Driver’s Licence
You did it! You navigated the long and winding road to becoming a fully licensed driver in Ireland. Head back into your local NDLS center to apply for your full licence. All the details along with fee information can be found here.
Please let us know if you have any questions regarding this process. Mary and the team at Bantry Driving Academy are available to assist you through the adventure,
Contact us to start making plans for your driving lessons at the BDA!
Testimonial: My experience of converting my US driving licence
Moving to Ireland last summer, after being a tourist for so many years, I was surprised by the regulations required to live here one year.To live in Ireland more than a year, and pay for another year of car insurance, my husband and I needed to get Irish driver’s licenses. We were stunned, at retirement age, that we needed to take a written exam for a learner’s permit and once that was passed we had to take 12 driving lessons.We asked everyone in a similar situation to ours where to get that done and everyone said, “Mary, at Bantry Driving Academy.”
And now I know why. As an educator, I appreciated Mary’s training style. Her primary feedback was one of two statements: “Well done! or, “We’ll practice that again.”Mary can unwind your old habits and teach you the reasons for new habits on Ireland’s roads in a non-stress style. Although I had been driving for years on Ireland’s roads, thanks to Mary and Bantry Driving Academy I can now drive more confidently and follow the rules of the road.
So much so, in fact, I passed my driver’s test yesterday on my first go! I thank Mary for that and will join others in recommending Bantry Driving Academy to anyone whom needs driving lessons.