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. Testing is conducted out of 83 test centres (pdf) throughout the country and where possible, your test will be arranged for the centre you nominate on your application form.

A driving test is a compulsory requirement for motorists who have been issued with two 2-year provisional driving licences. It's important to be aware that you may not apply for a third or subsequent provisional licence for any category of vehicle unless you undergo a driving test.

Driver Theory Test

Prior to your driving test you should study the Rules of the Road, a booklet which is published by the Road Safety Authority, in preparation for the driver theory test, which must be passed before the practical test of skills. The theory test will check your knowledge about areas such as:

  • The rules of the road
  • Risk perception
  • Eco-driving
  • Hazard awareness and
  • Good driving behaviour.

There are 40 questions in the test and candidates have to answer 35 questions correctly to be successful. You have 45 minutes to answer the 40 questions in the test. The test is taken using a touch screen computerised system. Candidates select their answers by touching the computer screen.

You may apply and pay for your driver theory test online. It is also possible to download and complete an application form for a driver theory test. You can also book a test by telephoning the call centre below. You will be asked for your PPS Number (formerly known as your RSI number) so remember to have this to hand. If you have a credit card, you can apply and pay for your test over the telephone. (You cannot pay by Laser card). Alternatively, you can telephone and request an application form by post. Your completed application form together with the 35.60 euro fee should be forwarded to the address below.

Driver Theory Test HQ
P.O. Box 144
Locall 1890 606106 Monday-Friday 8.00am-6.00pm.

Practical Driving Test

The driving test is designed to determine that you:

  • Know the Rules of the Road
  • Possess the knowledge and skill to drive competently in accordance with those rules
  • Drive with proper regard for the safety and convenience of other road users.

Your driving test will take approximately 30 minutes to complete (depending on traffic). You will be given clear instructions throughout the test, but if you don't understand something, ask the examiner to repeat it. Do not panic if you make a mistake during the test. It may not be as serious as you think and it may not mean you have failed.

You will be assessed in the following situations: moving off, driving in traffic, stopping, reversing round a corner, a turn about, a hill-start and parking.

The aspects of your driving that will be assessed include road positioning; overtaking and passing; anticipation and observation; use of mirrors and signals, progress; speed; compliance with traffic lights, road signs and road markings; and proper use of your vehicle controls. At some point during your test, the examiner will ask you to demonstrate your hand signals. You can also expect to make a number of left and right turns, encounter a roundabout and stop at traffic lights.

When you return to the test centre your examiner will bring you back into the examination room to give you the result. If you pass, you will be given a Certificate of Competency, which is valid for 2 years. If you fail to apply for a full licence during this 2 year period, you will have to complete your driving test again. If you fail your driving test, you will be given a detailed list of your mistakes, which you should study and rectify before you sit another driving test.

If you don't apply for your driving test online, forward your completed application form and fee to the Driver Testing Section of the Road Safety Authority at the address below.

Driver Testing Section
Government Offices
Road Safety Authority
Tel: +353 96 78289
Locall: 1890 406040
Fax: +353 96 78290

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