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Learner Permit Information

Learner Permit general information
Categories of motor vehicles and minimum age of drivers
Driver Theory Test
Learner driving permits for cars and work vehicles
Learner driving permits for motorcycles in Ireland
Learner driving permits for buses and trucks
Learner driving permits for trailers
Replacing a lost, stolen or damaged driving licence or learner permit
Disabilities requiring a medical report for a driving licence

Driving Test Information


 

Categories of motor vehicles and minimum age of drivers

Categories of motor vehicles and minimum age of drivers

Information

Motor vehicles in Ireland are divided into different categories for driver licensing purposes. This is a standard practice throughout the European Union. Ireland has 14 categories in total, ranging from motorcycles to agricultural vehicles. Each category of vehicle has a prescribed minimum age for the driver. In other words, before you can apply for a licence to drive a vehicle in Ireland, you must be a certain age.

When you apply for your driving licence or a learner driving permit (previously known as a provisional driving licence), the categories of vehicles you are authorised to drive/operate are listed on your licence. It is a serious offence to drive any vehicle for which you do not have a licence.

Rules

Whether you have a driving licence or a learner driving permit, you are only entitled to drive the category of vehicle for which the licence or permit has been issued.

If you wish to have another category of motor vehicle added to your existing driving licence or learner permit, your existing licence/permit must be in date. Certain categories of vehicles may be added to your existing learner permit without the requirement of submitting a driver theory test certificate. To add other categories does involve a driver theory test.

Motorcycles and mopeds

The categories and driver’s minimum age for motorcycles and mopeds are as follows:

Motorcycle and moped categories
Category Vehicle type Minimum age of driver
A1 Motorcycles up to 11kW and up to 125cc with or without a sidecar 16 years
A Motorcycles with or without a sidecar 18 years
M Mopeds with a maximum speed of 45kph and an engine size of up to 50cc 16 years

Learner permits for category A are restricted to motorcycles up to 25kW. This restriction continues for two years after obtaining your first driving licence for category A.

Further information is available in the document on learner driver permits for motorcycles.

Cars and work vehicles

The categories and driver’s minimum age for cars and work vehicles are as follows:

Car and work vehicle categories
Category Vehicle type Minimum age of driver
B Vehicles with seats for up to 8 passengers and a maximum weight of 3,500kg (includes pulling a trailer where the maximum weight of the trailer when fully loaded is 750kg or less) 17 years
W Work vehicles with or without a trailer, such as a land tractor or JCB 16 years

Learner permits for category B do not allow you to pull a trailer.

Further information is available in the document on learner driver permits for cars and work vehicles.

Buses and trucks

The categories and driver’s minimum age for buses and trucks are as follows:

Bus and truck categories
Category Vehicle type Minimum age of driver
C1 Goods vehicles between 3,500kg and 7,500kg 18 years
C Goods vehicles over 3,500kg 18 years
D1 Passenger vehicles with accommodation for more than 8 and up to 16 people 21 years
D Passenger vehicles with accommodation for more than 8 people 21 years

These categories include pulling a trailer where the maximum weight of the trailer when fully loaded is 750kg or less. However, learner permits for these categories do not allow you to pull a trailer.

Further information is available in the document on learner driver permits for buses and trucks.

Trailers

The categories and minimum age of the driver that apply to a driver pulling a trailer, which has a maximum weight greater than 750kg when fully loaded, are as follows:

Trailer categories
Category Vehicle type Minimum age of driver
EB Vehicles in category B with a trailer 17 years
EC1 Goods vehicles in category C1 where the combined weight of vehicle and trailer when fully loaded is not more than 12,000kg, and the fully loaded trailer is not heavier than the empty goods vehicle 18 years
EC Goods vehicles in category C with a trailer (includes articulated trucks) 18 years
ED1 Passenger vehicles in category D1 where the combined weight of vehicle and trailer when fully loaded is not more than 12,000kg, and the fully loaded trailer is not heavier than the empty passenger vehicle 21years
ED Passenger vehicles in category D with a trailer 21 years

Further information is available in the document on learner driver permits for trailers.

 





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