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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


Learner driving permits for buses and trucks

Learner driving permits for buses and trucks


It is a statutory requirement that you must hold at least a learner driving permit (previously known as a provisional licence) for the appropriate category of vehicle if you want to drive a bus or truck in a public place in Ireland. You are required to carry your learner permit with you at all times when driving.  

The Department of Transport has overall responsibility for driver licensing. The principal local authorities, however, are licensing authorities and issue driving licences. There are 29 licensing authorities (Motor Taxation Offices) around the country and you should make your application to the one nearest to where you live.

To apply for a learner permit, you must be normally resident in Ireland. You are considered to be normally resident in Ireland if, because of personal and occupational ties, you usually live here for at least 185 days in each calendar year.


Before you begin to learn to drive on public roads in Ireland, you must hold a learner permit covering the category of bus or truck you wish to drive. A theory test certificate for that category must be obtained before a first learner permit will be granted. You must also be the holder of a driving licence for Category B (car).

Bus and truck drivers with a learner permit must be accompanied at all times by, and be under the supervision of, someone with a current driving licence for the same type of vehicle. Also, the person accompanying you must have had the driving licence for at least two years.

If you hold a learner permit for a bus or truck, you can't drive while drawing a trailer, drive on a motorway, act as an accompanying driver or carry other people for reward.

Learner permit holders must display L-plates to the front and rear of the vehicle they are driving at all times. L-plates must be no less than 15cm in height with the letter "L" in red on a white background. 

Bus and truck categories

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

A learner permit is usually valid for two years.

To obtain a first learner permit you must already hold a full category B driving licence. You must also obtain a theory test certificate for category C if you wish to drive a truck and category D if you want to drive a bus. (You do not need a C1/C driving licence before getting a D1/D learner permit.)

You may not apply for a third or subsequent learner permit unless you can provide evidence that you have:

  • Undergone a driving test in the two-year period prior to the application (a two-year learner permit will be granted)


  • Evidence of a forthcoming test date (a one-year learner permit will be granted)

If your provisional driving licence expired 5 years ago, then you must undergo a theory test before a learner permit will be issued.

If I change my name or address do I need a new learner permit?

While you are required to carry your learner permit with you at all times when driving, you are not required by law to change your permit if you change your name or address. However, it is advisable. You are required to show evidence of your permit if requested to by An Garda Siochana, so your permit  should contain up-to-date information.

Exchanging your permit to amend your name or address is a free service. It is also free to have an endorsement removed, a category added or an error on your permit corrected.

You must send a completed application form, 2 passport type photographs (signed on back) and any required supporting documents, such as, an original marriage certificate. Contact your Motor Tax Office for more information

What other categories can I add to my learner permit without a theory test certificate?

If you already hold a learner permit for category C, you can add category C1 without submitting a theory test certificate. Similarly, if you hold a category D learner permit you can add category D1.

How do I replace a lost or stolen learner permit?

If your current learner permit is lost, stolen, damaged or defaced, you should apply to your local Motor Taxation Office for a replacement. The replacement permit is a duplicate or exact copy of your original learner permit. You can find out more in our document on replacing a lost or stolen Irish learner permit.

What do I need to become a professional bus or truck driver?

Since September 2008 for bus drivers and from 10 September 2009 for truck drivers, you need a Driver Certificate in Professional Competence (CPC) to be a professional truck or bus driver. To get a Driver CPC you first have to pass the driver theory test and get your learner driver permit. You must then pass:

  • A Driver CPC multiple choice theory test
  • A Driver CPC case study theory test
  • The driving test
  • A Driver CPC practical test

If you have your full driving licence for a truck before 10 September 2009, you automatically get the Driver CPC without doing the CPC theory tests and practical test.

To keep your Driver CPC you have to undergo 7 hours training each year.

The Road Safety Authority's website provides information on the Driver CPC.


Learner permits are valid for two years (or one year in certain circumstances) and cost €15. It is free of charge to those aged 70 or over.

Exchanging your driving licence to show a change of name or address is also free of charge.

How to apply

You should apply for a learner permit for Category C or C1 to drive a truck and Category D or D1 to drive a bus. Before you can apply for your first learner permit, you must first complete and pass a Driver Theory Test. When you complete your Driver Theory Test successfully, you will be given a certificate, which you must send with your application for a learner permit. The theory test certificate is valid for two years from the date of issue.

You must also hold a Category B driving licence.

The application form for a learner permit (D.201) is available from your Motor Taxation Office or you can request Form D.201 by post through CitizensInformation.ie. It is not available to download online. 

Completed application forms should be accompanied by:

  • Two identical passport-type photographs with the reverse of both signed by you.
  • An eyesight report. Download an eyesight report form (D.502) (pdf). This form is also available from your Motor Taxation Office or you can request form D.502 by post through CitizensInformation.ie. A completed eyesight report form must accompany all first time learner permit applications. A registered ophthalmic optician or a registered medical practitioner should conduct your eye test. He or she should then complete the D.502 form and witness your signed declaration on the form.
  • A medical report. Download a medical report form (D.501) (pdf) (must be printed back to back on one page). This form is available from your Motor Taxation Office or you can also request form D.501 by post through CitizensInformation.ie. A registered medical practitioner should carry out your medical examination and then complete the form.  You must sign the declaration on the medical report form in the presence of the registered medical practitioner. 
  • Your current or last driving licence and, if you have one, your current or last learner permit. If your most recent learner permit has been lost or stolen, you must complete a lost licence declaration (Form D8.A) which is available from your local Garda Station. You must submit the form, signed and stamped by the Gardaí, with your application for renewal.
  • Your driver theory test certificate.  
  • The appropriate fee. If you are applying for your permit by post, pay the fee by cheque, bank draft or postal order, made payable to your local authority. If you are applying for your learner permit in person, you may pay the fee in cash.

Where to apply


An application for a learner permit should be made directly to your

your local Motor Taxation Office



You can read the rules of the road at




Road Safety Authority

Moy Business Park
Primrose Hill
Tel:(096) 25000
Locall:1890 506 080
Fax:(096) 25252
Homepage: http://www.rsa.ie
Email: info@rsa.ie
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