the racks in an Irish greeting card store and you'll come across a section
filled with Car Test cards. Good Luck on your Driving Test cards are to be
sent before the fateful day and Sympathy cards after.
Current pass rates nationally
are 54%. Not only does nearly one out of two fail, but you'll have to wait
months for the privilege of doing so.
Waiting times for driving tests were insane - up to 62 weeks long. So, in 2006 the government contracted out some of the backlog to private firms. By 2010, they've generally fallen to about 4 to 8 weeks to get an appointment.
Find out how long a wait you'll have at your local driving test centre.
Well, what are you doing? Still reading? Stop right now and book your test!
Transfers of Existing Licences
Holders of licences from any EU or EEA nation may drive on their existing licence until it expires. You may register that licence at the motor tax office of your local County Council or city Corporation. This is not required by the Irish authorities but may be necessary depending on the requirements of your car insurance company.
All EU national licences are easily exchanged for Irish driving licences without having to take the driving test. Simply bring in your old licence and fill out the Exchange of Drivers Licence Form (form D900) available from your local Motor Taxation Office. The Citizen's Information government information site has full details here. (Thanks, Joe, for the info).
Holders of a driving licence issued by any of the countries listed below may exchange it for an Irish licence for the same vehicle classes upon taking up permanent residence in Ireland, without having to sit a driving test.
- Australia (Capital Territory, New South Wales - new and old licence categories, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia)
- Isle of Man
- South Africa - green booklet type licence and new licence style
If you're applying for a licence exchange to a category higher than a standard automobile - an example would be to drive a bus or truck - you will have to pass a medical exam.
If you want to exchange one of these EU/EEA/special treaty licences for an Irish one, call your local Motor Tax office (located in the Green pages of all Irish phone books under the name of your county or corporation/city).
Outside the EU/EEA
If you are a non-national from outside the EU and one of the countries on the list above, then you may drive on your existing licence for 12 months if you are a visitor. If you reside here, then you have to get an Irish driver's licence within 6 months.
If you are not from any of the above countries, (for example, if you are from Canada, the United States or New Zealand), and you hold a national driving licence or an international driving permit from your own country, you may drive in Ireland for the duration of your temporary visit (up to 12 months).
An 'international driving permit' means a valid and property completed international driving permit issued to a visitor under the Convention of 1949 by a competent authority of the State in which you normally reside.
If your stay in Ireland will be more than 12 months and you are not from one of the listed recognised countries/States, you can apply for a driving licence in Ireland. You must first you must complete a driver theory test, apply for a provisional driving licence and complete your driving test in Ireland. If you pass your driving test, you will be issued with a full driving licence for use in Ireland.
The Full Site provides
advice on how to pass the driving test. It also suggests a strategy for boosting
your chances of success by up to 50%. (Yeh, I know that's a startling figure,
but this is not a shill. There really is a straightforward and legal method
to significantly increase your chances of passing.)
There's also lots more about the paperwork rigamarole, links to essential sites and an online method to cut some of the long wait for a driving test. There's also all the information you need for taking the theory test, documents you'll need to bring and suchlike.