Do you have to get a learner permit to drive?
April 30th, 2020
Short answer: Yes.
Longer answer: There’s more to it and then also no.
What? I’ll explain.
To legally drive in a public area, in Ireland you must have a valid driving licence or at least a learner permit ( provisional licence ). You must also be insured in the vehicle and the vehicle itself must also be legal for use in public areas.
If you are not in a public area you do not need any sort of licence. This can be on your own land or family land, i.e. fields and driveways. We do driving with transition year students in enclosed areas of their school, for which we are insured. It is not legal to drive in a car park of a shopping centre or in an industrial estate. Although the land might be private, the area is still open to the public.
Driving with a learner permit requires you to have passed your theory test and gotten a licence that is valid for two years. This can be renewed. You are also required to insured in a road worthy car. Most importantly you must be accompanied by someone who has a full, valid Irish driving licence for more than two years.
Drivers from abroad can use the full licence from their home country for the first year they spend living in this country. Before this time elapses they should exchange their foreign licence for an Irish one. Depending on where they got their full licence they may still need to do the Irish theory test, get a learner permit, a reduced EDT course and the driving test.
Category: By Darragh Dunne ADI