Driving licence renewal in Ireland
Getting a new licence used to just mean popping the old one and some passport photos in the post to the tax office and waiting for a few days. Sadly, that’s no longer the case and a major shake-up of the driver licensing system in 2013 means that now, you have to go in person, forms filled out, and present yourself at your nearest National Driver Licensing Service (NDLS) centre. To be honest, it’s not the biggest drag in the world, but it will help speed things up a bit if you’re ready in advance…
1. Forms, forms, forms
Obviously, you’ll need to bring your current licence with you, and if you’ve lost it then there’s yet another form to fill out, and you’ll need some other form of recognised photo ID. A passport is best, but a current public services card is also acceptable. A lost or stolen licence will also mean that you have to go to your Garda station and have them sign and stamp your form.
Either way, you’ll have to have filled out the D401 form, which isn’t too much of a head-wreck — it’s basically name and address, but you must remember to bring proof of your PPSN number.
If you have a significant ongoing medical issue, you’ll also need to go and see your doctor and fill out the NDLS medical form, which will indicate that you’re OK to drive.
2. Make your booking
Go online to the NDLS website and make a booking at your local centre. Needless to say with around two million of us holding driving licences these can get pretty busy, but you don’t actually have to stick to your nearest one, and can pick a centre that has less crowded booking hours, or which has time on a date that is more convenient for you.
3. Bike and truck stuff
If it’s a motorcycle licence that you’re either applying for or renewing, then you’ll need to bring along proof of your Initial Basic Training course. Those applying for bus or HGV licences will also need to have their Certificate of Professional Competence cert with them.
4. Proof of address
If you’ve moved house since your last licence was issued, then you’ll need to bring along a proof of change of address, for which the usual household bill or bank statement will do, but it must be dated within the last six months.
5. Pay the fee
Ah yes, the painful bit (although not the MOST painful bit…). A new or renewed licence will cost you €55 for a ten-year licence, or €35 for a three-year one, usually issued on medical grounds. A one-year licence (again, usually only issued on medical grounds) will cost you €25. A replacement or duplicate licence costs €35, and it’s the full €55 to exchange a foreign licence. New learner permits cost €35, and it’s an extra €35 for each added vehicle category. Those over 70 get a free licence.
6. The MOST painful bit…
The photo. These days, you don’t have to go to the chemist and get some tiny headshots taken, as the NDLS will take a digital photo of you during your appointment. However, the downside to that is that the photos generally look awful. They will let you have another go if you look utterly dreadful on the first try, but don’t expect to be looking all Zoolander on your new licence.