Motoring Advice

How to apply and renew your driving licence

Jun 10, 2019

How to apply and renew your driving licence

So, you’ve either just passed your driving test or you’re about to renew your existing driving licence – but how do you go about it? Well, here’s our handy guide to the process.

FIND ONE OF THE 36 NDLS CENTRES

NDLS stands for National Driver Licence Service and there are 36 such centres scattered across the country. These are open from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, and 9am-2pm on Saturdays – and they’re open during lunch hours, as well. No appointment is necessary; these centres run a walk-in service and so you can go whenever suits you. To find out where they are in the country, make with the clicks here.

TAKE YOUR PSC

The Public Services Card (PSC) is the key to making all this simpler. Indeed, in the case of those of you renewing your licence, having a PSC means you can renew online in a relatively new process, so you don’t even need to go to an NDLS centre in person. But, if you do decide to go to a centre, or you’re applying for the first time, a PSC will help in a number of ways: it satisfies your photographic ID; it is evidence of your Personal Public Service Number (PPSN); it is evidence of your address; and it is evidence of your residency entitlement.

If you don’t have a PSC, or you don’t take it along to the NDSL centre, then you have to satisfy these four criteria with other documents. So, in list form (and obviously assuming no PSC):

  • for photo ID, you can take an Irish passport, which cannot be expired by more than 12 months, an Irish driving licence or learner permit, a current passport for all non-Irish citizens (valid for international use), a current national identity card for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, an Irish Certificate of Naturalisation, a current UK photo driving licence or a current Irish travel document;
  • for evidence of residency entitlement, you can take an Irish or UK long-form birth certificate or adoption certificate, a driving licence or learner permit where number three shows the place of birth is within the EU/EEA/Switzerland, a certificate of entry in the Irish Foreign Births Register, an Irish passport or passport card (current or expired by no more than 12 months), a current passport for all EU/EEA/Swiss citizens (valid for international use), a current national identity car for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, an Irish Certificate of Naturalisation or a current certificate of registration (Garda National Immigration Bureau) or Irish Residence Permit (IRP) for non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens (both the GNIB and IRP cards must be presented with a current passport valid for international use);
  • for verifying PPSN, you can take a social services card, correspondence from Revenue/Department of Social Protection showing your PPSN, a P21/Tax Assessment/Notice of Tax Credits form, a receipt for social welfare payment that shows your full PPSN, a medical card/Drug Payment Scheme (DPS) card/European Health Insurance card, or a payslip or a P45/P60;
  • for evidence of address, you can take a utility bill (from electricity/phone/gas/cable television/broadband provider – this can be a print-off of an online bill but it CANNOT be a mobile phone bill), a statement or other correspondence from a bank/building society/credit union (including eStatements) where the customer’s name and address are detailed (some statements from store cards/catalogue companies are not acceptable, so best you avoid these altogether), a letter from the Department of Social Protection/Revenue, a P45 or P60, other official correspondence from an Irish state agency (e.g., government departments, the HSE, Register of Electors/polling card, CAO, Susi, An Garda Síochána, public/private hospitals, the Private Residential Tenancies Board or third-level college, a secondary school/training agency, NCT reports or reminders, An Post, or a TV licence), or correspondence from an insurance company regarding an active policy.

 

If you’re a new applicant, particularly in the 17-20-year-old bracket, you may be able to provide one of the following as evidence of address: letter-headed correspondence with your secondary school or third-level training institute (date of correspondence must be clearly shown), correspondence from Susi/CAO, correspondence from a bank/credit union, or correspondence from a government body.

It is VERY important to note that, whether you’re applying the first time or renewing, ANY form of evidence of address must be dated within six months of the date of your application for a licence. Any longer than this, and you will be refused the driving licence.

You should also note that identity documents may be retained by the NDLS to enable the processing of your application and these will be returned to you by registered post once your licence application has been approved; any documents that the NDLS sends back to you and which are undelivered are returned to the NDLS, which will keep them for two months for you to arrange their safe return – after that, the documents will be securely destroyed, so don’t delay.

In all instances above, you MUST provide original identity documents – photocopies or laminated documents will NOT be accepted.

FOR THOSE OF YOU APPLYING FIRST TIME

Once you’ve got your PSC at the ready, or you’ve selected four documents to satisfy the four criteria above, and you’re all set to go to an NDLS centre to get your first-ever licence… you need some more things. So make sure you have the following:

  • a fully completed application form for a driving licence D401;
  • a certificate of competency (must be dated within the previous two years);
  • your current or most recent learner permit (if you do not have this in your possession, you must complete the lost or stolen permit declaration on the application form, have it witnessed by a member of An Garda Síochána and submit it with alternative photographic ID);
  • a fully completed NDLS medical report form, dated within one month, if required in your case;
  • evidence of Certificate of Professional Competence, if required;
  • evidence of Initial Basic Training (IBT), if required;
  • an application fee of €55.

Your photograph and signature will be captured electronically at the NDLS centre.

FOR THOSE OF YOU RENEWING YOUR LICENCE

Assuming you’re not renewing online with a PSC, it’s very similar to the list above:

  • a fully completed application form for a driving licence D401;
  • your current or most recent driving licence (if you do not have this in your possession, you must complete the lost or stolen permit declaration on the application form, have it witnessed by a member of An Garda Síochána and submit it with alternative photographic ID);
  • a fully completed NDLS medical report form, dated within one month, if required in your case;
  • an application fee of €55.

As with first-time applicants, your photograph and signature will be captured electronically at the NDLS centre.