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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 motorcycles in Ireland

Learner driving permits for motorcycles in Ireland


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 motorcycle in a public place in Ireland. If you hold a learner permit, you are required to carry your permit with you at all times when driving.

The Department of Transport has overall responsibility for driver licensing in Ireland. However, the principal local authorities 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 learn to drive on public roads, you must hold a learner driving permit, covering the category of motorcycle you wish to drive. A theory test certificate must be obtained before a first learner motorcycle permit will be granted. It is important to note that learner permit holderscannot carry pillion passengers (i.e., passengers on the back of their motorcycle) or ride on a motorway.

Motorcyclists with learner permits are required to display L-plates on a yellow fluorescent high visibility tabard.  (A tabard is a bib or sleeveless outer garment with open side-seams). The letter 'L' must be at least 15cm in height on a white background and must be to the front and rear of your torso. It is a criminal offence for learner motorcyclists not to display L plates.

Motorcycle categories

There are three categories of motorcycle in Ireland that are licensed for use on public roads. There are also specified minimum ages for motorcyclists.

Motorcycle and moped categories
Category Vehicle type Minimum age of driver
A1 Motorcycles up to 11kW and up to 125cc with or without a sidecar 16 years
A Motorcycles with or without a sidecar 18 years
M Mopeds with a maximum speed of 45kph and an engine size of up to 50cc 16 years

Category A learner permits carry a restriction. This restriction limits the licence holder to motorcycles (with or without a sidecar) subject to a power limit of 25kW. This restriction continues for two years after you complete your motorcycle driving test for this category and after you have obtained a full driving licence for this category.

A learner permit to drive a motorcycle is usually valid for two years. You cannot take a driving test for at least six months after getting your first learner permit (where you are not changing from a provisional licence to a learner permit).

Since the commencement of the Driver Theory Testing Service in 2001, a theory test certificate must be obtained before a first learner motorcycle permit is granted. You may not apply for a third 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 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 motorcycle 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, an additional 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 local 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 A1, you can add category M without submitting a theory test certificate. Similarly, if you hold a category A learner permit you can add categories A1 and M.

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.


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

Exchanging a learner permit to show a new address or name is also free of charge.

How to apply

If you are applying for a learner permit to drive a motorcycle, you should apply for a permit for Categories A or A1 or M. Before you apply for your first learner permit, you must first complete 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.

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.
  • A birth certificate or passport. This is not a requirement if
    - you hold a current driving licence or held one within the last 10 years
    - or you hold a current learner permit or held one within the last five years
    - or you already hold a valid driving licence issued by another EU state or "recognised" country.
  • An eyesight report. Download an eyesight report form (D.502) here (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) here (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 medical report is compulsory if
    - you will be 70 years of age or more on the first day of the period for which the permit is being issued
    - you have any of certain disabilities or diseases
    - you suffer from epilepsy or alcoholism
    - you regularly take drugs or medication that would be likely to impair your ability to drive safely
    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/or 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 for a motorcycle should be made directly to

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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