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AA Roadwatch helps learner drivers

AA Roadwatch has launched a new “driver’s series” which gives tips for those looking to achieve their drivers licence. 

As a result of a pandemic-enforced break, around 1 in every 17 people of driving age in Ireland is waiting for a driving test or theory test.  

But worry not, AA Ireland is here to help you reach your goals of getting a full licence by talking you through the whole process, step by step. 

Passing the driver theory test is mandatory if you’re thinking of starting driving lessons. You can book a theory test online by clicking here. 

If you have special needs or require additional help such as a reader, then you will need to contact the driver theory service. The theory test applies to anyone applying for a first learner permit in any vehicle category. 

Upon arriving at your test centre, you must show proof of identification. You will be given a certain length of time to answer a number of random driver theory questions. When you have completed your test, you are given your results; if you pass, you can apply for your learner’s permit. 

When going to apply for a learner’s permit for the first time, you will need to obtain an eyesight report completed by a registered optometrist or medical practitioner.  

A driving licence eyesight report is not required where a medical report form is provided – unless indicated by your doctor. Both the eyesight and medical forms can be downloaded on the NDLS website here. 

Once all this has been done, you can then apply for your learner permit on the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) website. 

When you have a learner permit, you can apply for your driving test. However, first time holders must have their learner permit for six months and complete essential driver training (EDT) or initial basic training (IBT) before sitting the driving test. 

If you drive unaccompanied or if you don’t display your L plates, then you are subject to a fine of up to €2,000 and penalty points. 

If you are renewing your learner permit, keep in mind that permits that were due to expire during the pandemic have been extended. You won’t be sent a new permit with the new date, but you can calculate it on the NDLS website. 

It’s now time to start thinking about insurance. Keep in mind that when you have driving lessons in your driving instructor’s vehicle, you’re covered on their insurance. But, if you are using your own car or someone else’s to practice in, then it means you will need to purchase insurance. You can either be added to someone else’s policy as a named driver or you can get your own learner driver insurance. 

Now that you have your learner permit and insurance sorted, you can go ahead and look for an RSA approved instructor. You can do so by searching the county you live in on the website 

It’s very important that you find the right instructor for you; that you get on well and you are comfortable with their style of teaching. 

When you have selected your instructor, you must complete at least 12 EDT lessons, but many people need more than that. As you may already be aware, there is a significant demand for lessons right across the country. Like theory tests, driving lessons were suspended for several months during the Level 5 restrictions and then reopened at first for essential workers only. 

You can book as many lessons as you need in order to make sure you are well prepared for your driving test. With lessons and lots of practice, you should be well on your way to securing your full licence. 

If you feel that you are well prepared, then you can go ahead and book your driving test on the RSA website. 

Best of luck! 

To read this article in more detail, visit AA Ireland’s blog. 

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