How to get a Motorcycle licence in Ireland

One of the questions we get asked the most is;

"How do I get a motorcycle licence in Ireland?"

It’s pretty straight forward once the steps are laid out for you.

  1. Pass your theory test
  2. Get your Learner Permit
  3. Take motorcycle lessons and Pass your IBT
  4. Buy a bike and ride for 6 months with L vest
  5. After 6 months apply for full A test
  6. Pass your Full motorcycle Test
  7. Apply for full license at NDLS
  8. Ride for 2 years with an N (novice) Vest

The Theory test.

First things, first. To get your motorcycle licence in Ireland you first need a Learner Permit. In order to get this you must pass a theory test to show you understand the rules of the road.

  • Apply online at
  • The current fee for this test is €45.
  • We find the Online Study Resources to be very helpful in prepping for the test. The mock test is a great tool.
  • Since June 16 2017 you need a PSC (Public Services Card), arrange one here

When you pass your theory test you can now apply for your Learner Permit

The Learner Permit

  • Apply here -, checklist of requirements below
  • costs €35
  • book in advance to avoid a queue!
  • This takes approx 1 week to arrive.

What do I need to apply for a motorcycle 'Licence Permit'?

  1. Application form for learner permit D201 (Fully completed)
  2. evidence of PPSN
  3. driver Theory Test pass certificate (dated within 2 years)
  4. NDLS Eyesight Report form D502 (Fully completed and dated within 1 month)
  5. NDLS medical form (dated within 1 month) if required
  6. evidence of address (dated within 6 months)
  7. photographic ID
  8. evidence of residency entitlement

Your Photograph and signature will be captured at the NDLS office

If I have a motorcycle Learner Permit in Ireland what are the restrictions?

  1. no motorway riding
  2. no carrying passengers
  3. you must use L plates
  4. you can only ride within Ireland

3. Take motorcycle lessons and pass the IBT (Initial Basic Training)

Now that you have your Learner Licence in hand you can start your Initial Basic Training (IBT). This is a training course for learner riders. It gives new riders strong training foundations on which they can build their knowledge and skills. It's a 16–18 hour training course broken down into separate modules covering a mixture of theory and practical riding skills.

  1. Costs vary depending on instructor
  2. Find an instructor HERE
  3. Instructors provide a motorcycle and safety gear that suits the rider.

What is the motorcycle IBT?

IBT is a mandatory training course that teaches basic riding skills to learner motorcyclists.

IBT for a small motorcycle category 'AM' or 'A1' - is a 16 hour course broken into four separate modules 1,2,3 and 4 which must be completed in sequence.

Completing IBT for the first time on a larger motorcycle in category 'A2' or 'A' is an 18 hour course and involves completing three modules 1,3 and 5. These modules are a mixture of theory and practical riding skills.

4. Buy a motorcycle and ride for 6 months with L vest

Practice, Practice, Practice Once you Pass your IBT You can then ride/insure your own motorcycle and ride wearing an L Vest at all times.

5. After 6 months apply for full A test

Finally, after 6 months of riding with your Learner Vest/Licence you can now take your full Driving test. Apply here:

6. Complete your Full A driving test

  1. You must wait 6 months after getting your motorcycle 'Licence Permit' to apply
  2. The Test costs €85
  3. We suggest also booking a pre-test or two with your IBT Instructor to brush up on any bad habits you may have picked up in the last 6 months.
Driving License

What category motorcycle licence will I get when I pass?

  1. A, since 2013 this is only for riders over 24 years old, full powered bikes
  2. A2, since 2013 for riders over 18, under 24, max 35kW power
  3. A1, max 125cc and/or 11kW power, riders over 16 years old
  4. AM, mopeds slower than 45km/h, riders over 16 years old

Full details of each licence is explained HERE by the RSA.