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The driver theory test
The driver theory test was first added to to the driving test curriculum in 2001 and tests a candidates knowledge of the rules of the road and motoring legislation in Ireland. Prior to a candidate applying for a first learner permit (formerly referred to as a provisional licence) they must first pass the theory test. EU legislation also mandates that driving test candidates undergo a practical test of motoring legislation and the rules of the of the road. The bank of test questions was updated in October 2011 and candidates intending on applying to take the driving lesson theory test should ensure they are referencing updated versions of the learning material (book and CD fifth edition)
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What the driving theory test involved
The theory test will examine your knowledge in the following areas:
  • The rules of the road
  • Risk perception
  • Eco-driving
  • Hazard awareness and
  • Good driving behaviour
The driver theory test is conducted through a nation-wide network of 41 test centres and the test itself is taken on a computerised system. Operation of the Driver Theory Testing Service is similar to the format of the National Car Test (NCT). The test can be taken in Irish and in English and candidates with special needs are catered for. On passing the driver theory test a test certificate is issued which qualifies the candidate a first learner permit in a particular vehicle category.
The Driver Theory test
There are four classes of test:
  • Motorcycles and mopeds (Licence Category A, M)
  • Cars, tractors and work vehicles (Licence Categories B, W)
  • Heavy goods vehicles (Licence Category C)
  • Buses (Licence Category D)
The test consists of 40 questions and candidates must answer 35 questions correctly to be pass. You have 45 minutes to answer the 40 questions in the test. The test is a computerised test taken using either a touch screen or a mouse and keyboard. A practice session can be undertaken before you take the actual test so that you can get used to the system. You don't need to be computer literate in any way. If you have any difficulty with reading, there is a 'voice over' option that will read out the questions to you. Appropriate pictures or colours will indicate the different answers on the screen and you select your answer by touching the picture or colour. If you wish to complete your test through Irish, this can be facilitated at your test centre and during your test. If you make a mistake or change your mind, you can cancel your answer. If you want to skip a question, you can come back and answer it at the end of your test. At the end of the test, you can review all your answers and if you wish, change them. The test is scored automatically and results are made available to you immediately. You will receive a pass certificate for your theory test at the test centre. Regardless of whether you pass or fail, under the updated version of the test you will also be provided with a list of the categories recommended for further study, based on your performance.
Applying for the Driver Theory test
Apply and pay for your driver theory test online. It is also possible to download and complete an application form for a driver theory test (pdf) here. You can also book a test by telephoning the call centre below. You will be asked for your PPS Number (formerly known as your RSI number) so remember to have this to hand. If you have a credit/laser card, you can apply and pay for your test over the telephone. Alternatively, you can telephone and request an application form by post. Your completed application form together with the fee should be forwarded to the address below. When your application has been received, you will receive notification of the date, location and time of your test in advance. It is possible to re-schedule or cancel a theory test online or you can contact the call centre below to do so. When you arrive at your test centre, all your documentation will be checked. You must remember to bring with you some form of identification (i.e., a passport, a student identity card, or any other authorised identity issued by the State or a bank (as long as they have a photograph attached). You will then be taken to a work station to complete the test.
Where to apply
Driver Theory Test
P.O. Box 788 Togher
Locall:1890 606 106 Monday-Friday 8.00am-6.00pm.
Theory test
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