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Final checks before your driving test
If a candidate who presents themselves for a driving test does not meet certain requirements on the day of the test the driving test will not be conducted/completed and the candidate will lose their fee. This page sets out a list of criteria that must be satisfied before a candidate can do their driving test. Some of these conditions are legal requirements e.g. tread depth for tyres. In other cases, they are to ensure that the vehicle complies with health and safety requirements e.g. head restraint in place, indicators working.

It's vital that your vehicle is in good working order and has no defects that could cause your examiner to cancel your test as they are legally entitled to do.

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Driving test checklist
  • You should be present in the test centre before the appointed time of your test.
  • You must produce your current Irish learner permit for your test category. The driver tester will check that it relates to you, is current and is for the correct category of vehicle. If you are a first time learner permit holder and your test is for a motorcycle, works vehicle or car (licence categories M, A1, A, W, B or EB) you can only take a test if you have held the learner permit for at least six months. A holder of a current full driving licence in the category from another jurisdiction for more than six months is exempt from this requirement provided you forward the original driving licence and a letter of entitlement from your State licensing authority to the Customer Service Manager, Driver Testing Section, Moy Valley Business Park, Primrose Hill, Dublin Road, Ballina, Co Mayo, in advance of your test appointment so that they may verify your details and issue you with the relevant authorisation to produce at the driving test.
  • If you are a first time learner permit holder for a Car or Motorcycle, you must take a structured driver training programme with an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) before taking the test. For motorcyclists this is known as Initial Basic Training (IBT) and applies to those whose first learner permit for licence category A, A1 or M is dated on or after 6 December 2010. For car learner drivers this is known as Essential Driver Training (EDT) and applies to those whose first learner permit for licence category B is dated on or after 4 April 2011. Car learner drivers will be required to produce their EDT logbook on the day of the driving test.
  • If you are taking a motorcycle test, i.e. category A or A1, you must satisfy yourself that the vehicle presented for test is consistent with any restrictions denoted on the learner permit.
  • Ensure that the vehicle you are using for your test meets the minimum vehicle requirements for the driving test as set out in your appointment letter.
  • You must be insured to drive the vehicle. The vehicle must display a current valid original Insurance Disc (white background with a green band extending along left hand side). The disc must clearly show the Registration Number (or fleet name) of the vehicle (not Chassis Number) and the policy dates. If the details are faded you should get the disc replaced prior to the test. You will be asked to read and sign a statement confirming that the vehicle insurance cover is in place and is adequate.
  • Vehicles used as taxis or hackneys are not permitted to be used as driving test vehicles unless the appropriate rate of Vehicle Excise Duty has been paid i.e. Class Private.
  • Vehicles hired under a hire agreement are not generally insured for a driving test. If you plan to use such a vehicle you must get a note from the hire company indicating that it is insured for the driving test. This must be given to the driver tester on the day of the test.
  • Vehicles registered outside the State are not accepted for test purposes.
  • The vehicle must be in a roadworthy condition at the time of the test and you will be asked to sign a statement to this effect.
  • Test applicants must wear suitable footwear during the practical driving test. (Flip fl ops/beach sandals or other backless type footwear or barefoot driving is not acceptable).
  • If you have difficulty communicating in English, or you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can have an interpreter/assistant with you. This person must not be your driving instructor and may not accompany you on the practical test. Please inform Driver Testing Section before the day of your test that you will have an interpreter/assistant with you.
Items required to be displayed on your vehicle
  • Current valid motor tax disc, NCT disc and insurance disc
  • ‘L’ plates front and rear (a rectangular plate or sign bearing the letter ‘L’ not less than fifteen centimetres high in red on a white background and a border of at least 2 centimetres). Learner permit holders for motorcycle licence category A, A1, or M, must when driving such a vehicle display a yellow fluorescent tabard bearing the letter ‘L’ not less than 15 centimetres high in red on a white background, in clearly visible vertical positions front and rear worn over the chest clothing.
Vehicle requirements for driving test
  • Tyres should, upon visible inspection, comply with Road Traffic Acts requirements (minimum tyre tread depth requirement is currently 1.6mm for a motorcar)
  • Loads should be properly secured; loose objects inside the vehicle such as screwdrivers, knives, gas bottles etc. must be secured before the test
  • You may not carry passengers or pets while on the test
  • The windscreen should be clean and free from visual obstructions, including excessive cracks. Vehicles presenting for test with tinted front windscreen and front passenger and driver door glass will be acceptable for test purposes only where the tinting is part of the original manufacturers build and specification i.e. the glass should be clear to the naked eye
  • All vehicles presented for a driving test must have a safety belt fitted to the front passenger’s seat. The belt must be fitted to the manufacturer’s specification and be in good working order
  • The passenger door on the tester’s side should be working properly and, in particular, should be possible to open from the inside as well as the outside
  • The suspension should not be defective
  • The brake and indicator lights should be tested to ensure they are working efficiently. All indicator lights should be clearly showing amber
  • The handbrake should be in good working order
  • Today’s vehicles are fitted with a number of warning lamps on a dashboard that let the driver know if certain critical safety, and performance features are not working properly. They are important safety features and it is in the interest of the driver and road safety that all safety systems in the vehicle are in full working order. Consequently any warning Lights indicating a malfunction or a defect, that shows before or during the test may lead to the non-conducting/non-completion of your test
  • There should be no leakage, into the vehicle, of exhaust fumes
  • All vehicles presented for a driving test must have a head restraint fitted to the front passenger’s seat. The head restraint must be fitted to the manufacturer’s specification
  • As vehicles presented for a driving test are regarded as an enclosed workspace, all vehicles must be smoke free in accordance with the Public Health (Tobacco) Act, 2004. As this Act also covers environmental tobacco smoke, test candidates are asked not to smoke in the vehicle before the driving test
  • The vehicle must have reasonably clean seating or seat covering i.e. free from excessive dust/dirt, dampness or moisture. Broken/unstable seats are not acceptable for test purposes for safety reasons
  • Other - there may be other defects that would lead a tester to conclude on health and safety grounds that the test vehicle was not in a sufficiently roadworthy condition to conduct the test
 
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