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What is the driving test
The Irish driving test is a compulsory requirement for motorists who have been issued with two two-year learner permits or provisional driving licences. You may NOT apply for a third or subsequent provisional licence for any category of vehicle unless you undergo a driving test. As of December 2007 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) in the case of categories A, A1, M, W and B.

Driver testing in Ireland is carried out directly by the Road Safety Authority. The standard complies with the EU Directive on Driving Licences. Testing is conducted out of test centres throughout the country. Your test where possible will be arranged for the centre you nominate on your application form.

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Practical test of driving skills

Your driving test in Ireland will take approximately 30 minutes to complete (depending on traffic). You will be given clear instructions throughout the test, but if you don't understand something, ask the examiner to repeat it. Do not panic if you make a mistake during the test. It may not be as serious as you think and it may not mean you have failed.

You will be assessed in the following situations: moving off, driving in traffic, stopping, reversing round a corner, a turn about, a hill-start and parking.

The aspects of your driving that will be assessed include road positioning; overtaking and passing; anticipation and observation; use of mirrors and signals, progress; speed; compliance with traffic lights, road signs and road markings; and proper use of your vehicle controls. At some point during your test, the examiner will ask you to demonstrate your hand signals. You can also expect to make a number of left and right turns, encounter a roundabout and stop at traffic lights.

When you return to the test centre your examiner will bring you back into the examination room to give you the result. If you pass, you will be given a Certificate of Competency, which is valid for 2 years. If you fail to apply for a full licence during this 2 year period, you will have to complete your driving test again. If you fail your driving test, you will be given a detailed list of your mistakes, which you should study and rectify before you sit another driving test.

Driving test examiner

Driving test examiners are employed by the Road Safety Authority and recruited through open and confined competitions held by the Public Appointments Service. In order to become a driving test examiner, you have to fulfil certain criteria that has been set down by the Public Appointments Service.

Advertisements for upcoming competitions for these posts are always placed in the national press. You can also register your interest in future competitions for this post through the Public Appointments Service website.

Assessment of your driving skills

The driving test will assess your driving in the following situations

  • Driving in traffic
  • Moving off
  • Stopping Reversing around a corner
  • Starting on a hill
  • Turning about, to face in the opposite direction
Assessment of your parking skills

The driving test will assess your parking skills in the following situations

  • Road positioning
  • Overtaking and passing
  • Anticipation and observation
  • Use of mirrors and signals
  • Progress Speed
  • Compliance with traffic lights, road signs and markings
  • Use of the vehicle controls (accelerator, clutch, gears, brakes and steering)
  • Use of secondary controls such as wipers, de-misters, etc
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