Got my Full Irish D...
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Got my Full Irish Driving license today. What I learned.

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Eminent Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 20
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  1. If you're moving to Ireland from the States, get started on your Irish driving license right away. It can take 9 months to a year, no less than 6 months, and you won't be able to renew your insurance when your US license expires after a year. 
  2. You will be able to renew your car insurance if you only have a Learner license. 
  3. The entire process will cost nearly €1000
  4. Passing the test was much, much harder than passing the test in California when I was a teen. In California, you basically need to know how to operate a car. In Ireland, to pass, you actually have to be a good driver. 
  5. I had to get a public services card, but half-way through the year, someone sued, and maybe you don't need it. Regardless, everything was much smoother once I had it. All you need is a utility bill and your passport. 
  6. Despite all that, getting the license ended up being an experience that taught me much about Ireland and Irish culture. I wrote about it on my blog. Highly recommend going through all of it. Even though it kicked my ass. 

Honorable Member Admin
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 655

Congrats, Linda! And thank you for the update. I enjoyed reading through your blog post. Your descriptions of what might cause a failed test are extremely useful. 

Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 26

Hi all -

I'm new to the site, so I'm still learning to navigate all of the tools and resources and apologize in advance for any repetitive questions.

I'm interested in moving from the U.S. (Minnesota) next fall and from what I've read, I can drive legally in Ireland with my Minnesota driver's license for up to 12 months. It looks like I'll be able to purchase a car and required insurance with my Minnesota driver's license and recommendation is to start the process to obtain an Irish driver's license as soon as possible as it may take up to 9-12 months to obtain. My question is and I haven't seen a response to it on this site, but once I start the process for an Irish license and obtain a Learner's permit, can I still drive alone? It looks like with a Learners Permit, you need to drive with a Irish licensed driver. Is this true?  I'll be moving to Ireland alone and not sure how I can practice driving or use a vehicle if I need to have a licensed driver accompany me each time.  Any thoughts or advice?

Thank you!

Honorable Member Admin
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 655

@countydonegal John, correct, you can drive for 12 months on your MN license, you can buy a car ( I did so with a CA license) and get insurance (not all companies will take you). 

How I approached your dilemma... I moved back home with 3 young school age kids. Taking them to school required I drive them a few miles back and forth. Besides that, I had to get to and from various activities, get groceries, etc. I had been driving a long time (many years), and knew I was not a danger to anyone on the road. I believe the whole point of having someone licensed in the car, is because of exactly that. Young drivers, who are learning  their way, are not the safest (the stats are there to prove so). There was no practical way I could have a licensed driver with me at all times. I decided to chance it, and if I ever had the pleasure of being pulled over, I would just have to take what came. 

Like you say, the rules on this are not very clear. It's definitely a grey area. Maybe we can reach out to someone companies who cater to this situation (i.e. lesson givers to experienced drivers), and they might have an answer?


DISCLAIMER For anyone reading this - I am not recommending you break any laws or do anything illegal. What I describe above was my personal choice and not something I encourage or promote.

Melissa Brady, JOHN HOGAN, Melissa Brady and 1 people reacted
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 4


You have been very helpful. The information in your blog post will be studied. Jumbo thanks! I am so glad to have that trove of information to start with. I will be thinking about those things I can practice and learn before going to Ireland again. I drove a lot in Ireland on visits without any problems, but am absolutely convinced I would have failed a test. When driving in Ireland I was able to avoid areas I thought would be more challenging for me, which I won't be able to do when taking instruction or being tested. And, as I look at areas in Ireland I would like to make home, I will continue to consider the possibility that I may not drive. I walk twelve miles a day, and the last time I drove it was because my partner could not walk the three blocks he needed to go. 

This post was modified 2 years ago by Tom Wolfsehr