Steps to get a license
To make sure I understand this process...(I've been reading the NDLS website, but still not quite clear):
1. I am allowed to drive in Ireland on my US license for 1 year (I will also get an international drivers permit just in case)
2. I have to take the driver theory test before I can apply for the learner's permit
3. After I have my learner's permit, I must take 12 driving lessons from an approved instructor before I can schedule the drivers test
When driving with a learner's permit, do I have to display the "L" plate? Am I restricted as to where/when/with whom I can drive (i.e. no motorways, must be accompanied by a fully licensed driver?). Also I will be living on the border, so are there any restrictions for learner's permit holders that I need to know about when I drive into Northern Ireland?
Yes the 'L' plate is required. Then there's the new 'N' plate (novice), but I'm unsure if you'll need that one. I'm sure the NDLS site explains.
Yes you are restricted, primarily from any motorways.
I'm not sure about the border area. As you'll technically be driving on a foreign license, I don't think that should be a problem, however from an insurance perspective it may be. The insurer should be able to answer.
Maybe I dreamed this up but I thought I read somewhere that with the accompanied driver you have to log a certain number of hours and the accompanying driver must sign off on this? If this doesn't apply then it just sounds like during the time you have the learner permit, take the 12 courses, and pass the drivers test you just can't drive without that person in the car with you and once you pass the test you're clear on a full a license? No hours to log? No "6 month or 2 year period" requirement for driving with those same restrictions (so long as you turn in the documents requested to waive the 6 months).
Jessalyn, you may have been dreaming 🙂 I've never heard of the 'number of hours' requirement. You basically need to be accompanied as a learner permit holder. However, this rule is often flouted.