So you want to ride a motorcycle, and you are not sure where to start?
The basic steps are
- Do the driver theory test
- Get your Learner Permit
- Do your Initial Basic Training with an approved instructor
- Sit the practical test.
There are legal restrictions on what types of vehicle you can drive at what age.
* Progressive Access means upgrading from an existing entitlement to the next available level.
Step 1: The Driver Theory Test
Before applying for a learner permit, you must pass a test of general road safety knowledge and motoring legislation – the driver theory test. It applies to anyone applying for a first learner permit in any vehicle category. To quote the RSA;
The test is designed to check knowledge of topics such as:
• Rules of the Road
• Risk perception
• Hazard awareness
• Good driving behaviour
Computer-based and easy to use, the theory test is designed for those who have little or no experience of using computers as well as those who do. You can do a practice session on the day before starting on the actual test.
Apply by Phone;
Driver Theory Service:
1890 606 106 (English language)
1890 606 806 (Irish language)
1890 616 216 (text phone – for the hearing-impaired)
Or by post;
PO Box 788
Cost is: €45.
Step 2: Getting your Learner Permit.
If you are applying for your first learner permit you must include a theory test certificate along with your learner-permit application.
Note that these theory test certs have a ‘lifespan’ of two years from date of issue, so you must apply for the Learner Permit within two years of date of issue of the theory test certificate.
What is a “Learner Permit”?
A learner permit is a licence issued to learner drivers. It enables them to learn to drive and to apply for a driving test at the same time.
The learner permit replaces the old provisional licence, which is no longer issued.
N.B: a Learner Permit is issued for each class of licence – so you need a Class ‘A’ permit for a Class ‘A vehicle. Class ‘A1’ permit for a Class ‘A1’ vehicle etc.
Step 3: Initial Basic Training (I.B.T.)
From Dec. 6th 2010:
All new first time learner permit holders for motorcycles are required to undertake Initial Basic Training (IBT) with an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI).
The course is spread over 4 modules. Once this course of lessons is complete the learner permit holder will be issued with a certificate which must be kept with their learner permit.
- Motorcycle riders must complete the program before driving unsupervised on the road while a learner.
- Evidence of completing the lessons will be signed off in a learner’s logbook by the Approved Driving Instructor.
- Evidence of having taken the lessons will have to be presented before taking a driving test.
Step 4: The Practical Test
The RSA has a written a very good article on their own website about the test – it’s here;
The test fee is now €75!!!
So it only makes sense that if at all possible – you only have to do this once!
As with anything these days, there are some terms and conditions:
- The type of learner permit you hold dictates what, if any, power restrictions are in place as you learn
- Since January 19th 2013, Learner permits will have restrictions as outlined in the table above.
- Learner Permits Licences issued prior to January 2013 generally have a restriction limiting the power of the motorcycle to 25kW or 0.16 kW/kg. (This was the cause of much confusion and the subject of a MAG Ireland 25kW Information sheet)
- S.I. 537/2006 states that a person who holds a learner permit in:
- Vehicle categories AM, A1, A2 and A (motorcycles/mopeds) is not permitted to carry a passenger.
- Any vehicle category is not allowed to carry any passenger for reward (which may imply you cannot work as a courier or pizza delivery for example.)
Vehicles in categories AM,A1,A2 and A (motorcyles and mopeds) must also display L plates at all times. The plates must be displayed on a yellow fluorescent tabard worn over the person’s outside clothing. The letter L should be at least 15cm high and appear as red on a white background and in clearly visible vertical positions to the front and rear of the person’s body.
A number of penal offenses have been introduced for learner drivers. These include not displaying ‘L’ plates when driving, and the carrying of a passenger by a learner motorcyclist. These offenses are punishable by a minimum €1,000 fine for a first offense.
The 6 month wait for a test:
If you are granted a learner permit for vehicles in category A, A2, A1, or AM, and have not held a learner permit in the five-year period prior to the granting of a permit in any of these categories you cannot sit a driving test within six months of your permit coming into force, although you may apply for a test within this period. The code 991 will be printed on your license opposite the vehicle category in the column headed ‘restrictions/information.’
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