RSA announcement on Direct Access

Since this post was published MAG Ireland has added the A2 license Facts page which you will find here:


RSA LogoThe Road Safety Authority has issued a new guidance document this week explaining the effect of the Third Driving License Directive (3DLD) which comes into effect from the 19th of January next year.

That document (PDF format) can be found on the RSA Web Site here:

Earlier this year, Ireland published the legislation to implement the EU’s third driving license directive (3DLD). This directive introduces a new motorcycle license category, A2 for medium sized bikes, to augment the existing A1 and A categories. The directive also provided for direct access which has long been denied to Irish riders.

Having reviewed the legislation, we in MAG Ireland found what we believed to be some serious flaws, which in our view rendered the legislation unworkable as it stood. Accordingly, MAG Ireland arranged a meeting with the RSA at which we presented our concerns and demonstrated some of the inconsistencies in the published legislation relative to the content of the EU directive.

The RSA’s document addresses many of the concerns raised by MAG Ireland including the provision of direct access, and the changes in motorcycle power restrictions and categories.

The RSA has published a graphic which outlines the process of obtaining or upgrading a motorcycle license under the new regulations, and we reproduce it here for your information.

3DLD paths to motorcycle license

Image credit: RSA (click for large version)

This chart was produced by the Road Safety Authority and is reproduced from the original PDF.
Click here for source

An explanation of the categories follows:

Licence Category Description of category from 19 January 2013 Minimum Age
AM Mopeds and three wheeled vehicles with maximum design speed greater than 25km/h but not greater than 45km/h as well as light quadricycles. 16 years
A1 Motorcycles with an engine capacity not exceeding 125 cubic centimetres, with a power rating not exceeding 11 kW and with a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.1 kW/kg.Motor tricycles with a power rating not exceeding 15 kW. 16 years
A2 Motorcycles with a power rating not exceeding 35 kW, with a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.2 kW/kg and not derived from a vehicle of more than double its power. 18 years
A Motorcycles & Motor tricycles 24 years or 20 with progressive access

 The major changes for riders are;

  • The introduction of a new A2 category
  • Provision of direct access which has long been denied to Irish riders
  • The introduction of progressive access

Please Note: If you already hold a full unrestricted A license, the changes will not affect you in any way.

If you are under 24, and you hold a learner permit for the existing Category A, you should refer to the frequently asked questions document on the RSA web site here:

MAG Ireland will be publishing further information on the implementation of the third driving license directive in due course.