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Statement by the Minister for Transport on Measures Pertaining to Provisional Driver Licence Holders
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28 October 2007


Measures pertaining to Provisional Driver Licence Holders

The Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey, T.D. today (28th October 2007) announced that he is modifying the lead-in time for holders of existing second provisional driver licences to enable them to complete their test by 30th June 2008[1].

From Tuesday next (30th October 2007) all new applicants for driving licences will be issued with a learner permit. The rules applying to a new applicants learner permit will stipulate that:

  • The holder must be accompanied by a driver who has had a full licence for at least two years;

  • The holder must have the permit for a minimum of 6 months of supervised practice before applying for a test.

From 30th June 2008 all provisional licence holders must be accompanied by a fully licenced driver of at least two years experience.  

This move is made in response to two clear messages from the public, the Minister said today.  Firstly, there is strong support for the proposed reforms to improve road safety. Secondly, there is a strong desire for a reasonable lead-in time to enable people to prepare for and take their test or to make alternative arrangements.  For these reasons I have decided to defer implementation of the requirement for second provisional licence holders to be accompanied until 30th  June 2008.

I now encourage all provisional licence holders, who have not already done so to prepare and apply for a driving test. The Government has already committed itself to providing the necessary finance to the Road Safety Authority to ensure that all 122, 000 applicants currently on the waiting list will have been tested by early March 2008. This will have eliminated the current backlog as promised.  By the end of June 2008 all applicants for a driving test will be able to get a test on demand (within 10 weeks).


Note for News Editors

The Road Safety Authority will today issue a press release detailing the new provisions pertaining to learner drivers.

[1] Current law is: Those on first, third and subsequent provisional licence must be accompanied when driving by a fully licensed driver. Those on a second provisional licence may drive unaccompanied.

Number of people on provisional licences are as follows:

1st    209, 253

2nd    121,871

3rd      31,792

4th      25,076

5th or subsequent 37,233