Motorcycle Learner Permits and Licences

Motorcycle Learner Permits and Licences can be a little confusing if you’re new to them.

Before you can ride a Motorcycle on the road the Rider and Motorcycle (& Moped/Scooter) must comply with certain legal requirements. First of all you’ll need to get a Learner Permit in the link below.

The Learner Permit

To ride a Motorcycle on the road you must…

  • be at least 18 years old for A Category Motorbike (16 for a Moped/Scooter & A1 Motorcycle category)
  • have a Learner Permit which allows you to ride Motorcycles (category A, A2, A1 or Am)
  • must have completed (Initial Basic Training) IBT Course

A learner permit holder may NOT…

  • ride on motorways
  • carry a pillion passenger
  • ride without L-plates
  • ride outside the Rep of Ireland

How to get a learner permit?

You must first complete the Motorcycle Driver Theory Test for the Licence category you require and then apply for a learner permit.

You will need an eye test, possibly a medical and proper identification. You will need to go in person to get your learner permit – you will find a list of the NDLS offices on their site


Initial Basic Training Course or IBT Course

Even though you have a Learner Permit you are not permitted to take a Motorcycle or Moped/Scooter onto the public road until you have completed the Initial Basic Training Course (IBT Course) and have a certificate of completion.

Please see our IBT Course for full details.


Types of Full Motorcycle Licence

Until Jan 2013 there are three types of Full Motorcycle Licences to aim for…

  • Category M – Mopeds/Scooters – engine capacity not exceeding 49cc and maximum speed of 45kph. Minimum driving age: 16
  • Category A1 – Motorcycles with an engine capacity not exceeding 125cc and with a power rating not exceeding 11kW with or without sidecar. Minimum driving age: 16
  • Category A2 – Motorcycles with or without a sidecar. Minimum driving age: 18 between 20kw and 35kw. For test purposes must be larger than 395cc.
  • Category A – Motorcycle with an engine capacity of 595cc or larger, a power output above 50kw and a weight of a least 175kg. Minimum age 24 years of age ( 20yrs old  under certain circumstances)

You can find a comprehensive list of approved motorcycles for both A2 and A category from the RSA

If you pass your Motorcycle Driving Test on an Automatic Motorcycle the full Licence gained will be restricted to Automatic Motorbikes only.

You can find information on New Licencing Laws 2013 section


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