As part of the third European directive the RSA were introduced New Licencing Laws for Motorcycles in Ireland on January 19th 2013.
The introduction of the new plastic style Drivers Licence was introduced on the same day.
AM Licence – Mopeds/Scooters and three wheeled vehicles with a maximum design speed of 45km/h as well as light quad & tricycles. Minimum age 16, you must pass a Theory Test, get a Motorcycle Learner Permit, take modules 1,2,3 & 4 of Initial Basic Training (IBT) and pass a Motorcycle Driving Test on an AM type of Motorcycle
A1 Licence – Motorcycle up to 125cc, power rating not less than 11kW with a power to weight ratio no greater than 0.1kW/kg. Direct access at minimum age 16 , you must pass a Theory Test, get a learner permit, take Initial Basic Training (IBT) modules 1,2,3 & 4 if not already completed under category AM Licence and pass a Motorcycle Driving Test on an A1 type Motorcycle
A2 Licence – Motorcycles between 20kw & 35kW, a power/weight ratio not greater than 0.2kW/kg and not derived from a vehicle more than double its power. Two routes (a) Direct access at minimum age 18, you must pass a Theory Test, get a Motorcycle Learner Permit, take Initial Basic Training (IBT) modules 1,3 & 5 on an A2 type Motorcycle and pass a Motorcycle Driving Test from six months after the start date of the A2 Motorcycle Learner Permit. (b) If rider has an A1 Licence for a period of 2 years then this Licence can be achieved by taking a prescribed Training Course (IBT 5) on an A2 Motorcycle with an ADI, OR by completing a Motorcycle Driving Test on the A2 vehicle after waiting six months.
A Licence – all Motorcycles including those greater than 50kW. The minimum age at which this licence can be held is age 20. Two routes- (a) Direct access at age 24, pass a Theory Test, get a Motorcycle Learner Permit take Initial Basic Training (IBT modules 1,3 and 5) and pass a Motorcycle Driving Test. (b) Progressive access at minimum age 20 where the Rider has held an A2 Motorbike Licence for 2 years, then this Licence can be achieved by taking Initial Basic Training (IBT) module 5 on an A2 Motorcycle with an ADI or by sitting a Motorcycle Driving Test.
The key points of these new laws was the introduction of a new category ‘A2’ and the introduction of direct access to unrestricted A category Motorcycles.
The new category of ‘A2’ is essentially the old ‘A restricted’ category. It can be derestricted with additional training of IBT Progression Module 5 to become a full ‘A category licence’ (previously this happened automatically after holding the licence for two years)
The new DIRECT ACCESS entry into a the ‘full A’ category allows Riders over the age of 24 to completed modules 1,3,5 of IBT and ride an unrestricted motorcycle providing they can get insurance on it. (Insurance companies aren’t too keen on learner riders on large motorcycles so get a quote before you make a purchase)
Having held the learner permit for a period of six months the rider can apply for the A category test and once passed the Motorcycle Driving Test get a full ‘A’ Motorcycle unrestricted.
You can find a nifty chart from the RSA on the New Motorcycle Licence Categories