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Last updateSun, 06 Nov 2016 10am

Back You are here: Home Motoring Motoring Purchasing a Car Driving and disability

Driving and disability

For instance, many wheelchair users drive cars with the aid of devices such as transfer hoists for getting safely behind the wheel, lifting and storage devices for stowing the wheelchair while driving and modified car controls to enable a person with lower or upper limb impairments to safely drive a car. This section looks at a number of issues that a disabled person may need to consider when choosing to buy their own vehicle.

Driving Licence

Before you begin to learn to drive on public roads in Ireland, you must hold a Learner Driving Permit covering the category of vehicle you wish to drive. A theory test certificate must be obtained before a first learner permit will be granted. You can apply for your licence to your local authority, such as county council or City Corporation, at the local Motor Tax Office, using Form D201.

Applicants with a disability, or anybody over 70 years of age, must also submit a medical report on Form D501, also available from the local office, with their application. Alternatively, you can download a medical report (Form D501) (pdf). If an applicant has a deteriorating condition then a licence will be granted for one, two or possibly three years, rather than the usual ten year maximum. On renewal of this, a further medical report will be required.

Visit Citizens Information for more information about Driver Licencing.

Driving Test

Driver tests in Ireland are carried out directly by the Department of Transport to a standard that complies with the EU Directive on driving licences. Testing is conducted out of driving test centres situated throughout the country and where possible, your test will be arranged for the centre you nominate on your application form.

A driving test is designed to determine that you:

  • know the rules of the road,
  • possess the knowledge and skill to drive competently in accordance with those rules,
  • drive with proper regard for the safety and convenience of other road users

Driving test facilities for motorists with a disability

If you have a hearing impairment you may have an interpreter accompany you for this part of the test. Your interpreter may not be your driving instructor and they cannot accompany you on the practical part of your test. The tester may show written instructions for this part of the test and display them as appropriate; the tester may also use basic sign language. You should also note that if the vehicle you present for the test is adapted to suit a disability (eg it has additional controls), this will be noted on your full driving licence. If you have special needs, you should indicate this on the application form for your driving test so that any necessary arrangements will be in place when you attend for your test.

Visit Citizens Information for more information driving tests for disabled drivers in Ireland.

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