Nearly 5,000 people have been driving with only a learner permit for more than 20 years.
According to freedom of information figures, they include almost 1,200 motorists in Dublin and 546 in Cork.
You can not apply for a third or subsequent learner permit unless you’ve recently done a driving test or have an upcoming test.
Aisling Reid, from the Parc Road Safety Group, says the new statistics are a big concern.
She says: "The figures are very alarming and it's very worrying to us as a victim's support group.
"Many of our families have lost people on the roads as a result of a collision with an unaccompanied learner driver.
"So it is quite unsettling for us to see figures so high and we would like to see the Road Safety Authority and the Department of Transport work on a solution to this problem."