Almost 37,000 people are on their fifth, or higher, provisional licence, according to online insurance brokers Insuremycars.ie.
Their figures also found that more then 65,000 are on their third or more provisional licence.
The figure was revealed by insuremycars.ie after a Dáil question by Independent TD Noel Grealish.
The RSA says the biggest problem is that people cannot afford to sit their test, with people failing to show up also part of the issue.
Deirdre McCarthy of www.insuremycars.ie said: “There are 65,000-plus people on their third or more learner permit, and 36,814 of them are on their fifth or greater permit, some of whom are in their 30s, 40s, 50s or 60s.
"While a few may be late bloomers when it comes to driving, it’s apparent that many have been on the roads for years, without either taking or passing the driving test.
"Something needs to be done to address this backlog and we believe that if people were restricted in the number of times they could be granted a learner permit, it would lessen the number of driving test applications as people move from a learner permit to a full licence.”
The online brokers are advocating changes to the system to limit the number of learner permits that motorists can carry, or at least, to ensure that learner permit holders are required to actually take, rather than simply apply for, the test before getting another permit.
- Digital Desk