In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK driving licences will not be valid in Ireland after 31 October.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has confirmed that anyone living in Ireland who holds a UK (including Northern Ireland) driving licence must exchange it for an Irish driving licence, before 31 October 2019, in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
UK driving licences will no longer be valid in Ireland after that date in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
As a result, the RSA is strongly urging those affected to exchange their licence in good time in order to be certain they have a valid driving licence when the UK leaves the EU.
The RSA also warned that those who wait until close to the scheduled date for the UK’s exit from the European Union of 31 October will face possible lengthy delays in exchanging a UK licence, and the National Driver Licensing Service (NDLS) cannot guarantee when they will have a valid licence to drive in Ireland.
To exchange your licence, you must complete a licence application form and present it along with the correct fee and your UK licence at any NDLS centre. You can make an appointment online at www.ndls.ie to attend any of the 36 NDLS centres in Ireland. There is also a walk-in service, but depending on queues, you may have to wait to be seen.
More information on how to exchange your UK licence can be found at ndls.ie.
Ms. Moyagh Murdock, CEO, RSA said that “Brexit, in whatever form it takes, will have a significant impact on Ireland, and requires planning by Government, business and citizens.”
“The fact is a UK licence holder resident here must exchange their UK licence for an Irish one,” Murdock added.
“It is vital that this is done before the UK leaves the EU because under current EU arrangements a UK licence holder resident here in Ireland has an entitlement to exchange the licence for an Irish driving licence. This entitlement will expire on 31 October if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
“To date in 2019 over 30,000 UK licences have been exchanged for an Irish driving licence by the NDLS. This compares to 6,000 for the whole of 2018.”
In the vast majority of cases, when exchanging a UK licence, the driver will have all valid licence categories on their driver licence included on the Irish licence.
There are some limited exceptions where what are known as national licences categories cannot be transferred to the Irish licence. Drivers may need to speak to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the UK to find out if they have any national categories on their UK/NI licence.
More information on driver licences and Brexit can be found on www.ndls.ie and on gov.ie/brexit, the Irish Government’s website to help businesses and citizens around the country to prepare for Brexit.