New deal reached on Irish driving licences in Canada

Drivers can swap Irish licence for local one in Newfoundland and Labrador under agreement

 

Irish driving licences will be recognised in Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, and their licences recognised here, under a new deal reached between the two governments.

Previously, Irish people moving there had to register as a learner and take another test because their Irish licence wasn’t recognised and they couldn’t swap it for a local licence.

The lack of recognition was also a hindrance for Irish people returning to Ireland, if they had done their driving test in Canada’s most easterly province.

Under the agreement signed by Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe, holders of a full Irish driving licence who take up residence in Newfoundland and Labrador will be able to automatically exchange their licence for a local one without having to re-sit their test.

It follows similar agreements reached between Ireland and Ontario in 2014, and Manitoba in 2015.

Three other Canadian provinces - New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and British Columbia - unilaterally exchange local licences for Irish licences. But there is still no agreement in place for the provinces of Alberta, Nova Scotia, Quebec or Prince Edward Island.

Mr Donohoe said the Road Safety Authority was continuing to work with the other Canadian provinces to secure similar agreements, which he hoped would be “progressed in the near future”.

Minister for Diaspora Affairs Jimmy Deenihan said the news “will be most welcome to the large Irish community in Canada”.

“This mutual exchange also builds on the commitment in Global Irish: Ireland’s Diaspora Policy, to work to on removing barriers for those thinking of returning home to Ireland,” he added.

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