Final warning to exchange UK or NI driving licences before Brexit

Drivers will not be permitted on roads legally from January 1st without an Irish licence

The Road Safety Authority has issued a final reminder to holders of UK or Northern Ireland driving licences in the State to exchange them before they become invalid after December 31st.

More than 60,000 licences have been exchanged since 2019 to Irish licences, which will legally permit the holders to drive from the end of this month when Brexit comes into effect.

The Brexit phase-in transition period gave licence-holders 11 months since the UK formally left the EU to exchange the licences in time but this standstill agreement ends on December 31st.

“If you are resident in Ireland and using a UK licence to drive it will no longer be valid to drive in Ireland after this date,” the RSA said.


“It is vital that you have a valid driving licence and that you are legally obliged to drive in Ireland by exchanging a UK licence for an Irish driving licence.

Visitors to Ireland holding a UK or Northern Ireland licence will still be able to drive in Ireland as a visitor with their existing driving licence and will not require an international driving permit to drive so long s they carry their UK or Northern Ireland licence with them.

Affected drivers can exchange their licences by visiting any of the 36 National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centre or apply online at the service's website if they have a public services card (PSC) and a verified MyGovID account.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is News Editor of The Irish Times