Second Canadian province to accept Irish driving licences

Road Safety Authority reaches agreement with Manitoba on exchange of permits

A second Canadian province has agreed to the exchange of Irish driving licences for Canadian ones, according to Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe.

An agreement has been signed between the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the province of Manitoba allowing for the exchange of licences.

Mr Donohoe said they hoped to bring the agreement with the Canadian province into operation “as soon as possible”.

Arrangements are already in place between Ireland and Ontario for the exchange of driving licences.

Ireland operates an automatic exchange of driving licences with other EU member states under EU law, where an Irish licence is legal and seen as the equivalent of the national licence in all 27 EU member states, and vice versa.

Mr Donohoe said that, with non-EU countries, a bilateral arrangement can be reached.

Provincial system

Mr Donohoe told Fianna Fáil's Niall Collins, in reply to a parliamentary question, that Canada operated its driving licence system on a provincial rather than national system. Therefore, Ireland had to negotiate individual agreements with the 10 different provinces.

The RSA conducted the negotiations on behalf of the State, holding detailed discussions aimed at ensuring both driving regimes were compatible.

Mr Donohoe said that negotiations were ongoing with the other Canadian provinces.

Agreements on driving licences are in place with a number of other countries and provinces, including Japan, South Africa, Victoria in Australia, Guernsey and Jersey in the Channel Islands, Switzerland, New Zealand, South Korea, Gibraltar, Taiwan and the Isle of Man.