At least 30,000 UK driving licences exchanged for Irish ones this year

Drivers in Ireland with a UK licence advised to swap it before possible no-deal Brexit

The RSA said a UK driving licence would no longer be valid in the Republic if there was a no-deal Brexit on October 31st. File photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The RSA said a UK driving licence would no longer be valid in the Republic if there was a no-deal Brexit on October 31st. File photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

 

Drivers who hold a British or Northern Irish driving licence have been urged to exchange it for an Irish driving licence in preparation for the possibility of the UK leaving the EU in October without a deal.

“If there is a no-deal Brexit, then after this date, if you are living in [the Republic of] Ireland, your UK driving licence will no longer be valid to drive here,” the Road Safety Authority (RSA) said in a statement.

The RSA said a UK driving licence would no longer be valid here if there was a no-deal Brexit on October 31st.

To get an Irish driver’s licence, drivers must complete a licence application form and present it, the correct fee and their old UK licence at any National Driver Licensing Service (NDLS) centre.

RSA chief executive Moyagh Murdock said that Brexit “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. 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 October 31st if the UK leaves the EU without a deal,” she said.

Ms Murdock said to date this year, more than 30,000 UK licences had been exchanged for Irish licences by the NDLS compared with 6,000 for the whole of 2018.

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In the vast majority of cases, when exchanging a UK licence, the driver will have all valid licence categories included on the Irish licence.

There are some limited exceptions where national licences categories cannot be transferred to the Irish licence.

Ms Murdock said in such cases, drivers may need to speak to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in the UK to find out if they have any national categories on their British or Northern Ireland licence.

More information on driver licences and Brexit can be found onwww.ndls.ie.