The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has said that anyone living in Ireland who holds a UK (including Northern Ireland) driving licence must exchange it for an Irish driving licence, before the 31 October 2019, in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
If there is a no-deal Brexit, then after this date, if you are living in Ireland, your UK driving licence will no longer be valid to drive here.
There is an opportunity now to exchange your licence in good time and be certain you have a valid driving licence when the UK leaves the EU.
If you wait till close to the UK exit date of 31 October, you will face possible lengthy delays in exchanging a UK licence, and the National Driver Licensing Service (NDLS)* cannot guarantee when you will have a valid licence to drive here in Ireland.
For this reason those living in Ireland who hold a UK driving licence are strongly urged to act now and exchange their licence.
To exchange your licence you must complete a licence application form and present this, 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 our 36 NDLS centres. 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.
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.
“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.
You may need to speak to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the UK to find out if you have any national categories on your 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.