The decision of the UK to leave the EU means change. Addressing the challenges of the UK leaving the EU, particularly without any deal, requires response at EU level, by Government, by citizens and responses by businesses and affected sectors.
As part of our preparedness and contingency plans, the Irish Government identified residents in Ireland with UK drivers licences as a key sector impacted by Brexit.
The following is the latest Government advice that we can give you to help minimise any disruption to you.
If you hold a UK driving licence and are resident in Ireland, you should apply to exchange your UK licence for an Irish licence before 12 April. Immediately post-Brexit, UK licences will not be valid for those who are resident in Ireland.
While the NDLS online booking service is now full for appointments pre 12 April, walk in appointments are still available and many centres have extended their opening hours for the next number of weeks.
You should contact the National Driver Licence Service for further details. The NDLS has also published some useful FAQs on its website.
In the case of non-EU or ‘third’ countries, legislation exists under our Road Traffic Acts to allow for the recognition of foreign driving licences for exchange purposes. If there is a no deal Brexit, the UK will become a third country, and arrangements can then be made for the exchange of UK driving licences. Ireland is pursuing this option, however it may take a little time to complete as it involves the signing of a formal agreement with the UK and the introduction of secondary legislation here in Ireland.
In a no deal scenario and without such an agreement, this would mean that if you are resident in Ireland and have not exchanged your UK driving licence before the UK leaves the EU, you will need to apply for an Irish licence. Currently this involves completing a theory test, a course of driver training and passing a driving test.
UK licence holders who are visiting Ireland for up to 12 months will still have their licences recognised post-Brexit.
More information on gov.ie/Brexit
Further information is available from www.gov.ie/brexit and is regularly updated with the latest developments so do check back regularly. This Government website provides practical advice to help businesses and citizens around the country to prepare for Brexit.