In the event of a no-deal Brexit the driving licence of a UK licence holder living here in Ireland will not be recognised and the driver will not be able to continue to drive here in Ireland on that licence.
The advice to such drivers is that they should exchange their UK driving licence for an Irish driving licence before the 29 March 2019, which is set as the withdrawal date of the UK from the EU.
Under current arrangements a UK licence holder resident here in Ireland has an entitlement to make such an exchange. In such a case 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 DVLA to find out if you have any national categories on your UK licence.
To exchange your licence you must complete a licence application form and present this, the correct fee and your UK licence at an NDLS centre- you will get more information on the process
FAQ on Brexit and Driving Licences
Q. I live in the UK and hold a UK driving licence and would like to be able to drive a vehicle in Ireland from time to time on holidays after Brexit.
A. As a visitor there is no reason that you will not be able to drive in Ireland for holidays with your existing driving licence. This will apply regardless of whether there is a deal or no-deal Brexit. You should not be required to carry an International Driving Permit with you in order to drive here, just ensure to carry your UK driving licence with you.
Q. I live in Ireland, hold a UK driving licence and would like to be able to continue to drive here in Ireland after Brexit on my UK driving licence.
A. In a no-deal Brexit scenario, as a resident in Ireland, your UK driving licence will not be valid to drive here in Ireland. Prior to 29 March 2019 you could decide to exchange your UK driving licence for an Irish driving licence. The duration to process a UK exchange application will be at minimum 17 working days, if there is a significant increase in volume then this could extend this time period. More information on exchanging a driving licence can be found.It is also the case that, following a no-deal Brexit, as things stand your driving licence will not be valid for exchange following Brexit.
There is a possibility in such a scenario that Ireland and the UK will enter into a bi-lateral arrangement on driving licences where Ireland recognise UK driving licences. Inevitably, this will take a little time to complete as it involves a formal agreement and legislation here in Ireland. The position is different if there is an agreed Brexit.
The current Withdrawal Agreement provides for arrangements to recognise UK driving licences across the EU during the transition period which is until December 2020. It is expected that negotiations on the future relationship, which will take place during the transition period will seek to put a permanent arrangement in place. This means in an agreed Brexit, for residents in Ireland, that UK driving licences in Ireland will be recognised until December 2020 and subject to whatever agreement is then reached in the transition period.
Q. I’m a UK citizen, I live here in Ireland and I hold an Irish driving licence can I drive in the UK from time to time?
A. An Irish driving licence will continue to be recognised in the UK. An Irish driving licence is an EU licence and the UK has indicated it will continue to recognise EU driving licences.
Q. I live in Ireland and drive trucks across Europe including the UK as part of my job, I am the holder of an Irish driving licence with truck categories, can I drive on the Irish driving licence in UK after Brexit?
A. An Irish driving licence is an EU driving licence and the UK has indicated it will continue to recognise EU driving licences.
Q. I live in Northern Ireland and hold a UK licence but travel to work daily in the Republic, can I continue to do this on my UK licence?
A. Yes you can continue to make this journey on your UK licence. International law covering driving licences provide for such journeys.
Please note the following when a UK licence is being exchanged for an Irish Driving licence.
Medical Report Form
Where bus or truck licence categories are being exchanged from UK licence to Irish licence a completed medical report form is required to be submitted with the application if the categories are to be exchanged. Please note if a driver indicates ‘yes’ to any of the medical questions on the driving licence application form a completed medical report form is required to be submitted with the application.
‘Not for hire or reward’ on minibus (D1 category).
On ‘old style’ UK licences (paper licence, pink and green in colour) Code 1 (or Code 101 on plastic card licence), indicates “Not for hire or reward’ and this applies to minibus category (D1 category) only. Where these Code are against the D1 category on your licence, the category is not transferrable to an Irish licence. So if this applies to your licence then when you receive your exchanged Irish licence it will not contain that licence category.
However, if you are the holder of bus category (D category) or minibus category (DI category) without these Codes, these categories are transferrable to your Irish licence provided you submit a medical report with your application.
Category EC1 Licence with Code 107
The licence for light articulated truck (EC1 category) with Code 107 was granted in the UK and is not transferrable when you exchange your UK licence for an Irish one.
Category EC Licence with Code 102
The licence for articulated truck (EC category) with Code 102 was granted in the UK and is not transferrable when you exchange your UK licence for an Irish one.