Driving in Ireland can be essential for people who move or return to remote rural areas. The process of applying for a driver’s licence, importing a car and meeting national safety standards can take time and cost money.
The information below is intended to provide basic information and to help answer your questions about driving in Ireland.
For further details or advice, please contact us at Safe Home Ireland and we will explain the process and aim to answer your questions.
Brexit and exchanging a UK /N.I Driver’s Licence for an Irish one – for the latest information, please see HERE
There is no requirement for anyone coming from a European Union country to transfer their licence to an Irish one, all European Union driving licences are International Licences. If you arrive with an ‘individual European Union country’ driving licence (issued before the ‘single EU licence’) you can drive in Ireland without any restriction because when the licence comes up for renewal you will be issued with a European Union driving licence which is an International Licence. Please see HERE for additional information.
If you hold a national driving licence or international driving permit from a country outside of the EU that is not one of the Recognised States, you can only drive in Ireland for the duration of a temporary visit (a visit not exceeding 12 months). If you intend to stay in Ireland for more than 12 months, you will have to apply for an Irish driving licence. You can apply for the Irish Learner Drivers Licence at any stage within the first 12 months of return, this will include passing a theory test, sitting lessons and passing a driving test.
For more information on all that is involved in that process , please see HERE
-Once you obtain an Irish Learner Permit, this will take precedent over your full foreign driving licence. and all rules & regulations pertaining to the holder of a learner permit applies / e.g., display of “L”plates, must be accompanied by a qualified driver, other requirements are listed HERE. Under-going the learner driver process is also likely to have implications for your car insurance
– People in this category may qualify for reduced Essential Driving Training lessons (6, instead of 12), please contact the NDLS for more information on that.
If you intend to apply for a first driver’s licence you will be required to complete a theory test in order to get a provisional licence and an oral and practical test for your full driver’s licence. A provisional licence issued in any country other than Ireland will NOT be valid to drive on in Ireland.
Note! Insurance quotes are likely to be higher if driving on a non-Irish licence.
Information on the full Irish driving test process can be found HERE
Queries regarding the application process can be address via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT). VRT is the tax which must be paid when a vehicle is first registered in Ireland. The amount of VRT is calculated based on a percentage of the recommended retail price of the vehicle, known as the Open Market Selling Price.
The National Car Testing Service (NCTS) has been appointed by the Revenue Commissioners to carry out a range of vehicle registration functions on their behalf. From 1 September 2010, to register a vehicle, you must first book an appointment at an NCTS centre to have the vehicle examined and pay the VRT due (and other tax liabilities as appropriate). You can make an appointment through one of the following methods:
There are some exemptions from paying VRT for foreign vehicles being imported into Ireland.
For example, non-residents (those who reside in Ireland for less than 185 days per year) have an exemption from paying VRT for up to 12 months.
Foreign students are entitled to bring a foreign registered vehicle into the country for the duration of their course and people with diplomatic status do not have to pay.
Exemptions also apply for people with disabilities and when a vehicle is inherited. For further details about exemptions, see www.revenue.ie or contact the relevant Revenue office on return to Ireland.
People who have owned their vehicle abroad for at least six months and are moving to Ireland permanently may also be exempt from paying VRT. This is referred to as “transfer of residence”. The vehicle still has to be registered. In such a case, it may not be sold in Ireland for at least 12 months after it has been registered.
For details of this exemption and the Transfer of Residence Application form (VRT TOR) contact the local Revenue office or the nearest NCT Centre.
After completing the registration processes, the owner is issued with the registration number for the vehicle and given a form (RF100) which is needed when applying for motor tax.