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A driving licence exchange agreement with Ireland and India will soon begin

Dublin: The Irish Minister of State for Transport, Jack Chambers, said that the agreement to reach a driver’s licence exchange agreement with India will begin as soon as possible. The transport minister stated that the RSA will be directed to begin equivalence assessments for driving licence exchanges in India.

One of the most pressing issues confronting Ireland and the EU is a shortage of skilled drivers. India is a great source of professional drivers (HGV or bus drivers). It is the priority of the government to identify and recognise such countries, the transport minister said.

Driving licence exchange from India is currently not permitted in Ireland. At the same time, a first-time visitor to Ireland is allowed to use an international driving licence for one year. Many applications from other countries have been received for review under the current rules. At the same time, Ireland is preparing to take the initiative and amend the rules in this regard because the authorities in India have not submitted such a proposal.

Australia, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, South Africa, the Republic of Korea, Switzerland, New Zealand, Taiwan, seven Canadian provinces (Ontario, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and New Brunswick), Northern Ireland, and the United Kingdom, Ireland is developing and implementing licence exchange and use permits.

A driver’s licence exchange agreement with another country is a lengthy process that must be completed by the statutory licencing authorities in each country.

Such agreements can only be entered into to ensure the safety of road users if the relevant authorities in each jurisdiction have studied and compared the two licencing regimes and are satisfied that they are comparable to each other. If the standards and procedures cannot be compared, the process will not continue. On the Irish side, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) is in charge of this.

RSA has recently begun discussing exchange agreements with people from Ukraine, Moldova, North Macedonia, and Argentina. With the EU taking the lead in recognising Ukrainian licences, they have been given permission to exchange driving licences in Ireland. Clarification is being sought from the Argentinian authorities, who have applied, on a number of issues.

If the Indian government intervenes, the driver’s licence exchange can be completed very quickly. In addition to addressing Europe’s driver shortage, such an arrangement provides a means for Indians visiting Europe on spouse or study visas to find work.

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