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UK driving licences used by those living in Ireland will no longer be legally recognised; Such people can exchange for an Irish licence

DUBLIN: The Brexit transition period ended last night and the UK left the single market and the Customs Union. With the end of this period many changes will take effect. One change that involves this is that people living in Ireland who hold a UK driving licence can no longer legally use it.

However, as a solution, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan confirmed that he had signed an agreement with the UK to allow people with UK driving licences but living in Ireland to continue to be able to swap for an Irish licence from today.

“This agreement will be of particular benefit to anyone planning to live in Ireland as it will allow them to exchange their UK licence for an Irish driving licence,” the Department of Transport said in a statement,” Minister said.

“It will also allow anyone who has not exchanged their UK licence in time, before the deadline of 11pm on the 31 December, to exchange it under this new agreement,” he added.

As of October 2020, 10,000-17,000 people were expected to apply at the last minute to change their British driving license to Irish. The National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) has confirmed that 53,000 UK licenses have been exchanged for Irish licenses since 2018.

The mechanism that allows for the recognition and exchange of UK licenses for an Irish license ended last night.

However, anyone living in Ireland who has not yet exchanged their UK licence to Irish one will no longer have a valid licence to drive here from today. The Department of Transport had made it clear that the UK license is only valid for exchange purposes and should be transferred immediately.

People with a UK licence, either currently living in Ireland or intending to move, can exchange their licence for an Irish one by visiting ndls.ie.

The Department also noted that the amendment applies only to UK licence holders living in the Republic of Ireland, not to people living in Northern Ireland or to people visiting or driving in the country.

However, the Department also stated that those living in the UK with an Irish driving licence do not need to take any action as the UK accepts any EU member state driving licence as valid.

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