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Brexit Update - For information and FAQ’s on Brexit and driving licences click here

How to exchange a UK or Northern Ireland licence

To apply to exchange a United Kingdom or Northern Ireland licence

Anyone living in Ireland who holds a UK (including Northern Ireland) driving licence must exchange it for an Irish driving licence, before the 31 October 2019, in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. If there is a no-deal Brexit, then after this date, if you are living in Ireland, your UK driving licence will no longer be valid to drive here.

In the absence of alternative arrangements with the UK, you may have to apply for a learner permit if you wish to continue to drive in Ireland. It may also have implications for your insurance cover after this date.

You are being urged to act now to ensure you have your UK licence exchanged for Irish driving licence and you do not face lengthy delays at the NDLS Centre. As licence exchange application volumes are likely to increase during October we cannot make any commitment that any person applying in the second half of October will receive their Irish licence before Brexit day.

To exchange your UK licence you must complete a licence application form and present this, the correct fee and your UK licence at any NDLS centre. You can make an appointment online at www.ndls.ie to attend any of our 36 NDLS centres. We also offer a walk-in service, but be advised there can be significant wait times for those without appointments.

For further information on how to exchange a UK or Northern Ireland driving licence please click here

Due to the current increased demand in NDLS centres for driving licence exchange applications ahead of Brexit, we are offering some extra opening hours in addition to the normal hours, these additional hours, at specific centres and dates are available here.

To complete an application prior to 1 November you will need to submit:

  • Fully completed application form for a Driving licence D401
  • You must surrender your current or most recent UK/NI driving licence (if your licence has expired by less than ten years or does not have a category start date you will need to provide an original letter of entitlement / driver statement from the relevant licensing authority)
  • If you do not have your most recent driving licence in your possession, you will need to present an original letter of entitlement / driver statement from the appropriate licensing authority and must complete the lost or stolen licence declaration on the application form and have it witnessed by a member of An Garda Síochána.
  • Not surrendering your licence with the application will result in your application taking at least 30 days to confirm the entitlement and process the application
  • Photographic I.D.
  • Proof of your personal public services number (PPSN)
  • Evidence of address dated within the last six months is required.
  • Evidence of residency entitlement, (if you hold a public services card and your place of birth or nationality are within the European Union/European Economic Area, it is adequate to present the PSC)
  • Fully completed NDLS medical report form, dated within one month, if required in your case
  • Evidence of certificate of professional competence (CPC), if required
  • If exchanging a Northern Ireland licence it must be accompanied by the counterpart
  • Application fee of €55

We would urge all UK licence holders to apply early for exchange as leaving it to the last days prior to Brexit could result in long delays in NDLS centres, unsustainable demand and longer processing times for those applications successfully lodged.

You can make an online appointment for any of the 36 NDLS centres. In the case where there are no appointments available to book, a walk service is also available in all NDLS centres. Bookings to attend the NDLS centres can be made up to 8 weeks in advance.

Click here to book an appointment

What will happen after Brexit

In the event of a no deal Brexit your UK/NI licence will no longer be recognised to drive within Ireland.

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is planning to put in place appropriate arrangements that will allow for the exchange of a UK driving licence for an Irish driving licence following Brexit.

However the timeline for this bilateral agreement cannot be confirmed and in the interim period your driving licence will not be valid to drive.

Applications for exchange post Brexit date 1 November 2019

Once a licence exchange agreement is in place between Ireland and the United kingdom applications for exchange of UK and NI licences will again be accepted at NDLS centres.

To apply an applicant will have to apply in person with;

  • Fully completed application form for a Driving licence D401
  • You must surrender your current or most recent UK/NI driving licence (if your licence has expired by less than ten years or does not have a category start date you will need to provide an original letter of entitlement / driver statement from the relevant licensing authority)
  • If you do not have your most recent driving licence in your possession, you will need to present an original letter of entitlement / driver statement from the appropriate licensing authority and must complete the lost or stolen licence declaration on the application form and have it witnessed by a member of An Garda Síochána.
  • Not surrendering your licence with the application will result in your application taking at least 30 days to confirm the entitlement and process the application
  • Photographic I.D.
  • Proof of your personal public services number (PPSN)
  • Evidence of address dated within the last six months is required.
  • Evidence of residency entitlement, (if you hold a public services card and your place of birth or nationality are within the European Union/European Economic Area, it is adequate to present the PSC)
  • Fully completed NDLS medical report form, dated within one month, if required in your case
  • Evidence of certificate of professional competence (CPC), if required
  • If exchanging a Northern Ireland licence it must be accompanied by the counterpart
  • Application fee of €55
  • Applications to exchange a United Kingdom or Northern Ireland licence after the 1 November will need to be accompanied by an NDLS Eyesight report.

Post 1 November applications cannot be processed within a guaranteed timeframe and may take a minimum of 30 days.

National Codes that will not be exchanged for Irish entitlement

Not for hire or reward’ on minibus (D1 category).
On ‘old style’ UK/NI 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 Codes 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 Irish licence it will not contain that licence category. However, if you are the holder of a 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/NI and is not transferrable when you exchange your UK/NI licence for an Irish one, as there is not an equivalent category in Ireland.

Category EC Licence with Code 102
The licence for articulated truck (EC category) with Code 102 was granted in the UK/NI and is not transferrable when you exchange your UK/NI licence for an Irish one, as there is not an equivalent category in Ireland.