International Driving Permits
What is an International Driving Permit?
It is a translation of your driving licence which you may require when driving in countries outside the EU/EEA. It is valid for one year from the date of issue. You should always carry your full driving licence when travelling abroad as you may have to present it when hiring a vehicle. The AA process IDP applications in Ireland.
Who can apply for an IDP?
It is available to all Irish residents with a valid full Irish driving licence and to all EU/EEA licence holders who are resident in Ireland. It cannot be issued to learner permit holders or non-EU/EEA licence holders. There are two types of permits:
- 1949 UN Convention IDP. Most common type; recognised in most countries
- 1926 UN Convention IDP. Needed for driving in Brazil, Iraq, Nigeria and Somalia
Where can I use an IDP?
You can use it in any of the countries that have signed the 1926 or 1949 UN Convention on road traffic. In addition, many other countries that are not signatories to the 1949 convention recognise the IDP and accept it in their territories. A list of recognised countries can be seen on IDP application form. You should contact the embassy or consulate in advance of travelling to confirm if it is recognised by them.
How can I apply for an IDP?
You can download an IDP application form on AA Travel Services website and post with the following documents to AA Travel Services, PO Box 11331, Dublin 2.
- Copy of your current valid Irish drivers licence (front and back).
- Passport size photograph - signed on back
- Copy of a household bill dated in the last three months (if applying with a non-Irish driving licence)
- Fee of €15.00 payable by cheque/postal order to The AA, or by credit or debit card, Google Pay or Apple Pay
If two or more permits are required you will need to send an additional passport photograph and application form for each permit along with the appropriate fee.
Irish licence holders taking up residence abroad
A learner permit is not valid to drive or exchange in Northern Ireland or any other country outside Ireland.
- Where an Irish licence holder takes up residence in another EU country or European Economic Area (EEA) member state they can drive on their existing Irish driving licence as long as it is current and valid. They can also exchange it at any time in that country and within 10 years of its expiry.
- Where an Irish licence holder takes up residence in the United Kingdom they can drive on their current Irish driving licence until 31 December 2020. After this date new rules will apply.
- Where an Irish licence holder takes up residence in any of the following countries; Australia, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, *New Zealand, *Taiwan or the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland & Labrador, Ontario and Saskatchewan". they may exchange their current full driving licence in that country and within one year of expiry.
* Note; Motorcycles and cars are the only categories recognised for exchange with New Zealand and Taiwan.
Where an Irish licence holder exchanges their licence for a New Zealand licence and has held their driving licence for less than 2 years, they will have to do the stage 2 test in New Zealand.
The various states in Australia generally recognise Irish driving licences in respect of a car or motorcycle entitlement for exchange. Truck and bus licences are not exchangeable.
Each Canadian province exchange agreement with Ireland is individual. They may differ in categories and administrative procedures. These agreements have been carefully put together to reach a licence exchange agreement and signed off by the Departments of Transport in the respective jurisdictions.
Please note that contracts are still ongoing with other Canadian provinces to finalise similar arrangements.
A licence exchange agreement between Ireland and Ontario allows Irish licence holders to exchange their car driving licence for a category G or G1 as appropriate in Ontario. Ontario licence holders can exchange a G or G1 driving licence for the category B (car) Irish driving licence restricted to automatic transmission.
A licence exchange agreement between Ireland and Manitoba allows Irish licence holders to exchange their motorcycle categories A, A1 or A2 for Class 6 F licence. Manitoba licence holders can exchange a Class 6, stage I and F driving licence for the category A1 Irish driving licence (small motorcycle).
A licence exchange agreement between Ireland and Alberta allows Irish licence holders to exchange their motorcycle categories AM, A1 for Class 6 and B,W categories for Class 5 licence.
British Columbia, Canada
A licence exchange agreement between Ireland and British Columbia allows Irish licence holders to exchange their motorcycle categories AM, A1 for Class 6 or 8 and their B, W for Class 5 or 7 licence as appropriate. One is their novice and the other is the licence they get when finished novice, so we can give them a full licence and the start date indicates whether they fall into novice or not.
|Category to be given on Irish Licence||Class on British Columbia Licence|
|B*, W||Class 5|
|AM, A1||Class 6|
|B*, W||Class 7|
|AM, A1||Class 8|
A licence exchange agreement between Ireland and Saskatchewan allows Irish licence holders to exchange their motorcycle categories AM, A1 for Class M Non Novice and categories B,W for Class 5 driving licence.
Newfoundland and Labrador Province of Canada
Holders of Irish driving licences can exchange their licences in Newfoundland and Labrador for the following categories:
|Category on Irish Licence||Category to be given licence Newfoundland and Labrador|
|B, W||Class 5|
|B, W||Class 5 Level II|
|A1, AM||Class 6|
|A1, AM||Class 6 level II|
Are you living abroad to study or working abroad to carry out a task of a definite duration?
Conditions for Applying to Renew or Replace your Driving Licence from Abroad
Where a person is living abroad and working on a task of a definite duration or attending a college or university generally, they can be thought of as resident in Ireland provided they have personal ties here. If you consider yourself normally resident in the Republic of Ireland but are currently working or studying abroad you can apply online to renew or replace your driving licence if you have a to renew or replace your driving licence if you have a Public Service Card (PSC) and a verified MyGovID.
If however you do not have a PSC and a verified MyGovID and are unable to attend an NDLS centre in person, you will be required to provide the following documentary evidence to the address below.
- A fully completed and signed application form D401 which can be downloaded here. Please ensure your signature is kept within signature box
- Original good quality passport sized photograph on a white background. Your signature signed onto A4 white page – this should match signature on your application form as it will be scanned onto your licence.
- A colour photocopy of photograph and signature page(s) of your current passport.
Fees: €55 for a full 10-year licence or €35 for a replacement licence, payable only by credit transfer. You will need to provide a valid email address on your application form to allow us to contact you regarding payment.
- Working abroad on a fixed term contract – We require the original letter from employer detailing terms of your employment of a definite duration - start date and expected end date is required on headed paper along with the signature and contact details of employer.
- Studying abroad: original correspondence from College/University confirming the title and duration of the course, signed and contact details of course head.
- Evidence of being ‘normally resident’ in Ireland - correspondence with your Irish address dated within 6 months - utility bill, statement from a financial institution, correspondence from a State Department/Agency.
- Proof of PPSN – copy of PPS card or other document showing PPS number.
- Previous Driving Licence or if unable to enclose same, a police report or police stamp on application form, declaring that your licence has been lost or stolen (police stamp from a foreign country will be accepted).
- A medical report form D501 which can be downloaded here - dated within one month must be completed and stamped by a medical practitioner whose name is on the General Register of Medical Practitioners in Ireland will be required if:
- you wish to renew higher categories, i.e., truck or bus on the licence,
- you tick “yes” to any Health and Fitness questions on the application form
Completed applications should be posted to: Road Safety Authority, Driver Licensing Section, Primrose Hill, Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland
You will not be able to renew or replace your licence from abroad if:
- You are living and working in any EU country or recognised state. You will need to contact the licensing authority in that country to exchange your current Irish driving licence. This licence will be valid for exchange to an Irish licence on your return to Ireland.
- You are travelling or holidaying abroad. You can apply online if you have a Public Service Card and a verified MyGovID or in person at an NDLS centre on your return
- You have lost your licence while travelling or holidaying abroad. You can apply online if you have a Public Service Card (PSC) and verified MyGovID or in person at an NDLS centre on your return
Learner permits are valid in the country of issue only and cannot be renewed while working or studying abroad.
An Irish driving licence is valid for renewal up to 10 years after expiry and can be renewed within three months in advance of its expiry.