Apply Online for learner permit or driving licence services, including renewal, updates, exchanges, and replacements.

Exchange My Foreign Driving Licence

If you have a driving licence issued by an EU/EEA member state you can drive in Ireland as long as your existing licence is valid. If you wish to exchange your driving licence for an equivalent Irish driving licence, you must do so within 10 years of your driving licence expiring.

Where a driving licence has been issued on foot of an exchange from a country that Ireland does not have an exchange agreement with then Ireland cannot exchange the driving licence. You can view a list of EU/EEA member states here.

EU Professional Drivers

Where the code 95 CPC is noted on an EU driving licence, this will not be transferred to the Irish driving licence and you must apply for a separate CPC card to the RSA. For further details on CPC. Learn more here.

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden

To apply online to exchange a foreign EU/EEA driving licence

You can now quickly and easily exchange your EU/EEA licence for an Irish licence online. No need to complete paper forms, make appointments or visit an NDLS centre in person. All you need is the following:

Please note: In some cases, we will need to contact the country that issued your licence and await confirmation of validity from them before we can issue you an Irish licence. Unfortunately, this may cause a delay of several weeks in issuing you an Irish licence.

You must book an appointment to attend an NDLS centre.

To apply in person at an NDLS centre you will need the following:

  • Current or most recent EU/EEA 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.
  • Certified translations are required for all letters of entitlement / driver statements which are not in English or Irish
  • Proof of your personal public services number (PPSN)
  • Photographic I.D.
  • Proof of your address dated within the last six months is required if your current address is not recorded on your permit and it differs from that provided to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) if and when you applied for a PSC
  • Proof that you are normally resident in Ireland if your place of birth and nationality are outside the EU/EEA.
  • Fully completed medical report form dated within one month, if required in your case.
  • Completed relevant driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), if required
  • Application fee of €55.00. You can only pay by credit or debit card, Google Pay or Apple Pay or Payzone voucher. If you are aged 70 years or over you are exempt from paying the fee.

Certified translations are required for all Letters of Entitlement or Driver Statements which are not in English or Irish. If your Letter of Entitlement/Driver Statement is not in English or Irish, you must send us a certified translation of it. Certified translations from a reputable Irish company must be provided.The letter of entitlement must be submitted together with the certified translation.

Please note: In some cases, we will need to contact the country that issued your licence and await confirmation of validity from them before we can issue you an Irish licence. Unfortunately, this may cause a delay of several weeks in issuing you an Irish licence.

You can apply in person at any of the 34 National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centres nationwide.

  1. Where a driver is disqualified from driving in an EU country;

    the driver cannot apply for a driving licence/learner permit in Ireland while serving the disqualification.

  2. Where an EU licence holder is disqualified from driving in Ireland or another EU country with a condition attached e.g. must pass a driving test or complete driver training;

    On expiry of the period of disqualification, if resident in Ireland can apply for a learner permit to complete the driving test or the driver training in Ireland. The learner permit will have a restriction 109 placed on it. This means that the driver must complete the driving test or driver training within two months.

    On successful completion of the test or training then the driver can apply for exchange of the foreign licence or return of the Irish driving licence, whichever is applicable. The driver must have held the licence in the previous 10 years.

    Note: The driving test in Ireland does not cover the extended driving test requirement.

  3. Where an EU licence holder is disqualified from driving in an EU country with a condition that must pass psychological tests;

    On expiry of the period of disqualification then the driver, if resident in Ireland can apply for an exchange of the EU licence and must provide a Medical report. The driver must have held the EU licence in the previous 10 years.

As a visitor to Ireland you can drive on a driving licence from any state outside the EU/EEA for up to one year provided the driving licence is current and valid. However, on taking up 'normal residence' in Ireland you must either exchange your driving licence or apply for a driving licence in Ireland. You are considered to be normally resident in Ireland if, because of personal and occupational ties, you usually live here for at least 185 days in each calendar year. Ireland has agreements with certain countries/states that designates them as recognised states for the purposes of driving licence exchange. We are engaging with a number of countries/states to increase this list. You can view a list of recognised states here.

Where you are a licence holder under 21 years in respect of C or CE categories, and under 24 years in respect of D or DE categories you must hold a CPC qualification to obtain these categories on your driving licence exchange. To do this you must first exchange your foreign driving licence and obtain other category entitlements. Then complete CPC and add the C and CE, or D and DE categories to your Irish driving licence where applicable, provided it is within one year of driving licence exchange.

You can exchange a licence from a recognised state online or in person at an NDLS centre.

For details on how to apply online click here.

For details on how to apply in person at an NDLS centre click here.

If you exchanged an Irish driving licence in a recognised state for a driving licence issued by that state, you must submit that licence to the NDLS when applying for an Irish driving licence.

A Recognised State driving licence may be exchanged up to a maximum of one year after it expires with an accompanying letter of entitlement. After this period, applicants will need to apply for a learner permit.

Certified translations are required for all Letters of Entitlement or Driver Statements which are not in English or Irish. If your Letter of Entitlement/Driver Statement is not in English or Irish, you must send us a certified translation of it. Certified translations from a reputable Irish company must be provided.The letter of entitlement must be submitted together with the certified translation.

Please note: In some cases, we will need to contact the country that issued your licence and this may cause a delay in issuing you an Irish licence.

To make an online application you need the following

Certified translations are required for all Letters of Entitlement or Driver Statements which are not in English or Irish. If your Letter of Entitlement/Driver Statement is not in English or Irish, you must send us a certified translation of it. Certified translations from a reputable Irish company must be provided. The letter of entitlement must be submitted together with the certified translation.

Please Note: In some cases, we will need to contact the country that issued your licence and this may cause a delay in issuing you an Irish licence.

You must book an appointment to attend an NDLS centre.

To apply in person at an NDLS centre you will need the following:

Certified translations are required for all Letters of Entitlement or Driver Statements which are not in English or Irish. If your Letter of Entitlement/Driver Statement is not in English or Irish, you must send us a certified translation of it. Certified translations from a reputable Irish company must be provided. The letter of entitlement must be submitted together with the certified translation.

Please Note: In some cases, we will need to contact the country that issued your licence and this may cause a delay in issuing you an Irish licence.

You can apply in person at any of the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centres nationwide.

An international driving permit (IDP) should be seen as a translation of your licence and not a replacement. You are still required to produce your own licence for inspection when hiring a vehicle in Ireland.

All countries in the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) – EU plus Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland – benefit from a 'mutual recognition' agreement in respect of driving licences.

You must hold a current and valid licence from the country you are resident in. EU/EEA licence holders who are resident in Ireland may apply for an IDP here.

There are two types of IDP:

  • 1949 UN Convention IDP. More common type; recognised in most countries
  • 1926 UN Convention IDP. Needed for driving in Brazil, Iraq, Nigeria and Somalia

The AA deals with applications for International Driving Permits in Ireland

If you are from an EU/EEA country and possess a full valid driving licence from your home country, you will need to supply a copy of a utility bill (electricity, telephone or gas) showing your address in Ireland.

You will also be required to sign a declaration of residency on the application form.

Apply to:

AA Travel Services
P.O. Box 11331
Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 617-9988

Who is ineligible?

You cannot be issued with an IDP in Ireland if you are from outside the EU or EEA.

Where can I use my IDP?

You can use your permit 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 territory.

You should contact your embassy or consulate in advance of travel to confirm whether or not an IDP is recognised by Ireland.

Note: even when you hold an IDP, you should always carry your own driving licence when travelling in Ireland, as you may be required to produce this licence for inspection, for example, when hiring a car.

If you hold a valid and current national driving licence from a non-EU country or non-recognised state, you may drive in Ireland for the duration of your temporary visit (up to 12 months), (for example, if you hold a valid current licence from the United States), and you hold an international driving permit from your own country, you may drive in Ireland for the duration of your temporary visit (up to 12 months).

On taking up residence you should apply for an Irish driving licence but if you cannot exchange your foreign licence, you will need to go through the learning to drive process. You must first pass a driver theory test, apply for a learner permit, complete a course of Essential Driver Training (EDT) and pass your driving test in Ireland.

On 21 January 2019 the RSA introduced a reduced EDT programme for foreign licence holders that cannot exchange their licence in Ireland. These drivers can apply to avail of reduced EDT, where they are now required to undertake a minimum of six rather than twelve driving lessons. They can also apply to be exempted from the usual six month waiting period before first time learner permit holders can sit a driving test.

If you pass your driving test, you can then apply for a full Irish driving licence. Please see requirements on how to apply for a first time Learner Permit.

Please note: Once you obtain an Irish learner permit, this will take precedence over your full foreign driving licence and all rules and regulations pertaining to the holder of a learner permit applies / e.g., display of “L” plates, must be accompanied etc.,

For more information on reduced EDT program please click here and for an application form to apply for reduced EDT and exemption of 6 months waiting period please click here.

You can apply for a driving test as follows:

In Ireland you must hold a Learner Permit for six months before applying for your test however a holder of a current full driving licence in the same category from another country (jurisdiction) for more than six months may apply for exemption from this requirement.