From 1 January 2021 if you are resident in Ireland and hold a UK/NI driving licence it is no longer valid to drive on here in Ireland. It is not legal for driving purposes and must therefore be exchanged.
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.
For FAQ’s on Brexit and driving licence exchange please click here.
A UK/NI driving licence is regarded as a licence from a ‘recognised state’ for exchange purposes and the following rules apply;
- A UK/NI driving licence will not be accepted for exchange if it has expired for more than one year. If it is expired over a year applicants will need to apply for a theory test and learner permit.
- A UK/NI exchange application must be accompanied by an eyesight report unless it is accompanied by a medical report
- If you hold a current N.I licence and do not have it in your possession, you will need to submit an original letter of entitlement / driver statement from the appropriate licensing authority.
If you hold a UK licence you will be contacted by the NDLS to provide a check code so your licence details can be verified. Learn more about sharing your driving licence details here.
If you do not submit your original UK/NI licence with your exchange application the NDLS will be unable to validate your application without significant delays.
To apply online to exchange a UK or Northern Ireland driving licence
As there is currently a delay with verification of UK driving licences by their licensing authority, this will result in a delay processing the exchange of these licences in Ireland. We regret any inconvenience this may cause.
You can now quickly and easily exchange your UK/NI 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:
- A Public Services Card and verified MyGovID.
- Current or most recent UK/NI driving licence (to be submitted by post to the address provided to you during the online application process) If your licence is expired by less than one year or does not have a category start date you will need to submit an original letter of entitlement / driver statement from the relevant licensing authority or
- You must submit your most recent UK/N.I licence, If you do not have it in your possession, you will need to submit an original letter of entitlement / driver statement from the appropriate licensing authority after you make your online application. This must be submitted by post to the address provided to you during the online application process.
- 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 eyesight report form dated within one month is required unless your application is accompanied by a medical report form dated within one month, if required in your case.
- Completed relevant (CPC) training, if driving professionally.
- If exchanging a NI licence it must be accompanied by the counterpart
- Your application fee of €55.00. You can pay by credit or debit card, Google Pay or Apple Pay. If you are 70 years and over you are exempt from paying the fee.
Please note: not surrendering your UK/NI licence or Letter of Entitlement promptly once you have completed the online application, will result in your application being rejected.