To apply to exchange a United Kingdom or Northern Ireland licence
The EU has agreed a Brexit extension that will see the UK leave the EU on 31 January 2020 (or an earlier date if mutually agreed). If the UK leave without a deal a UK/NI driving licence held by an Irish resident will not be valid to drive here. Because of this uncertainty the advice of the RSA is that holders of such licences resident here should take immediate steps to exchange their UK/NI licence for an Irish one.
If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, then under the arrangements currently being considered, UK/NI driving licences will continue to be valid in the same way as they are today up to 31 December 2020- the end of the transition period.
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 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
To complete an application to exchange a UK or Northern Ireland licence 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.
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.
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.