British licence holders living in Ireland would need to get Irish licences before 29 March
Ireland will no longer recognise the UK driving licences of people living in Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The Road Safety Authority of Ireland, a state agency, said this week a mutual recognition agreement would end and that holders of British licences would need to swap them for Irish licences before the UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March.
“In the event of a no-deal Brexit the driving licence of a UK licence holder living here in Ireland will not be recognised and the driver will not be able to continue to drive here in Ireland on that licence,” the National Driver Licence Service, which issues permits, said in a statement.
Under current rules, a UK licence holder can swap a licence and preserve the different categories and permissions conferred by their existing permit. It takes about 17 days to process an application. There is a €55 (£48) fee.
Under the Brexit deal that Westminster rejected last month, Ireland and other EU countries would continue to recognise UK licences during a transition period.
Last month Irish motorists learned that to drive in Northern Ireland and Britain after a no-deal Brexit they will need “green cards” to prove they are insured.
The Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland has reportedly sent up to 400,000 green cards to insurance companies. Under current rules, the EU’s motor insurance directive allows free movement around the bloc without the need for such documentation.
The Irish government stepped up no-deal preparations on Friday by publishing a Brexit omnibus bill incorporating 16 pieces of legislation designed to help protect Ireland from the shock of the UK crashing out of the EU.
Simon Coveney, the deputy prime minister, said he hoped the legislation would prove “redundant” and never have to be used. “Simply put, as a result of a lot of hard work, my only desire is to see this legislation sit on the shelf.”