British Licence Holders – What You Need To Know Pre-Brexit

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Recent reports have highlighted that British licence holders resident in Ireland who have failed to previously exchange their licence for an Irish licence must do so in advance of October 31st in order to continue driving legally in the event of a No-Deal Brexit. If you are affected by this, we have put together some handy information to help guide you through what you need to do next.

On October 31st in the event of a no-deal crash-out Brexit:

  • In theory British licences won’t be valid if you are an Irish resident. You could wake up on November 1st legally not licenced to drive.
  • Brexit or no Brexit, you are supposed to swap your British licence for an Irish one if you are resident in Ireland for more than 100 days. That law has never been enforced and didn’t matter while both licences were European.
  • If you have applied to change your licence from British to Irish, provided that you have made the application before 31st October it will be processed with no problem. At the moment that takes between 10 & 17 days but the current situation may lead to increased demand. More information on exchanging a driving licence can be found here.
  • After October 31st, if you still hold a British licence as an Irish resident and you have done nothing about it, then the way in which you exchange that for an Irish licence will depend on new post-Brexit regulations. They are not yet clear.
  • Your motor insurance remains valid all the way through.
  • If you have an Irish licence and are travelling in Britain or Northern Ireland there is no issue. Your licence remains fully valid all the way through (the UK already legally recognises EU licences).
  • If you have an Irish motor insurance policy and you are driving in Britain or Northern Ireland, you will not require a ‘Green Card’ declaration of your insurance cover, as had previously been speculated.
  • If you have a British licence and are visiting Ireland but not resident here there is no change to the current arrangement. You can drive in Ireland. However it may become a requirement for you to obtain an International Driving Permit as your British licence will no longer be an EU licence.

Image used under Creative Commons via Wikimedia.