Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Driver Licensing Exchange Agreements
306. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of UK driver licence holders in the wake of Brexit; if UK licences will remain valid; if there will be an amnesty to exchange such licences for an Irish version; and if plans will also include provisions for asylum seekers who hold a UK driver licence. [12605/19]
Motorists resident in Ireland with a UK driving licence are being advised to exchange that licence for an Irish driving licence before the 29 March 2019. The Department has always advised people to exchange their EU driving licence for an Irish driving licence once they become a resident of Ireland.
The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement provides for arrangements to recognise UK driving licences across the EU during the transition period i.e. until December 2020. Legislation in the Road Traffic Acts allows for the recognition of foreign driving licences for exchange purposes. If there is a no deal Brexit, the UK becomes a 3rd country and the potential then exists for arrangements to be made under this legislation. Ireland will be pursuing this option. This may take a little time to complete as it involves a formal agreement and legislation here in Ireland.
The question of issuing driving licences to asylum seekers is still under consideration in consultation with my colleague the Minister for Justice and Equality.
Visitors to Ireland can continue to drive here on a foreign licence for up to a year, as provided for under the 1949 Geneva Convention.