Written answers

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Driver Licences

Photo of Seán SherlockSeán Sherlock (Cork East, Labour)
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19. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a person (details supplied) can be accommodated for a driving licence. [46082/22]

Photo of Hildegarde NaughtonHildegarde Naughton (Galway West, Fine Gael)
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Irish driver licensing law operates within a framework of EU legislation, which sets out the driver licensing requirements with which all Member States must comply. Driving licence formats, vehicle categories and driving test standards are all set at EU level.

Bilateral agreements on licence exchange may be made with non-EU jurisdictions. These agreements can be made where the relevant authorities in each jurisdiction are satisfied that the two licensing regimes are compatible. This task is undertaken by the Road Safety Authority (RSA).

Ireland currently has driving licence exchange agreements with seven Canadian provinces: Ontario, Manitoba, Newfoundland & Labrador, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and New Brunswick.

An Irish driving licence issued in exchange for a Canadian licence permits the holder to drive an automatic transmission vehicle only, unless the applicant can provide proof of having passed a test in a manual transmission vehicle. This condition is stated in each agreement.

A person who cannot provide proof of having passed a driving test in a manual vehicle may add a manual qualification to their exchanged licence by sitting a manual driving test. The driver can make an appointment to attend an National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) office with the exchanged licence and apply for a learner permit. They do not, in this instance, need to do a theory test or driving lessons, or wait six months to do the driving test.

An Irish driving licence maybe renewed up to ten years after the date of expiry. If the licence is not renewed in that period, the holder is no longer qualified to hold an Irish licence and must complete the driving licence process and pass a driving test.

All enquires relating to driver licensing are handled by the NDLS, the provision of which is delegated to the RSA under the relevant legislation. My department does not have access to individual applications.


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