Written answers

Wednesday, 17 May 2023

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Driver Licences

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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28. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has held or intends holding discussions with the Indian authorities regarding a mutual recognition of driving licences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23634/23]

Photo of Jack ChambersJack Chambers (Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
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Ireland currently has licence exchange agreements with Australia, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, New Zealand, Taiwan, seven Canadian provinces (Ontario, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and New Brunswick), Northern Ireland and the UK.

Reaching a driving licence exchange agreement with another country is a comprehensive process, carried out between the statutory licensing authorities in each state. To ensure the safety of road users, such agreements can be made only when the relevant authorities in each jurisdiction have studied and compared the two licensing regimes and are satisfied that they are comparable. If standards and procedures are not comparable, the process does not continue. On the Irish side, this task is undertaken by the Road Safety Authority (RSA).

The RSA has recently engaged with Ukraine, Moldova, North Macedonia and Argentina to consider exchange agreements. The Ukrainian process was paused and EU-wide arrangements are now in place on recognition of Ukrainian licences. Clarification is being sought from the Argentinian authorities on a number of issues, Moldova is undergoing further consideration and the review process with North Macedonia is complete.

With the current reviews at or nearing completion, and a number of representations received from other countries, I intend to write very shortly to the RSA to direct them to begin assessments for a number of new jurisdictions. India is not one of those states at this time. The Government's priority in these matters is to identify countries that may be the source of professional drivers (HGV or bus drivers), given the well documented shortages faced in Ireland and across the EU in these sectors.



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