No Deal Brexit: As many 40,000 people in Republic of Ireland with U.K. driving licence could be driving illegally

The U.K. is due to leave the E.U. on October 31, 2019.
The U.K. is due to leave the E.U. on October 31, 2019.
Share this article

Tens of thousands of people living in the Republic of Ireland who use a UK driving licence could be driving illegally in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Irish government has warned.

Some 40,000 people who live and work in the Republic and drive with a UK licence have been urged to change to an Irish licence before the end of October.

Ireland's European Minister Helen McEntee said: "While a significant number of people have changed their UK or Northern Ireland driving licences to Irish licences - around 30,000 so far this year - there is still an estimated about 40,000 people driving and living in Ireland who, by October 31 in the event of a no-deal, will be driving illegally.

"We would encourage people to change over. It's a process that takes no longer than five to 10 days. It's 55 euro.

"If the UK were to become a third country they will no longer be recognised under EU legislation.

"Drivers will then have to take theory tests, driving lessons and also driving tests again to have an Irish licence."

Moyagh Murdock, chief executive officer at the Road Safety Authority, said: "This will not affect people that are (in Ireland) as a tourist or as a visitor, you will still be able to travel on a UK licence.

"There are many people who are still driving on a licence they may have acquired from Northern Ireland or in the UK over the years.

"We want to advise them that after October 31, in the event of a no-deal, it will not be recognised as a valid EU driving licence.

"Just like other third countries, you will have to go through a very different process and you may find that inconvenient. It could pose problems in terms of insurance and other matters.

"We have about 250 people a day applying to change from UK and Northern Ireland licences in the event of a hard deal."