If you are an operator and you carry goods for hire and reward then you need an operators licence
If you decide to operate as a haulier of goods for hire and reward on a public road without an operator’s licence, you are breaking the law. You may be prosecuted and fined under the Road Transport Acts – the maximum fine is €500,000. Any trader or business owner hiring an unlicensed haulier is also at risk of a fine.
The RSA and An Garda Síochána enforce the licensing provisions of the Road Transport Acts. As well as a fine, if you are an unlicensed haulier you can expect the RSA to look closely at your compliance with other laws, such as those covering:
Certain types of activity are exempt from the licensing requirement.The following types of carriage do not require you to hold an operators licence in Ireland.
1. Carriage of:
- Cattle, sheep, pigs, livestock or turf;
- Milk or milk containers to or from a creamery or cream-separating station;
- Newly harvested wheat, oats and barley from 1 August to 30 November each year from a farm to a place of storage, assembly or processing;
- Luggage in trailers coupled to passenger - carrying vehicles, to or from airports.
- Vehicles which have suffered damage or breakdown;
- Refuse and sewage;
- Animal carcases for disposal;
- Bees or fish fry;
- Articles required for medical care in emergency relief and in particular for relief in natural disasters;
- Spare parts for sea-going vessels and aircraft;
- Objects and works of art for exhibition or for commercial purposes;
- Material, properties and animals to or from theatrical, musical or film preformances or sporting events, circuses, exhibitions or fairs, or to or from the making of radio or television broadcasts or films;
- Goods which by reason of their value are carried in specially constructed vehicles which are accompanied by police or other security guards;
- Goods which are your own property.
2. Occassional carriage of:
- Goods to or from airports in the event of air services being diverted;
- objects and materials exclusively for publicity or information purposes.
3. Funeral Transport.
4. Transit, in an unladen state, of a vehicle used for goods transport and intended to replace a vehicle which has become unserviceable in a Member State other than that in which it is registered, and the continuation, by the breakdown vehicle, of the transport under cover of an authorisation issued for the vehicles which has become unserviceable.
In addition, an operator’s licence is unnecessary if your vehicle (or combination of the vehicles to be used) has a maximum authorised weight of less than 3.5 metric tonnes, including the vehicle, fully laden, and any trailer or semi-trailer.
Where to get an operator’s licence
Road haulage operator licences are available from:
Road Transport Operator Licensing Unit
Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport
Lo-call: 1890 443 311
Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Reform
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is currently engaged in the implementation of a wide-ranging Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness (CVR) reform programme. This reform programme will see the transfer of functions in relation to the roadworthiness testing of commercial vehicles pass from Local Authorities to the RSA.
The CVR reform program will also reform the way Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness (CRV) testing centres and authorised testers are licensed and provide greater powers of enforcement to the RSA through targeted roadside inspections and inspections of commercial vehicle operators’ premises. Find out more about the CVR reform programme.