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Licensed Drivers

Mutual recognition of disqualifications - Ireland and UK

Agreement between Ireland and UK around driver disqualifications.

From 1 August 2017 drivers with an Irish licence who are disqualified from driving in the UK (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) for certain road traffic offences will have their disqualifications recognised and applied in the Republic of Ireland.
    

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Background

From 1 August 2017 drivers with an Irish licence who are disqualified from driving in the UK (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) for certain road traffic offences will have their disqualifications recognised and applied in the Republic of Ireland. UK licence holders who are disqualified in the UK but are resident in the Republic will also have the disqualification applied here in the Republic.

Similarly, drivers who hold a UK drivers licence that are disqualified by Irish courts will have their disqualifications recognised in the UK.  The initiative known as Mutual Recognition of Driving Disqualifications covers specific traffic offences committed on or after 1 August 2017. The purpose behind the initiative is to keep dangerous drivers off our roads and to make our roads safer.


How does it work?

Where a person with an Irish licence is disqualified in the UK the authorities advise the Road Safety Authority and a District Court case is initiated here in Ireland. Where the district court makes an order affirming the disqualification the driver is then disqualified here also. Rules are in place concerning the length of the disqualification and while these are set out in law there are some general principles.

Similarly, the Irish authorities notify the UK authorities where a person holding a licence from the UK is disqualified by the Irish courts. Because of the nature of the legal systems in the UK, the disqualification can be given effect without a court case. 


What offences are covered by the Agreement?

In Ireland, Section 40 Road Traffic Act 2016 sets out the laws governing the mutual recognition of driving disqualification between Ireland and the UK.  

If you have accumulated penalty points you will not be liable to disqualification under the mutual agreement. However, you may be disqualified if you commit any of the following traffic offences: 

  • reckless or dangerous driving. 
  • failure to meet the obligations placed on drivers after being involved in road collisions. 
  • driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other substances. 
  • refusal to submit to alcohol and drug tests. 
  • driving a vehicle faster than the permitted speed. 
  • driving a vehicle whilst disqualified. 

Other offences for which a driving disqualification has been imposed by the State where the offence occurred of a duration of: 

a. six months or more, or 

b. less than six months where this has been agreed between the UK and Ireland.


For further information and advice

If you want to know how mutual recognition of disqualification applies in practice you can email the Road Safety Authority at [email protected] .