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Licensed Drivers

Driver disqualification

Ireland and the UK have a mutual agreement where drivers disqualified in one country are recognised in the other. In some cases, a judge may disqualify you from driving until you supply a certificate of fitness or competency. When you've been disqualified for 10 years or more, you must restart as a learner driver.

Mutual recognition between Ireland and UK

Drivers with an Irish driving licence or learner permit who are disqualified from driving in the UK (Great Britain or Northern Ireland) for certain road traffic offences will have their disqualification(s) recognised and applied in the Republic of Ireland. 

UK licence holders and other licence holders who are disqualified in the UK but are resident in the Republic will also have the disqualification applied here. Similarly, drivers who hold a UK driving licence or where their residence is in the UK that are disqualified by Irish courts will have their disqualifications recognised in the UK. 

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.

Where a person with an Irish licence is disqualified in the UK, the authorities advise us and a district court case is initiated here in Ireland. If the 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. 

Court disqualifications of 10 years or more

When you have been disqualified for 10 years or more you must start at the beginning once more and complete all learner driver steps again to obtain a driving licence.

Certificate of Fitness or Certificate of Competency

On occasion a judge may disqualify you from driving until you supply a Certificate of Fitness or a Certificate of Competency to the licensing authority. If this is required, you or your legal team will be notified by the court.

Once the period of disqualification has expired, you must submit a completed Medical Report Form to Application Review Team, Driver Licensing, Road Safety Authority, Moy Valley Business Park, Primrose Hill, Dublin Road, Ballina, Co. Mayo, F26 V6E4, to apply for a certificate of fitness.

The medical report form must be submitted to RSA within one-month of the Medical Practitioner signature date.

Once a certificate of fitness is issued by the RSA, you may then apply to have your driving licence re-issued,  you will need to book an appointment to attend an NDLS centre in person

Once the period of disqualification has expired, you will need to obtain a learner permit in order to sit a driving test, to obtain a Certificate of Competency.

A learner permit will be issued to you with the following restriction codes;

  • 109 (must sit driving test within two months); and
  • 999 (must be accompanied at all times while driving on the learner permit).

This learner permit will only allow you to sit the driving test and take driving lessons with an RSA approved driving instructor.

Once you pass your driving test, you may then apply to have your driving licence re-issued,  you will need to book an appointment to attend an NDLS centre in person.