Exchange your UK licence now if you will be residing in Ireland (or EU) after 31st October 2019
One of the benefits of EU membership is the simplification of some matters such as driving within the EU and motor insurance. As the 31st October nears some matters are thankfully becoming clearer though not necessarily easier. Irish drivers will not need a 'green card' to drive in Northern Ireland or Britain though Northern Irish and British drivers will need one. So far so good for Irish drivers though not so much for the Northern Irish drivers who live in the North and who work or visit the South.
If like me, you have a UK driving licence and will be living in Ireland (or indeed anywhere else within the EU) you will most likely need to change this to an EU licence before the 31st October. See guidance prepared by the UK Government here.
I had to replace my Irish licence with a UK one as when it expired, I could not renew it in Ireland as I was resident in the UK.
This was because I could not produce a Public Services card which would have been proof as:
· Photographic ID,
· Evidence of PPSN (that is my tax number),
· Evidence of my address (where my address is as provided to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection DEASP) and
· Evidence of my residency entitlement (where my place of birth or nationality are within the European Union / European Economic Area/Switzerland).
So, I surrendered my Irish licence and renewed it as a UK one. Now the Public Services card (PSC) cannot be requested for anything other than social welfare. As I have moved back to Ireland I need to surrender my UK licence again to the Irish authorities and change it back to an Irish one. Presumably I can now prove my residence somehow without that PSC card. The National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) is still inviting PSC cards in applications for driving licences though following the Data Protection Commission report they cannot compel the production of one for this (or any other service outside social welfare including passport applications or citizenship).
The NDLS website has a very useful FAQ on Brexit which can be found here.
Thankfully like the UK's agreement not to require a Green card for insurance from Irish drivers, they will also recognise Irish licences (as an EU licence) held by British (Northern Irish) Citizens, resident in Ireland visiting Northern Ireland or Britain!
Some complicated scenarios are sure to arise.