Car hire in Northern Ireland or abroad

This page gives details of what is required when hiring a car in Northern Ireland or abroad and the Certificate of Entitlement.

Car hire

When hiring a car in Northern Ireland or abroad you will be asked to provide evidence that you are a licence holder and the vehicles that you are covered to drive.

The Northern Ireland driving licence is made up of two parts and you can give evidence of your driving entitlement by showing both the plastic photocard licence and the paper counterpart.  Both parts make up your driving licence and they will provide evidence of:

  •  your driving licence number
  •  the types of vehicles you can drive
  •  any penalty points or disqualifications you may have

If a car hire company asks you for a ‘check-code’ (as is required for GB Licence holders) so that they can check your driving record - let them know that this is not relevant for Northern Ireland driving licence holders. Instead, you will need to show them both parts of your driving licence which have the details they need.

If you have lost the paper part of your driving licence you will need to apply for a new driving licence.  If there are no changes to your licence you can apply for a duplicate.

If you need to give evidence of your driving entitlement urgently you can apply for a ‘Certificate of Entitlement (CoE)’. This will provide a summary of your driving entitlement.

To get a CoE you should phone 0300 200 7861 between 9am -4pm Monday to Friday or to write to the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) and include the following details:

  • your driver number
  • your date of birth
  •  the postal or email address you want the ‘Certificate of Entitlement’ sent to

Post this letter together with a cheque (made out to the Driver & Vehicle Agency) or Postal Order for £7.50 to the DVA.

If you have any further queries contact the DVA.

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