Driving in the EU and EEA after Brexit

If you intend to drive in the EU or the EEA after Brexit, it is important that you understand what is required of you.

Driving in the Republic of Ireland 

Driving Licences

Deal or no deal, if you are visiting Ireland you can drive with your valid NI driving licence, which you should carry with you in your vehicle.  You will not need an International Driving Permit (IDP).

If you live in Ireland but you have an NI driving licence you should exchange your NI driving licence for an Irish one before Brexit, to continue to drive legally in Ireland.  Otherwise, you may have to apply for a learner permit and re-take a driving test. 

To find out more about exchanging your NI driving licence in Ireland please visit:

Motor Insurance

To drive in the Republic of Ireland as a visitor in the event of a no deal, you will have to get a motor insurance green card from your insurance company. 

Green Cards are an international certificate of motor insurance issued by insurance providers in the UK, proving that the driver has adequate third-party motor insurance cover for driving in the country(ies) being travelled to.

They are not cards in the strict sense – they are paper documents which, under current international rules, should be printed on green paper.

To get a Green Card, you should contact your insurance provider.  As this may take anything from 15 days to one month to process you should factor in that time before travelling.  Any charge for a Green Card will depend on your insurer.

Towing a trailer

A separate Green Card may be needed if you intend to tow a trailer or caravan.  Your insurance provider will be able to advise you about this.

Before you go

Make sure:

  • the details on your driving licence are up-to-date
  • you take your driving licence with you
  • you replace your driving licence if it's lost, stolen, defaced or destroyed

Driving in the rest of the EU and EEA 

Driving licences and IDPs

If you intend driving in the rest of the EU or EEA after Brexit you will need your NI driving licence and you may also need one or more international driving permits (IDPs), depending on which countries you intend driving in.  

More information about driving licences and IDPs is available on the GOV.UK website.

If you live and drive in an EU or EEA country you must exchange your NI driving licence for a licence in the country where you live.  You should do this before the UK leaves the EU, so that you can continue to drive legally in your country of residence.

Motor Insurance

To drive in the rest of the EU or EEA as a visitor, in the event of a no deal, you will have to get a motor insurance green card from your insurance company to provide proof that adequate motor insurance is in place.  You will need to take this green card with you in your vehicle. It may take up to a month to get your motor insurance green card, so take action in good time. 

Driving in Northern Ireland after Brexit, if you are an EU or EEA licence holder 

Deal or no deal, if you hold a valid EU or EEA driving licence you will not need an IDP to drive in Northern Ireland after Brexit.  For example, Irish drivers need only carry their Irish driving licence with them when visiting Northern Ireland.

After Brexit, Irish drivers visiting NI must have suitable motor insurance cover in place to drive in NI and will be able to provide proof of this with a motor insurance green card, a windscreen ‘disc’ issued by their motor insurer or through valid insurance documentation.

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