NEWS

Brexit means time running out for Uk-NI licence exchange

Drivers urged to submit exchange applications by Monday next, October 14

Connie Duffy

Reporter:

Connie Duffy

Email:

connie.duffy@donegaldemocrat.ie

Brexit means time running out for Uk-NI licence exchange

Get your driving licence in order - now

Drivers with a UK or N Ireland driving licence living in Donegal have been urged to submit their applications to exchange it now as time is running out.

The National Driver Licensing Service (NDLS) issued a final reminder as it can take up to 10 days to process a UK or NI licence exchange, and there may be further delays caused by a last minute increase in applications.

The NDLS cannot guarantee that any person applying in the second half of October will receive their Irish licence before Brexit day, October 31.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), who manage the NDLS, is now warning that motorists who fail to heed their warnings to date and wait to submit an exchange application closer to the October deadline risk not having their licence exchanged before the end of the month.

Ms Moyagh Murdock, chief executive, RSA said: “We are advising that any applications received after Monday next, October 14, may not be processed in time. This will certainly be the case if there is a high volume of applications in the coming week and bearing in mind that it takes up of 10 working days to process a normal licence exchange.

"We urge UK and Northern Ireland licence holders’ resident here to exchange their licence without delay to ensure that they are legally entitled to drive on Irish roads if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on October 31.

To exchange your licence you must complete a licence application form and present this, the correct fee and your UK licence at any NDLS centre. You can make an appointment online at www.ndls.ie to attend any of the 36 NDLS centres. Walk in applications are accommodated and people are advised to arrive early if they wish to avail of this option.

Licence exchange applications that include the original copy of the UK or Northern Ireland licence can be exchanged within 10-15 working days. Where an applicant cannot submit an original licence and instead includes a ‘letter of entitlement’ form the DVLA in the UK will take longer to process.

There are some limited exceptions where what are known as national licences categories cannot be transferred to the Irish licence. You may need to speak to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the UK to find out if you have any national categories on your UK/NI licence

In anticipation of an increase in demand for UK or NI licence exchanges ahead of October 31, the NDLS is offering some extra opening hours in addition to the normal hours in some of their centres. These additional hours, at specific centres and dates are available at https://www.ndls.ie/where-to-apply.html#opening-hours.

More information including frequently asked questions on how to exchange your UK licence can be found at www.ndls.ie and on gov.ie/brexit, the Irish Government’s website to help businesses and citizens around the country to prepare for Brexit.