Mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between the UK and Ireland

Monday 01 August 2017

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, announced a new provision to facilitate the mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between Ireland and the UK, which comes into operation today, 1 August 2017. 

Minister Ross said: “The mutual recognition of driving disqualifications is an important road safety measure because it aims to target dangerous drivers on our roads.  The disqualifications relate to drivers disqualified for reckless or dangerous driving, hit and run driving, and driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

Mutual recognition of driving disqualifications is an important road safety measure for both Ireland and the UK, and is one of a series of measures I am introducing which will reduce road injuries and ultimately save lives.

The Minister added: “Maintaining the common travel area and our economic links with the UK are  important priorities for Ireland, and this Agreement will make a contribution towards that objective, as well as making an important contribution to road safety. 

The new measures are underpinned by an International Agreement between Ireland and the UK, which comes into effect today and primary legislative provisions in Ireland and the UK, which have been commenced today.  

Under the Ireland / UK Agreement, the driving disqualification is, in effect, transferred by the State which imposes it to the licence of the offender’s ‘home’ State. So, the legal consequence of the offence committed follows the offender home. 

Ends 

Press Office, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport 01 604 1090 / 01 604 1093 www.dttas.ie pressoffice@dttas.ie

Editors Notes:

Background

The framework for the mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between Ireland and the UK is contained in the Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Driving Disqualifications between Ireland and the United Kingdom, signed on 30 October 2015.  Following the completion of the preparatory work in the UK and Ireland to implement the Agreement, including the passage of the required primary legislation in Ireland (in the Road Traffic Act 2016) and in the UK, the necessary affirmative order debates in Parliament in the UK, the approval by Government a formal exchange of notifications between Ireland and the UK under Article 14.1 of the Agreement bringing the Agreement into effect has been made today, together with the commencement of the relevant secondary legislation in Ireland and the UK. 

Accordingly, and with effect from 1 August 2017, Irish drivers (drivers normally resident in Ireland or holding an Irish driving licence) disqualified in the UK and NI for certain road traffic offences will have their disqualifications recognised and applied in this country.  Similarly, UK (GB and NI) drivers disqualified by Irish Courts will have their disqualifications recognised in the UK. 

What offences are covered by the Agreement?

The Agreement concerns disqualifications arising from a range of traffic offences, such as:

  • Reckless or dangerous driving (whether or not resulting in death, injury or serious risk).
  • Wilful failure to carry out the obligations placed on drivers after being involved in road accidents.
  • Driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other substances affecting or diminishing the mental and physical abilities of a driver.
  • Refusal to submit to alcohol and drug tests
  • Driving a vehicle faster than the permitted speed
  • Driving a vehicle whilst disqualified.
  • Other conduct constituting an offence for which a driving disqualification has been imposed by the State of the offence:
    • of a duration of six months or more, or
    • of a duration of less than six months where this has been agreed between the Contracting States.
Initial Publication Date: 
01/08/2017