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Irish citizens abroad who wish to apply for Driving Licenses

Posted on 21 January 2014, under the category By Darragh Dunne ADIRSA Press Release

“As driving instructors in Ireland we always come across people from other countries going through the process of getting a driving license in Ireland. But what of the Irish people who have moved away and are going through this process in another country”

Licensing laws across the EU require that, to be entitled to a licence, you must be ‘normally resident’ in the country granting the licence. This rule has not changed in recent times. Applying that rule on the ground, the term ‘normally resident’ is generally considered as the place where a person usually lives, for at least 185 days in each calendar year, because of personal and work ties, or, in the case of a person with no work ties, because of personal ties which show close links between that person and the place where he or she is living.
Where a person is working abroad on a fixed term contract or attending a college or university generally they can be thought of as resident in Ireland providing they have and can demonstrate their personal ties here.

If a person is currently abroad s/he must show that the conditions above are met and provide the necessary evidence showing;

  •  If working: A letter from an employer stating that s/he is working on a fixed term contract / placement
  • If studying: Correspondence from the College/ University confirming the title and duration of the course s/he is studying
  • Evidence of being ‘normally resident’ in Ireland: this could be by way of the person’s address on a recent utility bill, a statement from a financial institution, correspondence from a State Department or Agency.

If entitlement is established, the driving licence will be posted to the person’s Irish address. A special application form must be completed which is available on request from the Road Safety Authority, Primrose Hill, Dublin Road, Ballina, Co. Mayo – telephone +353 (0) 96 78271. An email request for an application form can be made to licensingqueries@rsa.ie giving the Irish postal address to which the application form will be posted. A copy of your passport and two passport photographs will need to accompany an application.

If an Irish licence expires while a driver is resident abroad the entitlement to a licence remains in place for 10 years from the date of expiry. This means that the licence can be renewed within that period without undergoing theory test or driving test requirements. In the case of a learner permit the entitlement remains for a period of five years.

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