Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has announced Ukrainians fleeing the war can now exchange their Ukrainian driving licence for an Irish driving licence, making it easier for them to move around and access work, school or other vital public services.
Minister Ryan has signed an Order today that will allow Ukrainians temporarily resident, under the Temporary Protection Directive in Ireland because of the conflict to drive their cars in Ireland if they exchange their Ukrainian driving licence for an Irish licence.
This new move comes on the back of an announcement earlier this week that there will be increased and enhanced public transport services rolled out to support Ukrainians placed in more rural locations.
These new enhanced transport services aimed at supporting better integration are part of the broader Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan.
Minister Ryan said,”After providing housing and shelter, one of the most important things we can do for our Ukrainian guests is to give them the ability to move around easily, where they are located first, and then throughout the country, where they may have family and friends.
“This Order allows Ukrainians to exchange their Ukrainian driving licences for an Irish licence on a temporary basis. It operates much like renting a car if we are in another country, for example, and comes with the same warnings that users must be acutely aware of the rules of the road in that country. I strongly urge anyone applying for an Irish licence to take time to familiarise themselves with the Irish road system.”
“I hope that this Order, coupled with the earlier move to increase and enhance public transport in certain rural areas, will give Ukrainians who have sought to find shelter in Ireland, greater freedom to explore our country, but importantly to be able to access work, school, college or to visit family and friends while they are here.”
The new licence will be valid for 12 months and will apply to cars only.
An application to exchange a licence can be made in any National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centre.