What Green Cards Mean For Irish Drivers

Posted on February 12, 2020

Updated Brexit Update – Green Cards, August 2019

Existing Irish motor insurance discs can be used as proof of insurance in the UK. Irish insurance discs contain the name of the insurer, the number or other identifying particulars of the insurance policy issued in respect of the vehicle and the period of the insurance cover. This means they are a suitable alternative to a Green Card.

Note for UK registered vehicles: Green Cards will still be required for UK registered vehicles visiting the EU/EEA (including Ireland) until such time as the European Commission announce to the contrary.

All KennCo policyholders have been contacted via email or text message regarding Green Cards. If you have yet to receive your Green Card, due to large volumes of inquiries, please contact us at [email protected] and we will issue one to you.

As Brexit looms everyone is still waiting to find out if, when or how it will ultimately affect them, their business and day to day life in Ireland and the EU. This has prompted an increase in customers enquiring about driving in Northern Ireland post Brexit, due for March 29th.

Currently, all valid Irish registered motor vehicles travelling within the EU are automatically covered by EU Motor Insurance Directive (MID) and their terms allowing motorists to move freely between the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, UK and the EU.

However, if a ‘no deal’ Brexit takes place, the UK including Northern Ireland will no longer be part of MID meaning all Irish registered vehicles will need a ‘Green Card’ to drive in Northern Ireland and the UK. All insurers are aware and have been preparing for a situation with a ‘no-deal’ Brexit come March 29th 2019. Should Brexit be delayed then so will the Green Card requirement.

Confused? We have outlined the basics here for you, so you know what to expect and what it all means:


What is a Green Card?

This is a document that proves that the driver meets the minimum compulsory motor insurance cover to drive in the country being visited, as required by that country. It is an international recognised document printed on green paper or on a green background.

When will I need a Green Card?

If you own an Irish registered vehicle, you will need a Green Card to drive in the UK or Northern Ireland from March 29th 2019, if a ‘no-deal’ Brexit occurs.

How do I get a Green Card?

Insurance companies and brokers are preparing for the issuing of Green Cards. If you need a Green Card, it is advised that you contact your insurance company or broker one month prior to travelling. They will advise you of the process involved.

If you require a Green Card, you should contact you insurance company. If you are insured through a broker you should contact them directly.

What happens if I have an accident in Northern Ireland or the UK?

A Green Card confirms that a minimum of third party insurance exists to legally drive in the UK. Although an insured driver may have cover that goes beyond third party cover. It is important to know what your own policy includes and excludes. All these details can be found in your policy documents.

Can I use my Green Card on another vehicle?

No. Green Cards are issued based on the vehicles registration and the motor insurance policy covering the vehicle. A Green Card is applicable to any named driver on the vehicles insurance policy.

What happens if I drive in the UK/Northern Ireland without holding a Green Card? 

It will be illegal to drive in the UK and Northern Ireland without a valid Green Card. A Green Card provides proof of insurance cover for the vehicle. Without a valid Green Card, a driver is subject to fines and legal penalties in that country.

I live in Ireland, hold a UK driving licence and would like to be able to continue to drive here in Ireland after Brexit on my UK driving licence. Can I drive in Ireland with a UK licence?

If a ‘No Deal Brexit’ scenario exists on 29th March 2019, as a resident in Ireland, a UK driving licence will no longer be valid for driving in Ireland. But you could choose to exchange your UK driving licence for an Irish driving licence prior to 29th March 2019. Currently, the NDLS state that the duration to process a UK exchange application will take a minimum of 17 working days.

Currently, if you wish to exchange your UK driving licence post Brexit, you will not be able to do so. In the case of an agreed Brexit, these terms are subject to change and a transition period put in place.

If you need a Green Card issued in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, contact your insurance company or broker for more information. All KennCo Insurance contact numbers can be found here. 

Need a Motor Insurance Quote? Get a quote online now or call us on 014092600!

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