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Driving licences in Northern Ireland

Information applies to: Northern Ireland

Driving licences in Northern Ireland

The Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) is responsible for driver licensing in Northern Ireland.  For general information please visit NI Direct – Driver licensing external website

Driving in NI on a foreign licence

Source: NI Direct

All drivers must comply with Northern Ireland's minimum age requirements. These are 17 years for cars and motorcycles, 18 years for medium sized vehicles and 21 years for large lorries and buses.


Provided your licence remains valid you may drive in NI until aged 70, or for three years after becoming resident, whichever is the longer period. This applies to car and motorcycle driving licence holders (ordinary driving licence).


If you hold a valid community licence and are visiting Northern Ireland (NI), you can drive any vehicle if your licence is valid. The appropriate full entitlement for the vehicle you wish to drive must be shown on your licence.

Exchanging your foreign driving licence

If you want or need to change your driving licence for a NI driving licence you must normally be resident in NI and have a permanent address there.

Application forms can be obtained from the main Post Office® branches, local vehicle licensing offices or MOT centres. Completed applications should be forwarded to the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA).

The NI Direct website provides further information Driving in NI on a foreign licence external website

Cross border issues

Southern learner drivers cannot drive in the North on an Irish provisional licence/learner's permit.

See also:

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Permalink: Driving licences in Northern Ireland
Themes: Live, Commute
Categories: Motoring, Travel
Life Events: Commuting, Buying a car, Travelling
Target Groups: Frontier workers, All, Motorists
Last updated: 10 September 2013

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