36,000 UK drivers in Ireland have not exchanged licences ahead of Brexit cut-off

Transport Minister Shane Ross has revealed that over half the numbers of motorists in Ireland who hold British driving licences have so far failed to exchange them for Irish permits as Brexit looms.

36,000 UK drivers in Ireland have not exchanged licences ahead of Brexit cut-off

Transport Minister Shane Ross has revealed that over half the numbers of motorists in Ireland who hold British driving licences have so far failed to exchange them for Irish permits as Brexit looms.

Speaking to the Dail this morning, Mr Ross confirmed that as many as 36,000 UK drivers here had still yet to register for Irish licences, a requirement for when Britain leaves the European Union.

Responding to questions from Fianna Fail's Marc McSharry, Mr Ross revealed the number of UK licences still not transferred across.

His opposition counterpart referred to a situation for a nurse returning home from the UK who did not know whether she had to get special driving training or whether there would be a special grace period for drivers without an Irish licence.

The government have confirmed that in the event of a no-deal Brexit the UK that UK driving licences will not be recognised in Ireland.

Mr Ross told the Dail that around 70,000 UK licences were held by people living in Ireland but just 34,000 of these have been exchanged to date.

He and others have encouraged people to get Irish licences.

It was also confirmed by the minister-with tens of thousands of drivers facing problems getting on the roads-that road safety chiefs will extend opening hours at centres.

Mr Ross confirmed that the Road Safety Authority would be extending opening hours at driver licence service offices from 17 October to allow for extra demand.

Mr Ross said he expected a rush for licence applications as the Brexit deadline of October 31 approached.

The current wait to exchange a UK licence for an Irish one is three days.

Mr McSharry called for a special transition period for UK drivers when Brexit goes ahead.

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