crosscare migrant project

Information & Advocacy Services

LIVING IN IRELAND: An Integration Website for Migrants living in Ireland

Getting Around

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Public Transport

What are the public transport systems in Ireland?

There are various bus and train public transport systems in Ireland. There are also a number of private bus companies which cater for commuter and local services.


Bus Éireann is the main provider of public bus services in Ireland:

In Dublin City and the surrounding areas the main public provider of bus transport is Dublin Bus. Dublin Bus also offers Nitelink services which operate on Friday and Saturday nights from 12 midnight until 4am and depart from College Street, D’Olier Street and Westmoreland Street. For a list of routes go to:

Photo by: infomatique


Irish Rail provides train services between many major towns and cities in Ireland:

In Dublin there are other rail services; the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) and the LUAS (light rail service). Check and for more details.

All the above websites provide details about routes, stops, timetables and prices.

How do I get to and from the airport?

For information on getting to and from the 3 international airports see below:




There are also five regional airports:






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Taxis and Hackneys

What is the difference between a taxi and a hackney?

A taxi

  • can stand for hire at a taxi rank or on the street
  • must display a taxi sign on top of the car.

A hackney

  • should be hired on a private basis through a hackney office
  • cannot be hailed down in a public place
  • driver should agree the fare with the customer before the journey starts.

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Free Travel Scheme

Anyone over 66 years of age can travel for free on most public transport services

Anyone who is under 66 years of age with an incapacity may also be eligible for a free travel pass.

For more information search for ‘Free Travel’ on

How do I apply for a Free Travel pass?

You should complete Form FT1 and send it to the Free Travel Section:

Social Welfare Services
College Road

Driving in Ireland

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Driver’s Licence

Can I use a non-Irish driving licence in Ireland?

If you got your driving licence in one of the following countries you can drive in Ireland for a temporary period of up to 12 months. If you are staying in Ireland for more than 12 months and your licence is from one of these countries you can exchange your driving licence for an Irish one: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

If you did not obtain your driving licence from any of the above countries and you hold a national driving licence or an international driving permit from another country, you may drive in Ireland for the duration of your temporary visit (up to 12 months). If your stay in Ireland will be more than 12 months, you should apply for an Irish driving licence.

How do I exchange my driver’s licence for an Irish driver’s licence?

You must complete:

  • An “Exchange of Driving Licence” Form (Form D900)
  • An application form for a full driving licence (Form A.D401)
  • You will also need to undergo a medical examination by a registered doctor who will complete a medical report form (Form D501) on your behalf

These forms are available from your local Motor Tax Office. Completed Forms should be returned to your local Motor Tax Office.

What documents do I need to provide?

  • 2 passport photographs (you must sign the back of both photos)
  • Your current driving licence (it must be valid)
  • The appropriate fee (contact your local Motor Tax Office for more details)

Do I need to get a medical report when applying for a driving licence in Ireland?

You must get your doctor to complete a medical report form (Form D501) if you are exchanging your licence or if you are applying for a driving licence for categories C, C1, D1, D, EC1, EC, ED1, or ED. You do not need this if you have previously provided a medical report that is still valid.

A medical report is compulsory for any driving category if you:

  • are aged 70 or more or
  • you suffer from any disabilities, epilepsy or alcoholism or if you regularly take drugs or medication that are likely to impair your ability to drive safely.

A registered practitioner should carry out your medical examination and then complete Form D401. This form is available from the Motor Tax Office or your local Garda station. You must sign the Declaration on the medical report form in the presence of the registered medical practitioner.

How do I apply for an Irish driver’s licence?

To apply for a driver’s licence, you must:

  • Complete a driver theory test (see for more details. This test is only available through English.)
  • Apply for your provisional driver’s licence (Form D.201)
  • Take 12 one-hour essential driver training (EDT) lessons with an approved driving instructor. Your progress is recorded in a special logbook. You should also have an experienced driver who supervises your driving practice and updates your logbook. When taking the driving test, you may need to show your completed logbook to the examiner.
  • Complete your driving test in Ireland. For details on the waiting time for your local centre see:

Note: You are required to carry your driver’s licence with you when driving in Ireland.

Where can I get more information?

You can get more information by ringing 1890 406 040 or by contacting:

The Driver Testing Section
Road Safety Authority, Moy Valley Business Park, Primrose Hill, Ballina, Co. Mayo

Details of your local Motor Tax Office are available from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government on 1890 411 412 or 061 363480 or

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Motor Insurance

Do I need Motor Insurance to drive a vehicle in Ireland?

Yes. It is a legal requirement in Ireland to have motor insurance if you want to drive your car in a public place. Otherwise, you will incur fines, penalty points and may be disqualified from driving.

Note: Some insurance companies will give a bonus to people who have a no-claims bonus from an EU country or another country with similar insurance laws.

Where can I find out more information about motor insurance in Ireland?

Individual insurance companies have customer service departments that will give you information on their policy options.

A useful service is the Insurance Information Service. This is an information and complaints telephone service. Its purpose is to answer policyholders’ questions and help resolve problems.

Insurance Information Service
Insurance Ireland, Insurance Centre, 5 Harbourmaster Place, Dublin 1
Telephone: 01 6761820

Note: In Ireland motor insurance applies to the driver not the car. Therefore, if someone else drives your car they must make sure that their insurance policy covers them.

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Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)

If I am importing my vehicle from another country into Ireland will I have to pay tax on it?

This will depend on your situation as there are some exemptions. Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT), a percentage of the expected retail price of the imported vehicle, is chargeable on registration of the vehicle in Ireland. All motor vehicles in the state other than those brought in temporarily by visitors must be registered.

Exemptions from Paying Vehicle Registration Tax

There are different reliefs and exemptions from VRT. Even if you are not required to pay VRT, you must still register your vehicle when you come to Ireland. The following groups are exempt from paying VRT:

  • Certain disabled drivers
  • Visitors to Ireland who have owned their vehicles abroad for more than 6 months and who will be resident here temporarily
  • People who have owned their vehicles abroad for more than 6 months and who are moving permanently to Ireland
  • People posted to Ireland as part of the diplomatic corps

Note: If you are moving to Ireland and are among those exempt from paying VRT you cannot sell your vehicle for more than 12 months after the vehicle is registered. If you are required to pay VRT, then you can sell your vehicle in Ireland when you wish, once it has been registered. Further information is available from your local Vehicle Registration Office.

How do I pay Vehicle Registration Tax?

You can register the car and pay the Vehicle Registration Tax at a Vehicle Registration Office. Further information about Vehicle Registration Tax and locations of Vehicle Registration Offices around Ireland is available at:

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Motor Tax

What is Motor Tax?

Motor Tax is a separate charge from Vehicle Registration Tax. For cars registered before July 2008 the amount of motor tax payable depends on the size of the vehicle’s engine. For new cars registered since 1st July 2008, motor tax is proportionate to the amount of CO2 emitted. It is a legal requirement in Ireland to have motor tax if you want to drive your vehicle in a public place. You are also required to display your tax disc on the windscreen of your vehicle as evidence that you have paid your motor tax. Failure to display the disc is considered a motoring offence and will result in an on-the-spot fine issued by a traffic warden or a Garda.

Where can I find more information?

For more information or to apply for Motor Tax contact the local authority in your area: or

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Vehicle Testing

What is an NCT and do I need one?

An NCT is a National Car Test. Since 2002 all cars four years old or more must be tested. Vehicles that pass the test will have to undergo repeat tests every 2 years (or every year for 10 year old or older cars). The test is aimed at improving road safety and enhancing environmental protection by ensuring the car meets minimum standards. If your vehicle does not pass, the faults will have to be rectified and the vehicle will have to be re-tested.

Where can I book a National Car Test and find out more information about it?

There are National Car Test centres all over the country. For information on your nearest NCT centre contact:

The Booking Department, National Car Test Service Ltd.

Citywest Business Campus, Lakedrive 3026, Naas Road, Dublin 24
Telephone: 1890 412 413

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Speed Limits

In Ireland all speed limits are signposted in kilometres per hour (kph).

Speed Limit (kilometres per hour)

Where it applies

30 km

Special speed limit applies to designated roads or zones

50 km

Built-up areas for example towns and cities

60 km

Special speed limit applies to designated roads or zones

80 km

Regional and local (secondary) roads

100 km

National roads (including dual carriageways)

120 km


Note: vehicles under 50 cc, bicycles, pedestrians, animals and learner drivers are not allowed on motorways in Ireland

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Penalty Points

A system of penalty points was introduced in Ireland in 2002 to save lives and prevent injuries from road accidents. Penalty points are essentially a formal warning by the Gardaí (police) endorsed on your driving licence that shows you are guilty of a specified driving offence. Offences that incur penalty points include speeding, driving without insurance, careless driving, seatbelt offences, dangerous overtaking and blocking junctions. Any driver that receives 12 penalty points in any 3 year period will be automatically faced with a 6-month disqualification from driving.

Details of Penalty Points are available at New offences that were added in 2006 are also available to view in different languages on this site.

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Road Signs

Dangerous corner aheadDangerous corner ahead

Series of dangerous corners aheadSeries of dangerous corners ahead

Series of dangerous bends aheadSeries of dangerous bends ahead

Staggered junction with roads of less importanceStaggered junction with roads of less importance

Roundabout aheadRoundabout ahead

Junction ahead with road of less importanceJunction ahead with road of less importance

Road narrows aheadJunction ahead with road of less importance (continued)

Junction ahead with road of equal importance or widthRoad narrows ahead

Junction ahead with road of equal importance or widthJunction ahead with road of equal importance or width

Two-way trafficTwo-way traffic

Low bridge aheadLow bridge ahead

Advance warning of a major roadAdvance warning of a major road

Sharp depression aheadSharp depression ahead

Series of bumps or hollows aheadSeries of bumps or hollows ahead

Sharp rise aheadSharp rise ahead

Unprotected quay, canal or river aheadUnprotected quay, canal or river ahead

Steep ascent aheadSteep ascent ahead

Steep descent aheadSteep descent ahead

Level crossing ahead, guarded by gates or lifting barriersLevel crossing ahead, guarded by gates or lifting barriers


Yield right of wayYield right of way

No left turnNo left turn

No entryNo entry

No right turnNo right turn

No parking No parking

Keep leftKeep left

Turn leftTurn left

Turn rightTurn right

Straight ahead onlyStraight ahead only

Parking permittedParking permitted

Speed limitSpeed limit

End of speed limit – National Speed Limit appliesEnd of speed limit – National Speed Limit applies

Clearway stoppingClearway stopping

Taxi ranksTaxi ranks

Pedestrian street, traffic prohibitedPedestrian street, traffic prohibited

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Information Signs

These signs give information regarding direction, distance and location. They may have black lettering on a white background or white lettering on a green background such as those illustrated.

Entry to motorwayEntry to motorway

Approaching end of motorwayApproaching end of motorway

Roadside facilitiesRoadside facilities

Camping and caravan parkCamping and caravan park

Road narrows ahead at left sideRoad narrows ahead at left side

Traffic crossover aheadTraffic crossover ahead

Traffic lights aheadTraffic lights ahead

Diverted trafficDiverted traffic

Major road works aheadMajor road works ahead

I would like to buy a car? Where should I start?

You can buy a new or used car from:

I have bought a new car. I would like to scrap my old car. How do I do this?

Cars or light commercial vehicles which are to be scrapped are called end-of-life vehicles (ELV). Since January 2007 the registered owner must deposit the vehicle at an authorised treatment facility (ATF) who cannot charge for taking the vehicle. When the vehicle is destroyed the owner receives a certificate of destruction.

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Consumer Rights

Consumer rights are protected by Irish and EU law. If you are not happy with goods or services you have purchased you have the right to make a complaint.

For further information contact the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission: 
Consumer helpline: 1890 432 432 or 01 4025555

According to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission you should:

  • Know your rights before you make a complaint
  • Act quickly
  • Know who to contact
  • First of all make the complaint verbally
  • Make a more formal complaint in writing if your verbal complaint was not successful (template letters are available from
  • Finally you may take your complaint further depending on the type of complaint, for example:

o Small Claims Court

o Financial Services Ombudsman

If you are not sure who to make the complaint to you should contact your local Citizens Information Centre or the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission for assistance.

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Supported by

This project is co-financed by the European Commission under the European Integration Fund
and is supported by the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration in the Dept of Justice & Equality & Pobal.