Know your rights: Renewing a driving licence during COVID-19

My driving licence is due to expire in May but I don’t know how to renew it during the COVID-19 pandemic. What should I do?

If you are due to renew your driving licence during the COVID-19 emergency period, you may have questions about how (and where) to do this. Here’s what you need to know.

Firstly, you must carry your driving licence with you at all times when driving. If a Garda asks you to produce your driving licence for inspection and you do not have it with you, you must bring it to a Garda station for inspection within 10 days. If you refuse to give the Garda your name and address, the Garda has the power to arrest you and you could be fined up to €2,000.

Usually when your driving licence expires, you must renew it at the National Driving Licence Service (NDLS), or online if you have a Public Services Card and a MyGovID verified account. However, the NDLS is closed until further notice as part of Government measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For this reason, any driving licences (and learner permits) that are due to expire before 30 June 2020 will be valid for a further 4 months. This means that if your document expired or is due to expire between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you can add 4 months onto its expiration date.

The following documents will also be valid for a further 4 months:

  • Certificates of competency received on passing a driving test
  • Driver theory test certificates
  • Motorcycle initial basic training certificates

Remember, during COVID-19, you should restrict your movements by staying at home. At present, the only reasons to drive away from home are to:

  • Travel to work if you provide an essential service – see the list of essential service providers
  • Shop for food or essential household goods
  • Collect medical supplies or go to medical appointments
  • Take care of essential family needs, such as caring for children, older people or other vulnerable people

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Citizens Information Centres are offering a phone and email service. You can access information and advice from: