Republic of Ireland Driving Licence

'Grandfather Rights'

What's 'Grandfather Rights'

During the 1980's and 1990's Countries in The EU adopted harmonised driving licence categories.

The change which is of main concern to motorhome drivers was the entitlement gained by passing a car driving test.

Prior to the changes being adopted here, effective from 13th. November 1989, passing a car driving test entitled the driver to drive vehicles up to 7,500kg GVW.

However, after the change was adopted passing a driving test in a car only entitled the driver to drive vehicles up to 3,500kg GVW.

Drivers who on 12th. November 1989 held a car licence were, under what are commonly referred to as grandfather rights, entitled to maintain their right to drive vehicles up to 7,500kg GVW.

Vehicles falling into the 3,501kg and 7,500kg GVW range are those classed as C1 on current licences. Drivers wishing to maintain that category on their deiving licence are required to succesfully pass a medical examination at renewal time.

There is significant anecdotal reports that many who had the entitlement to a C1 category licence have lost it due to their failure to re-apply for its renewal in the past. 

However, under the rule that a driving licence may be renewed up to 10 years after its expiry date, if it is less than 10 years since the C1 category expired it may be added back on, subject to passing the required medical examination and without the need to undertake a driving test



Please be cautious of the advice given in the NDLS web-site Q&A section Once I’ve applied when will I get my new licence / learner permit? Your licence will be posted out to you after you have made your application and should be received within eight working days.

At this time (April 2014) there are media reports that the time span between initiating the process of replacing an expired old (pink) paper licence and the delivery of a new card type licence can take up to eight weeks and possibly longer.

If you are intending to holiday outside Ireland and your existing paper licence is due to expire before you go please ensure you commence the renewal process in good time to ensure its arrival before you leave. This is particularly important if you plan to take your own vehicle abroad or plan to rent a hire car.