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Updated : 18/02/2016

Car registration documents and formalities – Ireland

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Common rights across EU countries


* Information not yet provided by national authorities

Roadworthiness tests

In Ireland cars are required to be roadworthiness tested on the fourth anniversary of first registration and every two years thereafter until their tenth anniversary when they become subject to annual testing.

A roadworthiness test doesn't have to be conducted each time a vehicle changes owner.

If you register your car as a new resident in Ireland, moving from another EU country, the car must undertake the roadworthiness test if it is over four years old. This is currently under review.

Contact body for roadworthiness tests: National Car Testing Service
To ensure your vehicle and its equipment function correctly and comply with safety standards, it must undergo the regular roadworthiness tests, which generally comprise the following checks:
The NCT Manual 2014 sets out the items to be tested at the roadworthiness test for cars in Ireland and may be viewed here .

Procedure for:

- initial registration

The Revenue Commissioners are the Registration Authority of Ireland. All relevant information regarding the registration of vehicles and associated registration taxes can be found here .

You can register your vehicle at an NCTS centre in the town where you are resident / staying.

To register an imported vehicle (new or used), you must submit the following documents:

All vehicles must be presented with the following documents, where applicable:

  • Vehicle Identity Documentation - please see New vehicle, Used vehicle below.
  • A VRT Vehicle Purchase Declaration Form must be completed in respect of each vehicle prior to arriving at the NCTS centre for registration- see details at VRT 'Vehicle Purchase Details' Form.
  • Invoice which must have the date of purchase/sale clearly indicated.
  • Documentation verifying the new registered owner's name and address (Utility Bill, Bank Statement). The information leaflet "Owner Name and Address Declarations" provides additional information regarding owner's name and address details. Please note that a Television Licence is not acceptable as a Utility Bill.
  • Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) of the person in whose name the vehicle shall be registered. Documentary evidence of the PPSN will be required. This includes a P60 or any documentation issued by the Revenue Commissioners which include your PPS number, name and address. Where an authorised trader (TAN Holder) is registering a vehicle on behalf of a customer, they should give their Revenue Customer Number (i.e. VAT or CT number) in place of the PPSN of the person in whose name the vehicle is being registered.
  • Satisfactory evidence of the date of entry of a vehicle into the State is required. This can include shipping details, travel documents, SAD number or evidence of vehicle storage outside the State where the invoice is dated more than 30 days earlier than the date the vehicle is presented for registration. Where satisfactory evidence of the date the vehicle entered the State is not available, an additional charge may be raised by Revenue for the period from the invoice date to the date of registration.
  • Where an exemption from VRT is claimed, the exemption notification letter issued by Revenue.
  • Documentation (as approved by the Revenue Commissioners) confirming the level of CO2 emissions of the vehicle at the time of manufacture. Where evidence of the level of CO2 emissions of the vehicle at the time of manufacture is not available at registration - VRT will be charged at the highest rate applicable.
  1. new vehicle:

A new vehicle presented for registration must be accompanied by the required documentation listed above and by a European Community Whole Vehicle Type-Approval (ECWVTA) Certificate of Conformity (COC), Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) or National Small Series Type-Approval (NSSTA).

2. used vehicle:

A used vehicle presented for registration must be accompanied by the required documentation listed above and with Evidence of previous registration e.g. foreign certificate of registration, a certificate of permanent exportation or a certificate of de-registration, as appropriate (this document will be retained by the NCTS Centre so please ensure you make a copy of it before you go to the test centre).

- renewal

A vehicle is generally only required to be registered once, and as such, there is no renewal of a vehicle's registration. Vehicle registration numbers are assigned to a vehicle for its lifetime.

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