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Last checked: 18/05/2018

Car registration in another EU country – Ireland

Registration rules

As an EU national moving to Ireland, you must register your car if you are the holder of the registration certificate/owner of the vehicle/user of a vehicle you do not own (e.g. a family member).

Time allowed for re-registering a vehicle

If you change your country of residence to Ireland, you have 30 days to re-register a vehicle previously registered in another EU country – measured from the date the vehicle entered Ireland. To re-register a vehicle previously registered in another EU country, go to a National Car Testing Service Centre, operated by Applus, on behalf of the Revenue Commissioners:
National Car Testing Service
Lakedrive 3026,
Citywest Business Campus,
Naas Road,
Dublin 24
Phone: +353 1 4135975

You must make an appointment with the NCTS within 7 days of its entry into the State to have a pre-registration examination of the vehicle carried out.

You must complete the registration process and pay VRT (if applicable) at the NCTS Centre within 30 days of the arrival of the vehicle in the State.

Temporary registration plates

If you buy a car abroad, transit registration plates issued in another EU country will not be recognised in Ireland for the purposes of driving your car back to your place of residence.

Exemptions from the obligation to register a vehicle

As an EU national moving to Ireland, you can use your vehicle here while it is still registered in your previous home country.

You can only use it for 30 days under the following conditions:


If you are a student in Ireland from another EU country you do not have to register your own car with the authorities here for your period of study. This also applies if the car is owned by your parents, who are not resident in Ireland. This is for a Temporary Importation only where the student is not transferring their residence permanently. Vehicles brought in on a permanent basis must be registered within 30 days as outlined above.

A student can use it for the period of their study under the following conditions:

To qualify for exemption from the requirement to register vehicles, you don't have to get a certificate of enrolment at the university (or other school/college).

However, proof of study and other supporting documentation should be kept in the vehicle in case of checks by the authorities.

If, as a student, you are also working in Ireland, you don't have to register the vehicle and pay related taxes.

Pensioners, second homeowners, cross-border commuters

As EU nationals with a second home in Ireland (that you use for no more than 6 months a year), you must register your vehicles here if the vehicle remains in Ireland permanently. An EU National is not exempt from compulsory car registration if they have transferred their residence to Ireland.

An Irish State Resident (including an EU National who has transferred their Residence to Ireland), may be exempt from compulsory car registration if they are:

This relief is not available where an application for exemption is requested from a legal undertaking established outside the State:

To qualify the vehicle must:

These procedures permit Category M1 vehicles to be approved for use in the State by State
residents subject to the requirements and procedures listed.

Category M2, M3, N1, N2, N3 vehicles brought into the State on behalf of a person established outside the State for his/her private or business use are not subject to the restrictions imposed on the use of Category M1 vehicles by State residents in the State.

Car tax

As an EU national, if you want to register and use your car in Ireland, you must pay the following taxes:

The following categories of vehicles are exempt from road tax:

If you do not register your vehicle in Ireland, and it is required to be registered in Ireland, it is still subject to these taxes and associated penalties for late payment and evasion of said taxes.

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