In the event of a ‘No deal’ Brexit motorists with cars registered in the Republic of Ireland will be required to hold an insurance ‘Green Card’ when using that car in UK, including Northern Ireland.

What is the Green Card?

The Green Card is a document which provides proof of the minimum level of motor insurance required by the country you are driving in. Irish drivers do not need to hold this document when using their vehicle in any of the other 27 current member states. The agreement also extends to members of the EEA such as Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein. This is part of the terms of the EU Motor Insurance Directive (MID). A ‘no deal’ Brexit would result in the UK being excluded from the MID.

Debate is still ongoing in London and Brussels and the final outcome of Brexit is as of yet very unclear. Like many other institutions and organisations the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland have begun to take precautionary measures. MIBI have sent over 400,000 application forms and electronic templates out to insurers and brokers across Ireland.

What should I do?

If you plan to use your Irish registered vehicle in Northern Ireland or elsewhere in the UK you should contact your insurance company or broker. Make contact at least a month in advance of when you wish to travel. This will ensure you receive your document in time.

What happens if I don’t have it?

As the Green Card acts as proof of insurance in the country you are driving in, failing to present it may result in you incurring legal penalties and fines in that country.

How long does the Green Card remain valid?

The Green Card will guarantee cover for a minimum of 15 days. Beyond those 15 days it will remain valid until the expiry of your motor insurance policy.

Will I need a new Green Card when I renew my car insurance?

Yes. Each Green Card is associated with a specific vehicle and motor insurance policy. When you renew your motor insurance you will need a new Green Card to correspond with your new policy.

What if I rent a car in NI/UK?

You won’t need the document for vehicles you rent in Northern Ireland or elsewhere in the UK. However you will need a Green Card if you plan to drive a rental car from the UK into Ireland or another EU country. You will need to organise this with the rental company.

It’s widely hoped that a deal can be reached on Brexit before March 29th, and procedures such as this can be avoided. However at this late stage it will be worth preparing for all outcomes. You can find more information about Green Cards on the MIBI website.