The penalty points system for driving offences was introduced in Ireland on 31 October 2002. The aim of penalty points is to improve driver behaviour in Ireland and reduce the levels of death and serious injury on our roads.
The system was extended to insurance, seat belt wearing and careless driving offences in 2003 and 2004. In August 2014 a lower threshold of points leading to disqualification of learner and novice drivers was introduced. In December 2014 penalty point offences for learner drivers unaccompanied, learner and novice drivers not displaying L and N plates respectively, a range of other new offences and increased points for some exisiting offences, were introduced.
Mutual recognition and driver disqualifications
On 28 January 2010 Ireland and the UK operated the European Convention on Driving Disqualifications. This meant that a driving disqualification imposed to a licence holder in the UK who is resident in Ireland can be recognised here and the person will not be able to drive in Ireland. Disqualifications imposed in Ireland to licence holders resident in the UK will similarly be capable of being implemented in the UK. Only disqualifications for traffic offences committed between 28 January 2010 and 1 December 2014 were subject to this.
On 1 December 2014 the UK exercised its right to opt out of this Convention so mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between the Republic of Ireland and the UK ceased.
The Irish and UK authorities are working to ensure that the mutual disqualifications provisions are restored as soon as possible.
For further information please visit Road Safety Authority – Penalty points
- Citizens Information – Penalty Points
- Border People – Mutual Recognition of Driving Disqualification
Page last checked: February 2016
This webpage is for general information purposes only and while we endeavour to keep it up-to-date, errors may occur. It is very important that you check with the relevant body to ensure the information is current and is applicable to your situation: – North / South
If you would like to suggest amendments or highlight new information that could be useful to others please don’t hesitate to get in touch.