Vehicle taxation in Northern Ireland

Every vehicle registered in Northern Ireland (NI) must be taxed if used or kept on a public road. If the vehicle is kept off-road it must either be taxed or have a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) in force. If not it could be wheel-clamped or removed.

Source: NI Direct – Taxing your vehicle

From Monday 21 July 2014 motorists in Northern Ireland will enjoy the same range of online vehicle registration and licensing services as the rest of the UK. For the first time, you can tax your vehicle or make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) online if you’re a Northern Ireland customer.

The changes are as a result of the announcement made in March 2014.

Driver licensing and vehicle testing remain the responsibility of the DVA in Northern Ireland.

For further information on DVLA’s online services go to GOV.UK.

Cross-border issues

Used imported vehicles

If you import a vehicle to Northern Ireland (NI) that has been previously registered abroad and register it here, you may have to pay the first year rate.

If the vehicle was registered abroad for less than six months you’ll pay the first year rate when it’s registered in NI. The first year rate will also be payable if the vehicle has travelled less than 6,000 kilometres (3,728 miles) when it’s first registered in NI.

If the vehicle was registered abroad for more than six months and travelled over 6,000 kilometres (3,728 miles) you’ll pay the standard rate of vehicle tax.

Border People FAQs Motoring

Q: I own a car in NI and travel over and back to Ireland a lot.  Do I need to pay car tax in both NI and Ireland?

A: No, not if your main residence is in NI and that your car is registered and taxed in NI.   You will only need to re-register and tax the car in Ireland if your main residence is there.

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.