Belfast Telegraph

Warning Northern Ireland drivers will need £5 permits to cross border in no-deal Brexit

Drivers could need International Driving Permits if the European Union does not agree to recognise UK licences

A UK driving licence (Anthony Devlin/PA)
A UK driving licence (Anthony Devlin/PA)

It may not be possible to drive across the border into the Republic without a permit in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it has been warned.

Drivers could need International Driving Permits (IDP) if the EU does not agree to recognise UK licences, according to new guidance.

They may be turned away at the border or face enforcement action if they have not obtained the correct documents.

There are two types of IDP required by EU countries, depending on whether they have ratified the 1949 or 1968 conventions on road traffic.

This means some itineraries will require both permits, such as when people drive into France and then Spain.

The documents cost £5.50. The 1949 type is available over the counter at around 90 Post Office branches or by mail order from two private companies. The mail order service will cease on January 31, and the Government will begin providing IDPs the following day.

Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson said the latest warning could have a disastrous impact highlighting how it could impact those living in Londonderry who may have to cross the border to commute to work.

She said: "It also begs the question of how this will be enforced and raises legitimate concerns over lengthy border delays if permits are to be checked.

"Such a development would be disastrous for businesses, particularly small businesses in border areas, and could have huge implications for the tourism and service industries north and south."

UK drivers could be turned away at foreign borders (Yui Mok/PA)

Motorists will be able to apply for both types of permits at 2,500 Post Office branches across the UK.

The UK Department for Transport believes up to seven million permits could be requested in the first 12 months after Brexit.

AA president Edmund King said: “This will be an extra burden for UK drivers wanting to take a holiday abroad. We envisage quite a rush on post offices next year for the £5.50 IDPs if no deal is reached.

“Hopefully an agreement can be reached to prevent further red tape and expense for drivers.”

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