What happens to my UK driving licence when I exchange it for an Irish one? I've heard it gets returned to the DVLA in Swansea. Does it become void afterwards? Can I purchase a replacement UK licence and submit the old one for exchange?

  • Normally you are only allowed to have one drivers licence based on your country of residence. What happens to the previous licence can differ, but often it is returned to the original issuer (but not always). Different rules may apply if no agreement exists for the conversion of drivers licences. Oct 8, 2020 at 3:19
  • The Irish website ndls.ie/how-to-apply/exchange-a-uk-ni-licence.html indicates you cannot submit an ‘old’ licence: “...you must surrender your current or most recent UK/NI driving licence ...if you do not have your most recent driving licence in your possession, you will need to present an original letter of entitlement / driver statement from the appropriate licensing authority and must complete the lost or stolen licence declaration on the application form...”
    – Traveller
    Oct 8, 2020 at 6:24

1 Answer 1


Irish authorities write a pretty ambiguous instruction for the driver license exchange within the EU.

Actually, you can apply to the exchange even without other EU driver license card. NDLS contacts the country issued your original driver license and get information about the issuing process. Your driver license gets exchanged if it's original one with the previous driver test taken place in that country. The exchange is rejected if the previous driver license was exchanged somehow previously.

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