Thursday 17 January 2019

Green cards may be needed for post-Brexit UK-Ireland car travel

I don't propose to get into a running commentary on this blog about the current Brexit shenanigans in London just now - but I will point out relevant potential issues that may affect genealogists as a consequence of what is tragically beginning to look like a no-deal exit by the UK from the EU on March 29th.

The first of these may be of interest to anyone intending to travel from Britain or Northern Ireland to Dublin for Back to Our Past ( later this year from October 19th-21st, or for anyone from the Republic wishing to travel to Britain for any of the large family history events taking place in England after March 29th.

If the UK leaves without agreeing a deal, the UK's Association of British Insurers ( has advised that you will need to apply for a green card from your insurance company to travel with your car from the UK into the EU, and from the EU into the UK. Sadly, this also applies to travel between the UK and the Republic of Ireland, even though the Common Travel Area is to be maintained. You will most likely continue to be insured by your company (though do check), but you will need the green card to demonstrate this. The ABI's advice is available online at and it advises that you will need to apply a month before you travel.

One saving grace, for now at least, for those travelling from the UK into the Republic of Ireland is that you will not need to apply for an international driving permit (IDP) to visit - I am as yet unclear if this is also true for travelling from Ireland to the UK. An IDP will be a necessity, however, if travelling from Britain to the European continent. In the UK, these will be made available at Post Offices from the start of February.

Further information from the UK's government is available at

The Irish Times has the story across the water at This notes that in Ireland "Insurers and insurance brokers in the Republic will begin issuing green cards to policyholders from March ahead of March 29th, the scheduled date for the UK to leave the EU."

Further coverage is available on the BBC at


My next Scottish Research Online course starts March 11th 2019 - see Details of my genealogical research service are available at For my Scottish and Irish themed books, visit Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

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