BREXIT AND GREEN CARDS FAQ'S

BREXIT AND GREEN CARDS FAQ

The information detailed in this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) relates to the provision of Green Cards to Irish registered motor vehicles in the event that a ‘no deal’ Brexit takes place. In that situation a motorist with an Irish registered motor vehicle who wishes to drive it in Northern Ireland or elsewhere in the UK will require a Green Card. 

Green Cards will not be required if an Agreement is reached between the EU and UK on Brexit.

If Brexit should be delayed then the requirement for Green Cards will also be pushed back. 

What impact will Brexit have on my motor insurance?
None, however, if there is a ‘no deal’ Brexit then anyone taking their Irish registered motor vehicle to the UK, including Northern Ireland,  will require an internationally recognised insurance document to show the law enforcement authorities there that you have valid motor insurance and are insured to drive in that country. This international insurance document is called a Green Card. 

Green Cards will not be needed if the EU and the UK reach an agreement on Brexit.   

What is a Green Card?
A Green Card is an internationally recognised insurance document which provides proof of the minimum compulsory motor insurance cover required by the country visited.  It is a hard copy document which is printed on green paper or with a green background. 

What has changed to cause this situation?
Currently all Irish motor vehicles with a valid registration travelling within the EU are covered by the terms of the EU Motor Insurance Directive (MID).  This allows motor vehicles to travel freely between the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain as well as within all EU countries without requiring supplementary insurance documentation.

Should a ‘no deal’ Brexit occur, then the UK, including Northern Ireland, will no longer be party to the MID.  This means that anyone who drives their Irish registered motor vehicle in Northern Ireland or the rest of the UK will require a Green Card to demonstrate to the authorities in Northern Ireland or anywhere else in the UK that they have valid motor insurance cover. 

Will everyone with motor insurance need a Green Card?
Only those who plan to drive their Irish registered motor vehicle in Northern Ireland, or any other part of the UK, will require a Green Card when driving in the UK/ Northern Ireland. Green Cards are also required for Irish motor insurance policyholders who wish to drive their Irish registered motor vehicle in a non EEA country. In this scenario the policyholder should check with their insurer or insurance broker as to what the Green Card arrangements are for the country in question.
 
When will I know for sure if I will need a Green Card?
As there is still uncertainty around Brexit we are encouraging anyone who plans on driving an Irish registered vehicle in Northern Ireland or elsewhere in the UK in the days immediately after Brexit to contact their insurance provider now. This is to ensure they receive their Green Card on time. 

Those who are travelling after that period are advised to contact their insurance provider one month before their journey. 

A Green Card will only be required if a ‘no deal’ Brexit takes place.  If an agreement is reached then Green Cards will not be needed.  

What is the process for getting a Green Card?
Policyholders who receive their motor insurance from an insurance company should contact that insurance company, while policyholders who receive their motor insurance via a broker should contact that broker.

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) is the Green Card Bureau for the Republic of Ireland. We are working with motor insurance companies and insurance brokers operating in this country to provide anyone who wishes to drive their Republic of Ireland registered motor vehicle in the UK, including Northern Ireland, with a Green Card should a ‘no deal’ Brexit take place. 

So far the MIBI has provided one million blank Green Cards to insurance companies. Green Card electronic templates have also been issued by the MIBI. 

Since the beginning of March 2019 any motor insurance policyholder who requests a Green Card will be issued one by their insurance provider.

When will Green Cards be needed?

Green Cards will only be needed if there is a ‘no deal’ Brexit. They will also only be needed by anyone who drives an Irish registered vehicle in Northern Ireland or elsewhere in the UK. 

This timeline will be pushed back should Brexit be delayed.
 
Will it be easy to get a Green Card if I need one?
Yes. Any policyholder with an Irish registered vehicle who requests a Green Card from their insurance provider will be issued with one.
 
How long will it take to get a Green Card if I need one?
Insurance providers starting issuing Green Cards to their policyholders from the beginning of March 2019. Any policyholder who requests a Green Card in early March will be issued one in advance of the scheduled date for Brexit. This is unless Brexit is delayed or a deal is reached between the UK and the EU, which would remove the need for Green Cards. 

The initial batch of Green Cards are intended for those who expect to drive a Republic of Ireland registered vehicle in the days immediately after Brexit.

Anyone who expects to drive in Northern Ireland or another part of the UK after that period should contact their insurance provider one month in advance. 

I have heard some insurers are issuing Green Cards to all their policyholders. Do I still need to request one?
The MIBI understands some insurance providers are issuing Green Cards to all policyholders, some are issuing Green Cards to policyholders in select areas and some are issuing Green Cards upon request.

If your insurance provider has not advised you as to what method of distribution they are adopting we would advise you to check their website for further information or to contact them directly.

I drive to the UK/ Northern Ireland every day, how will this impact me?
If there is a ‘no deal’ Brexit then anyone driving their motor vehicle from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland, or anywhere else in the UK, will need a Green Card to show the law enforcement authorities that you have valid motor insurance.
 
What happens if I don’t have a Green Card?
If there is a ‘no deal’ Brexit and you drive a Republic of Ireland registered vehicle in Northern Ireland/ UK without a Green Card then you may be treated as uninsured by the policing authorities. It is an offence to drive without insurance. In Northern Ireland/ UK the penalties for driving uninsured include having your vehicle seized at the side of the road, fines and impoundment.
 
What cover does a Green Card provide if I have an accident in Northern Ireland/ UK?
The Green Card confirms to the Northern Ireland/ UK authorities that you have the legally required minimum third party motor insurance required to drive in the UK.  Your existing cover may go further than what is provided for under third party policies. Whilst most Irish insurers automatically extend full policy cover for journeys into the UK, some restrictions may apply.  It is therefore advisable to carefully read your policy documents if you are driving abroad and to check with your insurer if you are unclear.

Will Northern Irish / UK vehicles require a Green Card if they are travelling to the Republic of Ireland?
If a ‘no deal’ Brexit takes place then yes they will also require a Green Card.

If I plan on driving my vehicle in another part of the EU will I need a Green Card after Brexit?
No, unless you intend to travel to the EU via the UK.

What if I have to drive my motor vehicle in Northern Ireland or the rest of the UK at short notice, will I still be able to get a Green Card?
Anyone planning on driving their Irish registered motor vehicle in Northern Ireland or elsewhere in the UK in the days immediately after Brexit is strongly advised to contact their insurance company or insurance broker now. Those who are travelling after that period should contact their insurance provider one month in advance of their journey.

Your insurance company or insurance broker will be able to advise you about the process they have in place for handling exceptional, short notice, circumstances. 

Is there a cost involved in getting a Green Card from my insurer/broker?
There may be a small admin charge associated with the provision of Green Card documents. Your insurance company or insurance broker will advise. 

The MIBI has provided blank Green Card documents and electronic application templates to the insurance companies without charge.

If I do get a Green Card, how long will it remain valid for?
Green Cards provide a guarantee of insurance cover for a minimum of 15 days and can remain valid until the expiry date of the motor insurance policy.  Your insurer will specify the expiry date on the Green Card.

What happens if I change my vehicle?
Green Cards are issued in conjunction with a specific vehicle and a specific motor insurance policy.  If the vehicle is changed the policyholder will require a new Green Card for the new vehicle. 

What happens if I change my insurer and/or renew my policy?
Green Cards are issued in conjunction with a specific vehicle and a specific motor insurance policy.  If you change your motor insurance provider or renew your motor insurance policy a new Green Card will also be needed. 

You will also require a new Green Card if your motor insurance policy is renewed while you are abroad. 

My insurance is due to expire soon.  Will the Green Card still cover me?
A Green Card will only be issued if the policyholder’s motor insurance policy remains valid for a minimum of 15 days after it is issued. 

Can I transfer my Green Card to another vehicle?
No. 

Can I transfer my Green Card to my partner?

Each Green Card applies to a specific vehicle and the specific motor insurance policy covering that vehicle. If your partner is covered under the motor insurance policy on the specific vehicle then the Green Card will apply to them.
 
If Green Cards are required will I have to have it with me all the time?

Yes, the Green Card will be required to be with you each time you drive your motor vehicle in Northern Ireland or anywhere else in the UK.
 
My vehicle tows a trailer/caravan.  Will I need a separate Green Card for the trailer/caravan?

No.  The Green Card issued for the towing vehicle will cover the trailer/caravan while it is attached to that vehicle.

I have a multi vehicle insurance policy.  Will my Green Card cover all the vehicles on my policy?

No. Each vehicle requires a separate Green Card.

Each Green Card applies only to one specific vehicle and one specific motor insurance policy.  So each of the vehicles will require their own specific Green Card.

I employ drivers who regularly cross into Northern Ireland/ UK. Can I arrange Green Cards for their vehicles?

Yes, you will should liaise with your insurance company or insurance broker to ensure that any vehicles used by your drivers receive the necessary Green Cards. However it will be the responsibility of each individual driver to ensure they carry the Green Card specifically associated with their vehicle with them at all times when driving in Northern Ireland/ UK.

I am going to rent a car in Northern Ireland/ UK.  Will I need a Green Card?

No.  However if you plan on driving that car back into the Republic of Ireland or to another EU State then the rental company will need to issue you with a Green Card. 

What is the position in respect of UK Driving Licenses?

The National Driving License Service are the responsible body and we suggest you check their website for the latest information. 

https://www.ndls.ie/news.html

https://www.ndls.ie/images/Documents/FAQs/FAQ%20on%20Brexit%20Implications.pdf

Currently, the NDLS are advising that in the event of a no-deal Brexit the driving licence of a UK licence holder living here in Ireland will not be recognised and the driver will not be able to continue to drive here in Ireland on that licence. The advice to such drivers is that they should exchange their UK driving licence for an Irish driving licence before Brexit. Under current arrangements a UK licence holder resident here in Ireland has an entitlement to make such an exchange. In such a case the driver will have all valid licence categories on their driver licence included on the Irish licence. There are some limited exceptions where what are known as national licences categories cannot be transferred to the Irish licence. You may need to speak to the DVLA to find out if you have any national categories on your UK licence. To exchange your licence you must complete a licence application form and present this, the correct fee and your UK licence at an NDLS centre.

FAQs for Insurance Providers

When should insurance providers start issuing Green Cards to our policyholders?
Insurance companies and their brokers/ intermediaries should start processing requests for Green Cards from the beginning of March 2019. Green Cards requested in early March should be issued to policyholders ahead of the scheduled date for Brexit. 

This will allow those who expect to drive in Northern Ireland/UK in the days immediately after Brexit to receive their Green Cards on time. The MIBI is also advising anyone who plans on travelling to NI/UK after that time to contact their insurance provider one month before their journey.  

What should we do if a policyholder requests a Green Card?
You should process their request and tell the policyholder the Green Card will be issued to them.
 
Can we tell our policyholders we are not issuing Green Cards yet?
No. You must process their request. 
 
The MIBI understands some insurance providers are issuing Green Cards to all policyholders, some are issuing Green Cards to policyholders in select areas and some are issuing Green Cards upon request.
 
Can we tell our policyholders to call back and request a Green Card at a later date?
No. You must process their request.
 
What system of distribution are the various providers using to send out Green Cards?
The MIBI understands some insurance providers are issuing Green Cards to all policyholders, some are issuing Green Cards to policyholders in select areas and some are issuing Green Cards upon request.