WHAT ARE GREEN CARDS?
Green Cards are internationally recognised insurance documents which provide proof of insurance cover to law enforcement agencies. It satisfies the police in the country visited that the motorist has the minimum compulsory insurance cover required.
A Green Card is a paper document which is printed on green paper or with a green background. It is also known as an International Motor Insurance Card.
If there is a ‘no deal’ Brexit then any motorist who plans on driving their Irish registered vehicle in Northern Ireland or the UK is advised to ensure they have a Green Card or they may be treated as an ‘uninsured’ driver by the police.
A Green Card is specific to a particular vehicle and each vehicle requires its own Green Card. So for example if there is a no deal Brexit and a person has two different cars they wish to drive in the UK, then they will need two Green Cards, one for each vehicle.
If two people are insured to drive the same car, then they will only need one Green Card.
Green Cards can not be transferred between vehicles.
Green Cards are typically valid until your insurance policy expires. Your insurer will specify the expiry date on the Green Card. Green Cards are issued for a minimum duration of 15 days.
Green Cards have two main purposes.
1. To facilitate the movement of vehicles across international borders by providing proof of insurance cover.
2. To ensure victims of road traffic accidents involving vehicles with foreign registrations are not disadvantaged.
Getting a Green Card
To secure your Green Card you should contact your insurance company or insurance broker. The insurance companies and insurance brokers began issuing Green Cards to policyholders who contacted them during the first week of March. If you expect to drive your vehicle in Northern Ireland or elsewhere in the UK in the days after Brexit you should contact your insurance provider immediately.
If you plan on driving your vehicle in Northern Ireland or anywhere else in the UK after that period you should contact your insurance company or insurance broker one month in advance of your trip.
Where Green Cards operate
There are currently 47 different countries in the Green Card system. This includes all the members of the European Union as well as countries from the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland, Russia as well as several countries in the Middle East and some North African countries.
EU motorists travelling to EU countries do not require a Green Card as they are covered by the EU Motor Insurance Directive.
There is also no requirement to carry a Green Card in the following non EU countries: Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia and Switzerland.
In the Republic of Ireland the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) acts as the Green Card Bureau. We provide Green Cards, both hard copy and electronic templates, to insurance companies. They then issue the Green Cards to their policyholders, either directly or via a broker, when requested.
In preparation for Brexit the MIBI has provided 1 million Green Cards to insurance companies operating in the Republic of Ireland.