There is a requirement under motor tax legislation to provide evidence of insurance at the time of taxation of a vehicle in any motor tax class, if requested by a licensing authority (motor tax office). However, the requirement to have an approved policy of insurance in place in respect of a vehicle being used in a public place is provided for under the Road Traffic Acts and is, in itself, separate from the motor tax code.
Motor tax is based on both the construction and use of a vehicle. To be taxed as a goods vehicle, a vehicle must be constructed or adapted as a goods vehicle and must be used solely for the carrying of goods in the course of trade or business.
Under Article 3 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations 1992 (S.I. 385 of 1992), a licensing authority must be satisfied that the licence (motor tax disc) being applied for is the appropriate licence for the vehicle concerned. It is open to the relevant motor tax office to seek whatever documentation it deems appropriate in support of an application for a particular rate of motor tax.
In the case of an application for the goods rate of motor tax, such documentation may include a certificate of commercial insurance, a Tax Clearance Certificate, evidence of registration for tax or registration for VAT (if turnover for VAT exceeds the relevant thresholds set down by the Office of the Revenue Commissioners) or, at the discretion of the licensing authority, any other appropriate documentation that would indicate that the applicant is in trade or business.
It is up to the individual concerned to provide whatever evidence is required by the licensing authority in order for it to be satisfied that the applicant is entitled to claim what is in effect a concessionary rate of tax.