Irish driver licensing law operates within a framework of EU law, which sets out the driver licensing legislation with which all Member States must comply. The format of driving licences, categories of vehicles, and the standards to be met in driving tests to qualify for a licence are all set at EU level. Therefore, all EU issued licences are mutually recognised in Member States.
Member states may make bilateral agreements on licence exchange with non-EU jurisdictions, such as Ukraine and Argentina. Reaching a driving licence exchange agreement with another country is a comprehensive process, carried out between the statutory licensing authorities in each state. To ensure the safety of road users, such agreements can be made only when the relevant authorities in each jurisdiction have studied and compared the two licensing regimes and are satisfied that they are comparable. If standards and procedures are not comparable, the process does not continue. The exchange agreement process generally takes over a year of ongoing engagement, from initiation to completion, to provide the thoroughness required to ensure the safety of Irish road users. On the Irish side, this task is undertaken by the Road Safety Authority (RSA).
The RSA is currently considering licence exchange agreements with several non-EU licensing authorities, including Ukraine and Argentina.