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A.Valcke, Solicitor
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 740
Experience:  Solicitor with 14+ years of experience // Masters in EU law
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Garda powers/Free movement EU & due process

Customer Question

Hi, I have a question regarding a letter I've received from my local county council's motor tax office. I've been warned that shall I refuse to surrender my Irish driving license to them within 7 days then "Garda will be contacted to retrieve it". I must reiterate that I haven't been to a court of law which sanctioned this action nor have I received any penalty points. The motor tax office simply claiming that my Irish driving license that was issued to me after exchange of a lost Austrian d.license is void as my original license was from Israel. I wonder where is the due process that allows me to put my case before a court before Garda will be at my door. I'm being panelized for exercising free movement rights of taking employment in IE as due to this I have no address in Austria & so have been refused a new Austrian d.license. Recently the EU cancelled the requirement to exchange EU licenses when moving to live permanently in another member state. So shall I still had the lost license I could have used it indefinitely in IE. Before submitting the request for exchange I've stated that my original license was from Israel & was assured this isn't a problem (albeit they've issued me an Irish license). In order to have the Irish license I had to employ an Austrian lawyer in order to get an official letter from the Austrian traffic police with the Austrian driver's license register proving my entitlement that cost me almost 2000 Euros. Only now the motor tax office has realized their mistake. Based on a law that conflicts with EU directives & is discriminatory.

1. What are my chances of pursuing this in Irish court & ECJ? Does the Garda have authority to confiscate/retrieve the license without a court order? What are my chances to recover the 2000 Euros legal expenses spent due to their negligence? Thanks!

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
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Expert:  A.Valcke replied 3 years ago.



Thank you for your question. I afraid that under the EU rules on driving licences, the Irish authorities are not required to exchange an EU licence that was first issued in exchange for a licence obtained outside the EU (Article 11 of Directive 2006/126).


Unfortunately, Ireland does not recognise Israeli driving licences as confirmed here. This unfortunately means you will have to re-sit a driving licence exam in Ireland:



I am sorry not to have better news to give you, but I am afraid you would lose your court case if you were to challenge the Garda's decision before the courts.


I hope this answers your question.


Kind regards


A. Valcke

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