Monday 14 October 2019

Motorists left in state of flux on green cards needed to drive in the North after Brexit

Photo: PA
Photo: PA
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

Confusion is mounting over the billed need for drivers to have a green card while travelling in the North in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The Irish Independent spoke to several motorists trying to prepare for the potential necessity, but some have been refused the green cards from insurance providers.

One woman, from Dublin, requested a green card from her insurance broker yesterday as she regularly drives to Northern Ireland and Britain.

She was told not one green card had been issued to customers from any of the 14 insurance companies on its books.

She was told she couldn't have a green card currently and was instead asked to call back late next week to see if there have been any updates.

Seamus Ward, from Dundalk, Co Louth, phoned his car insurance broker on Monday but was, he said, also instructed to wait until next week to apply.

"I spoke to a courteous lady who said they'd not been advised of any changes but to wait until after the vote in the Commons on March 12," the retired businessman said.

He claimed he was told "anything else was scaremongering in the media".

Another woman, from Dublin, said her insurance company told her a green card should be with her by the end of March and motorists living in Border counties were the first priority.

Axa Ireland tweeted a customer enquiring about green cards on Wednesday.

"In the event of a 'No Deal' Brexit, all direct car and van customers will automatically receive a green card by post, free of charge.

"You do not have to do anything," it said.

If a no-deal Brexit takes place, any driver with an Irish-registered vehicle driving to the UK, including Northern Ireland, will require a internationally recognised insurance document.

It is called a green card and it will show the PSNI in Northern Ireland and the British police that an Irish driver has valid motor insurance.

Currently, we are in a state of flux and all drivers have been advised by the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland that they should request green cards from their motor insurance providers.

Brexit is due to happen on March 29 .

It's likely law enforcement in Northern Ireland and Britain will no longer recognise the Irish insurance document in a no-deal situation.

UK police have the power to seize uninsured vehicles, and in some cases destroy them, and there are also penalties of up to €350. UK police can also add six penalty points to driver licences if a case ends up going to court.

Irish Independent

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