You may have seen recent media reports regarding the possible need for Irish motorists to carry a document known as a Green Card as proof of motor insurance when traveling between Ireland and the U.K. (including Northern Ireland) in the event of a ‘No Deal Brexit’ occurring on 29th March 2019.
As you are probably aware, under the terms of the 2009 European Union Motor Insurance Directive (“MID”), Irish registered vehicles can currently travel freely within all EU member states, including the UK. However, in the event of a ‘No Deal Brexit’, the U.K. will no longer be party to the MID and, as a result, Irish motorists will be required to provide Green Cards demonstrating that they have the necessary insurance cover in place when travelling in the U.K.
What are Green Cards?
Green Cards are internationally recognised insurance documents issued by insurers to their policyholders upon request, when cover is sought for intermittent travel to countries which are not party to the MID. Green Cards are guaranteed through agreements between the motor insurers’ bureaus of individual countries, referred to as the Council of Bureaux. All Green Card documents have the same format, are green in colour, A4 sized, and list the countries for which the motorist’s insurance policy is valid. Green Cards must be a physical document and cannot – as yet – be issued or presented in an electronic format.
You don’t currently need to do anything
A Green Card will only be required in the event of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit on or after 29th March 2019.
At this present time, extensive discussions are continuing between the European Commission, the UK Government and the various motor insurers’ bureaus to ensure that the UK will still be covered by current motor insurance provisions post-Brexit. If this is agreed, there will be no change impacting Irish motorists travelling to or from the U.K.