AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES
Driving in Ireland
American citizens are permitted to drive in Ireland for the duration of a visit up to 12 months as a tourist. If you wish to apply for an International Permit for use during your visit you can apply through the AAA in the U.S. using the application found here.
If your stay in Ireland will be more than 12 months you can apply for an Irish driving licence but you will need to go through the full driver licensing procedure. You must first complete a driver theory test, apply for a learner driving permit and complete your driving test in Ireland. If you pass your driving test, you will be issued with a full Irish driving licence. All first time applicants for a provisional license must take an eye examination. This test must be given by an optician practicing in Ireland.
To apply for the Irish driver's test you should contact the following:
Road Safety Authority
Moy Business Park
Follow this link for further information. Further information about Driving Licence procedures is available on the Department of Transports website.
The forms which must be completed to apply both for both the driving test and a provisional or full license are available from Garda (police stations) nationwide.
A U.S. driver's license may not be exchanged for an Irish license.
A listing of Motor Taxation offices can be found here.
LOST OR STOLEN U.S. DRIVER'S LICENSES
The Embassy cannot reissue lost or stolen U.S. driver's licenses. The owner of the license must contact the state which issued the license and request reissuance. This can be a lengthy procedure taking several weeks. The owner of the license should contact the Citizen Services Unit on the next working day to get the address of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles in the relevant state or visit the USA.gov website.
LEFT HAND DRIVE: CAUTION
As driving is on the left side of the road in Ireland, motorists without experience in left-drive countries should be particularly cautious. Tourists driving on the wrong side of the road are the cause of several serious accidents each year. Road conditions are generally very good, but once off main highways, country roads quickly become narrow and uneven. Roads are more dangerous during the Summer and on holiday weekends due to an increase in traffic.
Link to the Irish Automobile Association - AA
Link to the U.S. Automobile Association - AAA