Importing vehicles from Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Registering vehicles from Northern Ireland (NI)

Registering vehicles brought into NI before 1 January 2021

A vehicle brought into NI before 1 January 2021, and which has remained there since, can be registered in the State with no customs obligations. However, proof of the vehicle’s status in NI prior to 1 January 2021 will be required, for example:

  • a ferry ticket showing the date of arrival in NI, and which clearly identifies the specific vehicle
  • a copy of an invoice from a transport company identifying the vehicle and delivery date
  • tax and insurance details indicating use in NI prior to 1 January 2021
  • or
  • a copy of the V5C showing the last registered keeper in NI and a date of registration to that keeper prior to 1 January 2021.

Registering vehicles whose first UK registration after 31 December 2020 is in NI

A vehicle first registered in NI after 1 January 2021 can be registered in the State without providing proof of its customs status where it meets the following conditions:

  • the registration in NI was the first registration of the vehicle in the United Kingdom (UK)
  • and
  • the vehicle has never been exported and, or re-registered in, Great Britain or any other country outside the European Union.


Before purchasing a vehicle in Northern Ireland, please ensure that you have the proofs listed above. In particular, note the requirement that the specific vehicle must be identified. Without these proofs, you will be liable to pay Customs Duty and VAT before the vehicle can be registered in Ireland.

Next: Vehicles imported from or routed through Northern Ireland (NI)