Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)

VRT and registration

All motor vehicles in the State must be registered within 30 days of their date of entry. This, however, does not extend to:

  • certain vehicles kept by authorised motor traders
  • and
  • foreign registered vehicles brought in temporarily and driven by visitors to the State for non-business purposes.

Foreign registered vehicles may also, in exceptional circumstances related to business use, be driven by a State resident.

VRT is charged, in most cases, when a vehicle is registered in the State.

In certain cases, a full or partial exemption from VRT may apply. If you are transferring your residence to the State you may be entitled to an exemption from VRT. There are a number of conditions (see VRT Manual Section 02). You should carefully study these to see if you are eligible.

The requirement to register

It is an offence to drive an unregistered vehicle in the State. If you do not register your vehicle, Revenue or the Gardaí can detain it. It could also be seized by Revenue and may be released on the payment of a penalty.

The National Car Testing Service (NCTS) registers vehicles on behalf of Revenue. To register a vehicle, you must:

  • make an appointment with the NCTS within seven days of bringing the vehicle into the State
  • and
  • register it within 30 days of bringing it into the State.

You will pay additional VRT if you fail to register the vehicle within 30 days. This usually arises where evidence of the date of entry into the State is not produced.

Registering a new vehicle

A valid Certificate of Conformity (CoC) must be entered on the Revenue system before a new vehicle can be registered.

A CoC contains information produced by a manufacturer that is unique to each vehicle manufactured. In effect, the CoC is a statement by the manufacturer that the vehicle conforms to EU standards, including safety.

How this affects you

When purchasing a new vehicle in the State, the dealer will register the vehicle.

Otherwise, you must register the vehicle yourself. You must get the CoC, either in paper or electronic form, from the seller. You must check in advance that the car seller has a CoC and the other mandatory documentation prior to purchase.

You must enter the CoC using either myAccount or ROS. If the CoC is provided in the correct XML format, you may upload it. XML CoCs can only be generated by the manufacturer. It is not possible to convert a PDF or Word file to the correct format. The CoC can also be inputted manually. This manual will assist you e-CoC Procedures Manual.

The CoC must be uploaded prior to your NCTS appointment.

Registering a used vehicle

If buying a vehicle from abroad, you must get the foreign registration documents from the seller. You should check in advance that the car seller has this and the other mandatory documentation.

The V5C is the UK foreign registration document. The UK has specific requirements regarding the sale of vehicles, please see their advice on selling a vehicle. Please note, only the 'permanent export' section of the V5C should be sent to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) when the vehicle is exported from the UK. It is essential that you get the rest of the V5C from the seller as it is required to register the vehicle in the State.


Failure to present the relevant foreign registration document at your NCTS appointment will lead to registration being refused.

Next: Procedure at the NCTS centre