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Motor Tax in the Republic of Ireland

What is Motor Tax?

Most vehicles are legally required to have motor tax in Ireland, when driven in a public place. The profits made from motor tax go towards the upkeep and maintenance of the roads around the country (believe it or not). You can pay your motor tax at the local motor tax offices located around the country.

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How much does it Cost?

Your motor tax depends on the vehicle you drive, and the size of the vehicle's engine. If you have a more powerful car, then you'll be paying a higher taxation than someone in a mini!

Duration of tax discs and Factors affecting Costs

Motor tax discs are issued for either three, six or twelve months and the rate is dependent on engine size.

Where you Pay for your Motor Tax

You can pay for your motor tax at the local motor tax office.

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Display the Motor Tax Disc

To proove that you've paid motor tax, vehicles are required by law to display their motor tax disc on the windscreen, at all times.

What if you don't have/display the motor tax disc?

If you don't display evidence that you have paid up for your motor tax (ie a valid tax disc), you have commited a motor offence and are liable for a 65 euro on-the-spot fine issued by a traffic warden or, a friendly garda.

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Vehicles Exempt from Motor Tax

Certain vehicles are not required to pay motor tax, most of these however are government vehicles, or work vehicles related to road upkeep, councils and public services. Here is a list:

  • State-owned vehicles
  • Diplomatic vehicles
  • Vehicles exempt under the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Act
  • Vehicles not above 400 kilograms in weight (unladen), which are adapted and used by invalids
  • Vehicles which are used solely to transport lifeboats or any equipment for the preservation of life and property in ship-wrecks and distress at sea
  • Vehicles which are used solely to transport road and construction machinery used solely for the construction and maintenance of roads.
  • Bin lorries, sweeping machines or watering machines used solely for cleaning public streets
  • Fire-engines, ambulances and road-rollers
  • Vehicles solely by the fire brigade
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Changing your Vehicle and Motor Tax

When you change vehicles, you must register the change of ownership of your new vehicle at the Vehicle Registration Unit (VRU). This is done by sending back Part B of the Vehicle Licensing Certicate to the VRU(that you would have received when you purchased the vehicle).

There isn't any charge for registering Change of Ownership details at Motor Taxation Offices or at the Vehicle Registration Unit.

Before you can tax the vehicle, you will have to wait for up to 4 weeks to receive the confirmation of change of registration. And as you can't drive without motortax, the car will have to remain parked until then!

If you sell a vehicle to a motor dealer, you will have to complete a form called the RF 105 (provided by the motor dealer). This is then returned to the VRU, and the Vehicle Licencing Certificate and Vehicle Registration Certificates are handed over to the motor dealer.

Again it can take a number of weeks to process a new registration, so you will be unable to tax a new vehicle until you have received confirmation of the change of ownership from the VRU.

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What to do if you lose your Tax Disc?

You can get replacement documents associated with motor tax (and changes to vehicle ownership). Here is a list of the documents and their costs:

  • Tax disc €6
  • Registration book €12
  • Vehicle licensing certificate €12

To get your replacement documents, fill out form RF134 and have this form witnessed by a Garda at a Garda station. Then send on your completed form with the appropriate fee to your Motor Tax Office.

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Applying for Motor Tax

If your vehicle is new, you need a "First Motor Tax Application" form (RF 100). This is available from the motor dealer or person from whom you bought your vehicle. When you are applying for first motor tax, you must present the following documents at your local Motor Taxation Office:

  • Form RF 100
  • Vehicle Registration Certificate
  • Current Certificate of Insurance issued in Ireland
  • Correct fee
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Motor Tax Renewal

There are two forms available for renewing motor tax - Motor Tax Renewal Form RF 100A and Motor Tax Renewal Form RF 100B.

RF 100B is a computer-generated form that is automatically mailed to you 3-4 weeks before your tax is due to expire. RF 100A on the other hand, is available from the local Motor Taxation Office.

As not everyone will get a form in the post, you must check when your tax expires. The forms should be posted back to your local Motor Taxation Off expires yourself. When you apply in person you'll be given a new tax disc immediately. And if you make an application by post, you'll receive your new tax disc in approximately 3 weeks.

When you are returning your forms, the following documents should accompany your application:

  • Vehicle Licensing Certificate
  • Current Certificate of Insurance
  • National Car Test Certificate (if it applies)
  • The appropriate fee for the period you wish to tax it for

Motor Tax Office Contact Details

You will find contact information for all the local authorities, including the local motor taxation office, at the front of your public telephone directory. To contact the Vehicle Registration Unit, call loCall: 1890 411 412 (calls charged at local rate from any location in the country).

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