Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT)

VRT and registration

All motor vehicles in the State must be registered within 30 days of the date they first arrive in the State, except:

  • certain vehicles kept by authorised motor traders
  • foreign registered vehicles brought in temporarily and driven by visitors to the State for non-business purposes
  • foreign registered vehicles may, 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. For example, if you are transferring your residence into the State you may be entitled to register your car without paying the tax. There are a number of conditions (see VRT Manual 02). You should carefully study them 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 at Revenue's discretion.

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 for 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 the vehicle entered the State is not produced.

Registering a new vehicle

From 12 September 2016 a valid Certificate of Conformity (CoC) must be entered on the Revenue computer 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

If you buy a new vehicle from a motor dealer in the State, the dealer should register the vehicle before delivering it to you.

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

You must enter the CoC using either myAccount or ROS. If the CoC is provided in the correct XML format you may upload it. Otherwise you can manually input the CoC. This manual will assist you e-CoC Procedures Manual.

You must have entered the CoC onto the Revenue system before visiting the NCTS Centre.

Registering a used vehicle

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

The UK has specific requirements regarding the sale of vehicles, please see selling a vehicle on the GOV.UK website.

Next: Procedure at the NCTS centre