Motor Tax/Vehicle Registraton-NVDF

The National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF) is a database containing details of all 2.5 million registered vehicles and their owners as well as the 2.6 million licensed drivers in the country. The system which is maintained and supported by the Driver and Vehicle Computer Services Division of the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport, located in Shannon, Co. Clare, is central to the processing of motor tax and driving licence business through which in excess of €1 Billion is collected annually. The NVDF also fulfills legal obligations in relation to the national driver and vehicle registers.

The NVDF supports motor tax and driving licence services for all users across in motor tax offices and other outlets throughout the country, the internet based Online Motor Tax and Change of Vehicle Ownership services and at Shannon where data processing of change of vehicle ownership notices takes place.

The NVDF provides the basis for a number of services. For further details click on one of the following links:

Data Protection

The National Vehicle Driver File (NVDF) contains some data components of a personal and sensitive nature and the system is operated and administered in accordance with best data protection practices. The system is registered with the Data Protection Commissioner under the data protection acts – Ref 0721/A. In terms of providing approved third parties with access to NVDF data, all large volumes of data are sent by secure channel or downloaded via staging server. All data supplied is encrypted. Infrequent or low volume data requests are facilitated through web read-only access via a secure logon.

Motor Tax

Motor tax can be renewed online for most cars through the online service at is external). Motor tax can also be paid at the motor tax offices of your Local Authority. Further details on motor tax including Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Motor Tax System for New Cars, as well as download versions of motor tax forms are available at is external). The Online Motor Tax (OMT) service enables vehicle owners to pay their motor tax by secure link over the internet thus avoiding attendance at local motor tax offices or making application by post. Full details on the OMT service including the types of vehicles which may be taxed online and the procedures associated with online taxing involving the Personal Identification No. (PIN) are contained on the OMT website is external).

It is now possible for the owners of commercial vehicles to renew the tax over the internet. Vehicles must have a current roadworthiness certificate and in the case of light goods vehicles (vehicles whose design gross vehicle weight is less than 3,500 kg), the owner must have already submitted form RF111A (declaration that the vehicle will only be used as a goods carrying vehicle in the course of the owners business) to the local motor tax office.

New arrangements apply to declaring a vehicle off the road for motor tax purposes from 1 July 2013.  The new system requires a vehicle owner to declare their vehicle off the road in advance by completing form RF150 – Declaration of Non-Use of a Motor Vehicle. This will replace the system whereby owners declare a vehicle off the road retrospectively when seeking to tax a vehicle. There is a three month transition period from 1 July 2013 to 30 September 2013 during which those in arrears must pay the arrears and either take out a new vehicle licence or make a declaration of non-use i.e.  inform the motor tax authorities of their intention not to use the vehicle in a public place. Those whose vehicles have not been on the road must make a declaration of non-use for the period in question (Garda witnessed signature on motor tax renewal form) and either take out a new vehicle licence or make a declaration of non-use (Form RF150).

Following the end of the transition period, the current system whereby a person can go to a Garda Station and make a declaration that a vehicle was off the road, without having to pay arrears, will cease, and owners will be liable to pay all motor tax arrears before a new licence can be issued in respect of the vehicle.

Form RF150 and further details of the proposed changes are available from your local motor tax office or for download from is external) or is external).

Change of Vehicle Ownership

The law requires that all changes of vehicle ownership must be notified to the Department of Transport and the changes recorded on the National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF). In addition to fulfilling legal obligations in relation to vehicle registration and motor tax collection these details may also be very beneficial to owners themselves. For example when a vehicle is subject to a safety recall manufacturers endeavor to contact all registered owners with the assistance of data from the NVDF. Therefore, it is important that the ownership and address details are up to date at all times and that changes are notified promptly.

There are obligations on both the sellers and buyers of vehicles to comply with the procedures for notification of vehicle ownership and there are penalties, upon conviction, for non compliance. The onus is on the seller to ensure that the necessary documentation relating to a change of ownership is completed. A registered owner must be recorded against each vehicle and in the event of failure to establish the correct credentials of a new owner the seller’s name remains on record. That person remains liable for any charges which arise in relation to the vehicle including motor tax and any penalties which may be incurred (parking, traffic violations etc.).

Online Change of Vehicle Ownership Service

Motor dealers are involved in the majority of vehicle sale and purchase transactions and the Department has introduced an E- Government service which enables approved dealers notify vehicle ownership changes to the NVDF over the internet at is external)

The online facility can only be used by dealers who have been approved by the Department for the submission of details by electronic means. The website contains instructions for dealers to register to use the service. The online service also incorporates:

  • a facility whereby Authorised Treatment Facilities may notify vehicle end-of-life (ELV) instances
  • a transaction tracking facility for motor dealers who submit electronic notices
  • a facility for the general motoring public where, through a link from the online motor tax is external), some non confidential information on recent transactions recorded on the NVDF may be obtained – this is to avoid the necessity to make telephone calls to establish the status of change of ownership notices.

Sale to a Motor Dealer

If a vehicle is being sold to a motor dealer, the seller should give the dealer the Vehicle Registration Certificate (or licensing certificate) and both the seller and the dealer must complete form RF105. Where a dealer is enabled to use the online change of vehicle ownership service the dealer will arrange to have the details notified online. Otherwise the seller must send the RF105 form to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Computer Services Division (DVCSD), Department of Transport, Shannon, Co. Clare. The DVCSD will record the dealer as the registered owner of the vehicle.

Private Sale

If a vehicle is sold privately, both the seller and the buyer must complete reverse portion of the Vehicle Registration Certificate (or in the case of pre-April 2004 vehicles Part B the vehicle licensing certificate) and send to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Computer Services Division (DVCSD), Department of Transport, Shannon, Co. Clare. The DVCSD will process this transaction and issue a new Vehicle Registration Certificate (VRC) to the new owner.

Change in Ownership for pre 1993 vehicles

Form RF200 should be used where a change of ownership needs to be notified for a vehicle registered before 1 January 1993. The completed form and registration (log) book must be submitted to your local motor tax office. This Form RF200 is available from Motor Tax Offices, Public Libraries and Garda Stations or can be downloaded at is external). If the vehicle is being sold to a motor dealer the registration book should be given to the motor dealer and Form RF 200 sent to the local motor tax office.

Vehicle Registration Certificate

The Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations, 2004 introduced a document for registration and licensing purposes in compliance with the requirements of EU Directive 1999/37/EC. The Registration Certificate constitutes the registration or ‘log’ book for a vehicle and is generated by the National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF) when a recently registered vehicle (new and imported) has been road taxed for the first time and upon each change of ownership (other than to a motor dealer) subsequently.

The registration certificate is an important document and must be stored carefully. It will be required when the vehicle next changes ownership.

The Vehicle Licensing Certificate predates the Vehicle Registration Certificate and ceased to be issued in May 2004. However this Certificate may still be associated with vehicles registered before May 2004 which has not changed ownership in the interval. In such cases a Vehicle Registration Certificate will be issued to the new owner upon change of ownership.

Where a Vehicle Registration Certificate has been lost or destroyed Form RF134 must be completed and forwarded to the vehicle owner’s local motor tax office. This form must be witnessed and stamped by a member of An Garda Siochana. This form is available at all motor tax offices or can be downloaded is external). A motor tax office will charge €12 for this service.

Vehicle Destructions

Insurance Write Offs

Insurers provide details of written-off vehicles and the NVDF is updated with these particulars.

Where written off instances are noted on the NVDF it results in the affected vehicles on the system being generally ‘locked down’ so that no further activity such as changes of vehicle ownership or renewal of motor tax can be recorded. ‘Write offs’ generally refer to vehicles that have been extensively damaged and designated by insurers as being totally or substantially destroyed.

End of Life Vehicles (ELV’s)

The Waste Management (End of Life Vehicles) Regulations 2006 provide for the implementation in Ireland of Directive 2000/53/EC on end of life vehicles. The Regulations introduced new environmental standards to ensure that materials are recovered and recycled in a way that does not harm the environment. In the event of the destruction of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (less than 3,500 kg gross vehicle weight), the vehicle registration certificate/licensing certificate must be surrendered to an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) when the vehicle is being deposited for destruction. An ATF is a facility where the collection and storage and treatment of ELV’s may take place. Details of ATF’s can be got from each local authority. Vehicles can be deposited free-of-charge at an ATF.

A Certificate of Destruction (COD) is issued to the registered owner of the vehicle. The COD is a declaration that the vehicle to which it relates will be destroyed in accordance with the requirements of the regulations and that the specified information on that certificate will be noted on the NVDF. When a COD has issued for a vehicle, the vehicle cannot be subsequently taxed or used in a public place and the relevant record on the NVDF is ‘locked down’ and no further activity can be recorded.

Vehicle Safety Recalls

Motor vehicles are legally required to be manufactured in such a way as to be sufficiently safe and environmentally acceptable for road use. This is achieved in Europe by the European wide system of approval, known as Type Approval which is essentially a series of stringent tests that a vehicle, or part of a vehicle (e.g. its brakes), must pass before it is allowed use on a public road.

When a vehicle is subject to a recall manufacturers endeavour to contact all registered owners with the assistance of data from the Department of Transport’s National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF). Therefore, it is important that the details recorded on the NVDF particularly in relation to your ownership details are up to date at all times. If you wish to amend these details, for example on changing address, you should contact us.

Further details on vehicle recalls are available from the Road Safety Authority ( is external)).

Penalty Points

The legal provisions covering Penalty Points requires that the relevant driving licence records on the National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF) are noted with Penalty Points details. However responsibility for the administration of penalty points is a matter for the RSA ( is external)) and enquiries in relation to such notices should be directed to the Authority.

Access to NVDF Records

Section 60 of the Finance Act (No. 13 of 1993) as amended provides for access to NVDF data by Government Departments, and licensing (motor tax) authorities in Ireland and other member states of the EU, the Revenue Commissioners, An Garda Síochána and such other persons as may be prescribed in regulations (most recently S.I. No. 382 of 2009) by the Minister for Transport. Other recipients obtain NVDF data through their own specific legislative frameworks. There are also arrangements in place to supply non-personal vehicle data under agreement to a number of recipients who provide commercial services around vehicle identity checks to the general public. Recipients of NVDF data include:

  • E-Flow, who administer toll charges on the M50. Enquiries concerning eFlow, barrier free tolling or toll charges should be made to 1890 501050. Further information can also be got is external).
  • Applus+ who operate the national car testing service. All matters relating to the administration and day-to-day operation of the car testing service including the issuing of test reminders is a matter for Applus+. Enquiries about booking a National Car Test should be made to 1890 412413. Further information can also be got at is external).


Supply of NVDF data by licensing authorities (motor tax offices).

Requests to licensing authorities (motor tax offices) for basic driver data may be made under S.I. No. 537 of 2006- Road Traffic (Licensing of Drivers) Regulations 2006, Section 56- Information and inspection of records. Requests to licensing authorities for vehicle data may be made under S.I. No.277/1994 –Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations, Section 3. All requests for disclosure which rely on these regulations require the payment of a fee (€6) and should be made to your local Motor Taxation Office. Certain conditions imposed in the interest of data protection apply to the release of data in these circumstances and further details are available from your local motor tax office.

Data subject’s own personal data.

Requests to the Department or licensing authorities for a copy of an individual’s own driver and/or vehicle data may be made under Section 4 of the Data Protection Acts 1988 & 2003.All requests under Section 4 must be accompanied by a payment of €6. Such requests may include sensitive items such as licence history, penalty points and disqualifications and in the case of vehicles may include previous owner history.

Given the sensitivity of NVDF data full details of either driver licensing or vehicle data will only be issued through the post to the data subject or provided to his/her legal representative.

Vehicle Data Exchange with Northern Ireland

Pending the development of EU-wide data exchange arrangements an arrangement has been put in place between the Dept of Transport and counterparts in the UK for a Pilot Project facilitating the exchange of vehicle owner information with Northern Ireland. Under the agreement data will be released to specific named parties for the purposes of traffic enforcement, including in particular, parking offences/ contraventions, toll evasion and bus lane contraventions.

The pilot scheme and the data exchange arrangements associated with it, which commenced in March 2010, operated extremely well and has proved very successful. The scheme has been extended for a further period in order that cross border enforcement proceedings can be carried out and the full effectiveness of the scheme evaluated.

Data will be only be directly exchanged between the relevant vehicle registration and licensing authorities- the Driver and Vehicle Computer Services Division of the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport in Ireland who are responsible for the National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF) in Shannon, and the DVA (Driver and Vehicle Agency) of the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport.

Bulletin of Vehicle and Driver Statistics

The Bulletin of Vehicle and Driver Statistics are produced from analysis of NVDF data as of 31 December each year. The production contains a broad range of statistical tables covering:

  • the size, composition, age and fuel type of licensed vehicles
  • details on the first licensing of new and imported used vehicles
  • driver licensing


Some key Statistics from the latest Bulletin (31 December, 2010)


  • The total number of licensed vehicles (2,416,387) at 31st December 2010, a decrease of 51,273 units (-2.08%) on the 2009 return.
  • In the private car category the number of licensed vehicles decreased from 1,902,429 in 2009 to 1,872,715 in 2010 (-1.56% decrease) with 237,267 vehicles licensed based on their CO2 emissions value – an increase of 94,719 (66%) on the 2009 figures.
  • The number of goods vehicles decreased by 16,844 units (-4.90%) on the 2009 figures.
  • A total of 103,076 new vehicles were licensed for the first time in 2010, an increase 29,951 (41%) on the 2009 return.
  • A total of 57,342 imported used vehicles were licensed for the first time in 2010 – a decrease of 18,922 (-25%) on the 2009 return.
  • There were 2.655 million driving licences current at 31st December 2010. There were 279,877 Learner Permits licences, a decrease of 6,238 on the 2009 figure.


Registration of New or Imported vehicles

Matters relating to the first registration of new vehicles are dealt with by the Revenue Commissioners. Further details can be got on is external).

Matters relating to the registration of imported vehicles (vehicles registered since 1 September 2010) are now dealt with by the NCTS. Anyone importing a vehicle into the Republic will have seven days to make an appointment for the pre-registration inspection and 30 days to complete the registration process. Appointments can be made at 1890 927 787. The NCTS helpline is available at 1890 200 670/1890 412 413.

Imported vehicles registered prior to this date will continue to be dealt with by the Revenue Commissioners.

Driving Licences, Driving Tests and Vehicle Standards

Matters relating to driving licences, driving tests and vehicle standards are dealt with by the Road Safety Authority –