Road Transport Operator Division

The Road Transport Operator Licensing Unit of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport mainly deals with applications for Road Haulage Operator Licences and Road Passenger Transport Operator Licences.  We also authorise the addition, substitution or removal of vehicles on these licences.  You must have an operator licence if you:

 – transport goods for hire or reward using a vehicle with a maximum permitted weight above 3.5 tonnes, or
– transport passengers for hire or reward using a vehicle so constructed and equipped as to be suitable for carrying 9 or more passengers.

If you have any questions about operator licensing please contact us using the details shown in the Contact Us section.  We aim to provide clear, helpful information and a simple, straightforward application process – if you have any suggestions for improvements, please let us know.


Temporary Lifting of Cabotage Restrictions in Ireland for the Car Transporter Sector

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe, T.D., has announced that, in line with the agreement of the European Commission to a selective relaxation of the cabotage rules in Ireland when the needs of the Irish transport industry require it, cabotage restrictions in Ireland are being temporarily suspended for car transporter vehicles from other EU Member States for the period of 1 June 2015 to 31 July 2015.  This will allow Irish car transporter firms and Irish motor dealers to avail of spare car transporter capacity in other EU Member States during the peak in demand that is expected in Ireland during this period.

In 2010, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport proposed to the European Commission that Ireland would relax cabotage rules for car transporter vehicles during peak demand periods, so that Irish transport firms could subcontract other non-Irish firms during that period, or car dealers could directly engage non-Irish firms during those times, if they wish.  At the end of the period, the cabotage rules would again apply to those vehicles.  The European Commission agreed to Ireland’s proposal.

Accordingly, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport wishes to formally announce that the cabotage restrictions in Article 8 of Regulation (EC) No. 1072/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 on common rules for access to the international road haulage market, as they apply to car transporter vehicles only, are hereby lifted in Ireland during the period of 1 June 2015 to 31 July 2015, after which time those restrictions will again apply to those vehicles.  This arrangement does not alter any operator’s obligations under other EU or Irish law while operating in Ireland in relation to vehicle or road safety, driver’s hours or working time, or any other appropriate road transport or safety requirement.


Following the introduction of the online application service on is external) (see below), fees for paper-based applications have increased with effect from 1 July 2014.  The fees will remain at the current rates for operators using the online application service.  The new fees, which can be viewed here(link is external), have been introduced by Statutory Instrument No. 291 of 2014 which can be viewed or downloaded at is external)

e-Day 19 September 2014

The National Payments Plan aims to reduce the cost of Ireland’s payment system through the increased use of more efficient payment methods.  In this regard, 19 September 2014 has been designated as ‘e-Day’.  From this date the public sector will no longer issue cheques to or accept cheques from business users.  As a result, payments to Road Transport Operator Licensing Unit should be made by electronic means from 19 September 2014.  You can pay using a debit or credit card

–          online on our website is external)

–          over the phone when you contact us

–          in person at our public office

–          if using a paper application form, by entering your card details on the separate page provided, which is shredded when the transaction is completed.

A new website is external) allows operators to apply for and manage their licences ONLINE. Operators can also view details of their licences here(link is external) using the Search Licensed Operator function in the menu.  All licensing FORMS and GUIDELINES are also available on this website, along with a range of other useful information.  Please feel free to visit is external) and let us have any feedback you may have at sends e-mail) .


Claims under this scheme are dealt with by Revenue.  When a licensed road transport operator makes a claim online with Revenue, any vehicles that were authorised on the operator’s licence after the quarter that the claim relates to will not appear in the drop-down menu shown, as these vehicles are not eligible to be included in the claim.  Any queries regarding the diesel rebate scheme should be addressed to Revenue, tel. 1890 20 30 70, e-mail sends e-mail).

The following notice has been issued by the United Kingdom transport authorities. If you operate a heavy goods vehicle weighing 12 tonnes or more within the United Kingdom, whether you operate for hire or reward or on an own account basis, the new road user levy will apply.  Please take note of the information below.

HGV Road User Levy starts 1 April 2014Make sure you’re ready for it

Do you drive a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) weighing 12 tonnes or more? If so, from 1 April 2014, you’ll need to pay a levy to use UK roads – before you enter the country.
How much is the levy?
The charge for every HGV is between £1.70 and £10 a day (£85 and £1,000 per year) depending on the type of vehicle, number of axles, and weight. You can pay by the day – or save money by paying in advance by the week, month or year.  Whatever payment period you choose, the levy runs from midnight (00:00:00) to one second before midnight (23:59:59).
How do I pay?
It’s really easy to pay online using a debit or credit card. You can also pay online with some fuel cards. There will be a small number of HGV Levy payment points in some ferry terminals and a few fuel stations, where you can ‘Pay and Go’ using cash or card. To make payment as quick and easy as possible, it will be possible to set up an account for the levy from 17 March 2014 – so make a note of this in your diary now.
Who needs to pay the levy?
The levy can be paid by you, your company, or a booking agent. However, it’s up to you to check that your vehicle has a valid levy every time you come to the UK. You can do this quickly and easily online.
What happens if I don’t pay?
If you haven’t paid the full levy for your vehicle, automatic number plate recognition cameras, ferry records and other checks will alert our enforcement agencies when you arrive in the UK. You’ll have to pay an on-the-spot fine of £300 at the roadside. If you can’t pay the fine, your vehicle will be impounded, which could seriously disrupt your delivery schedule and lead to further costs.
What do I need to do now?
We’re telling you about the levy now, so you have plenty of time to get ready. To sign up for updates go is external)

How to apply to make changes to your Operator Licence

You must apply to Road Transport Operator Licensing Unit if you wish to make any change to your licence.  You can find application forms for the following is external) :

  • Adding, substituting or removing a vehicle
  • Change of address
  • Change of transport manager
  • Change of  director / secretary / committee member
  • Change of operator
How to check if an Operator is licensed
If you are engaging a road transport operator for hire or reward, you must ensure:
  • that the operator has a current licence, and
  • that any vehicle operated is authorised on that licence.

It is an offence under the Road Transport Act 2011 to engage the services of a road transport operator who is not licensed.
The website is external) provides a search facility where you can check if an operator or vehicle is licensed.