Green Cards – Everything you need to know

What is a Green Card?

A Green Card is a physical document that acts as evidence that the minimum legal cover required is in force for the country visited whilst driving outside the UK.

Who will require a Green Card?

  • If you are travelling to the EEA, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland and will return prior to 29 March 2019, you will not require a Green Card.

  • In the event there is no deal, a Green Card will be required for all vehicles which travel in the EU after 29 March 2019 to prove that you have the required insurance, regardless of the level of motor cover provided on your policy. This is true even if you have a foreign use extension on your motor policy.

  • You will also require a Green Card if you are driving from Northern Ireland to Ireland.

  • If you are travelling with a trailer you must register any commercial trailer weighing over 750kg before towing them abroad from 28 March 2019. A separately registered trailer will require a Green Card. All trailers weighing over 3,500kg must also be registered.

How can I request Green Cards?

Contact your Insurance Broker, or Insurer if placed direct to request.

How long will Green Cards take to process?

Please plan ahead as Green Cards may take several days to process and arrive ahead of your journey.

What will happen if you travel without a Green Card?

If you decide to travel without a Green Card, it is highly probable you will not be allowed to cross the border or gain access onto a ferry. If, however, this isn’t the case and you are allowed to travel and you are then subsequently stopped and held at the roadside because you have not travelled with the correct paperwork, you could be fined and have your vehicle impounded. Please note there is NO cover under motor policies to pay fines and release fees if impounded.

Will your driving licence be valid to drive in the EU after March 2019?

In the event of a “no deal” situation, the Department for Transport has indicated that you may need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in the EU. This would need to be shown in conjunction with your UK driving licence.

The IDP is issued by the Government via Post Offices, so you will need to inform your customer to contact the Government for information on how to obtain one (as insurers cannot issue IDP’s).

It is important to note that there are different types of IDP. Which one you will need will depend on which country you will be driving in:

  • A 1949 Convention IDP covers these EU countries: Spain, Malta and Cyprus; or

  • A 1968 Convention IDP covers all other EU countries plus Norway and Switzerland

To drive in Republic of Ireland you should not need an IDP if you hold a UK driving licence as Ireland does not currently require IDP’s to be held by driving licence holders from non-EU countries.

For more information, please visit the website.

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