Motor tax

What is motor tax?

You are legally required to have motor tax and display your motor tax disc if you want to drive your vehicle in a public place. Motor tax is a charge imposed by the Government on most motor vehicles, and it is collected by local authorities.

To pay motor tax, you can tax your vehicle online, visit your local motor tax office or request the forms and complete them by post. A motor tax disc is issued for 3, 6 or 12 months and how the rate is calculated depends on your type of vehicle.

You should get a reminder about a month in advance if you are renewing your motor tax, and there are no changes in ownership or in the car details.

If you don’t get a reminder, you can check your status online on motortax.ie.

Taxing your car for first time

If you are taxing your car for the first time, you need to make sure that your name is on the Vehicle Registration Certificate (VRC). A registered dealer will do this, but if it’s a private sale, make sure the seller completes and signs the change of ownership section, so that a new VRC can be sent to you. Without a VRC, you can’t tax your new car.

How to apply for motor tax

You can pay motor tax:

There are some differences if you are taxing a vehicle for the first time or if you are renewing your motor tax.

You will also need additional documentation if you are taxing a goods or commercial vehicle, see the section on ‘Commercial vehicles’ below.

Apply online

At motortax.ie, you can tax a new vehicle or renew your motor tax online.

When taxing a new vehicle, you need Form RF100 (available from your motor dealer).

When renewing your motor tax you need Form RF100B (computerised reminder form). You can renew the motor tax on a second-hand vehicle you have recently purchased, but you must be the registered owner of the vehicle.

You need the following to renew your motor tax online:

  • Vehicle registration number
  • Personal identification number (PIN)
  • Email address
  • Vehicle insurance details
  • Credit / debit card and billing details

If you don’t have your pin, go to motortax.ie for information on how to get this.

Your tax disc should be posted out to you within 4 working days.

The following types of vehicles can be taxed and renewed online:

  • Private cars
  • Motorcycles
  • Agricultural tractors, excavators/diggers and combine harvesters
  • General haulage tractors
  • Dumpers, off road dumpers and forklifts
  • Hearses
  • Vintage or veteran vehicles
  • Vehicles adapted for use by disabled persons
  • SPSV vehicles (Taxi/Hackney/Limousine)

The following can be renewed online but you will have to do the first in-person at your local motor tax office:

  • Motor caravans
  • Mobile machines
  • Commercial vehicles
  • Exempt State Owned Vehicles
  • Exempt Emergency Services Vehicles
  • Exempt Diplomatic Vehicles
  • Emergency Rescue Vehicle
  • Youth Community Bus

Apply in-person

If you are applying to your local motor tax office in-person, you will need the appropriate form and fee.

If you are applying for motor tax for the first time, you need a 'First Motor Tax Application' Form RF100. This is available from the motor dealer or the person you bought your vehicle from.

If you are renewing your motor tax where there is no change in owner or vehicle details, two forms are available to renew motor tax:

The RF100A is available from:

  • Motor tax offices
  • Public libraries
  • Garda stations.

The only difference between these two forms is that the RF100B is a computer-printed form. It is automatically posted to you about a month before your tax is due to expire.

Not everyone receives a form in the post, so it is up to you to keep check of when your tax expires. Return your completed form to your local motor tax office in person or by post.

If you apply in person, you will receive your new tax disc at the time.

If you make a postal application, allow up to 3 weeks to receive your new disc.

The appropriate fee must be submitted with your renewal form. A certificate of approval from Revenue for a disabled driver or passenger is also required if the vehicle is exempted from motor tax.

Change of vehicle ownership and motor tax

If you sell your vehicle or trade it in for a replacement, you must register the change of ownership. You cannot tax your new vehicle until the change of ownership has been registered. You can check the status of the vehicle on motortax.ie.

You then renew the motor tax on the vehicle using Form RF100A or online as described in ‘How to apply’. If the motor tax on your new vehicle has already expired, you do not have to pay the arrears due from the expiry of the last tax disc to the end of the month immediately before the date you bought it.

It is an offence to drive without paying motor tax, so you should not drive until you have received confirmation that the registration has occurred and you have paid the motor tax.

Change in owner details

  • To renew your motor tax where there is a change in owner details (for example, name/address (e.g. on marriage), use Form RF100A.

Change in vehicle details

Replacing a lost tax disc

You can get replacement motor tax and other vehicle documents.

Replacement documents

Document

Replacement cost

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

To get replacement documents, you need to:

  • Complete Form RF134 (pdf)
  • Have the form witnessed by a member of the Garda Síochána at a Garda station
  • Send your completed form with the appropriate fee to your motor tax office.

Motor tax exemptions

Certain vehicles are exempt from the requirement to pay motor tax. However, if they are used in a public place a current tax disc must be displayed.

Among the vehicles exempt from the requirement to pay motor tax are:

Find out more about how to apply for an exemption in our document about tax relief for drivers and passengers with disabilities.

How to apply for a refund for motor tax

It is possible in certain circumstances to claim a refund of motor tax. Apply for a refund directly to your local motor tax office on Form RF120 (pdf), along with supporting documents. The form must be witnessed and stamped by a member of the Garda Síochána.

You can claim a refund of motor tax if the vehicle:

  • Has been scrapped, destroyed or sent permanently out of the State
  • Has been stolen and has not been recovered by the owner
  • Has not been taken out or used in a public place at any time since the issue of the current disc

As the owner, you can claim a refund if you have stopped using the vehicle:

  • Due to illness, injury or other physical disability
  • As you are absent from the country for business or educational purposes
  • As you are serving overseas with the Defence Forces

You must return your tax discs immediately as refunds are generally calculated from the first of the month after the disc is surrendered. A minimum of 3 unexpired whole calendar months must be left on the disc.

If the vehicle has been scrapped, you need a certificate of destruction from an End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV) Authorised Treatment Facility.

Vehicle off the road

If your vehicle is temporarily off the road, you do not have to pay motor tax for that period. You must declare in advance that your vehicle will be off the road and not in use for a period of between 3 and 12 months.

To do this, you must:

The declaration of non-use must be made in the same month that your current motor tax disc expires. If arrears in motor tax are due, these must be paid in full and you must also pay a minimum of 3 months motor tax before a declaration of non-use can be made.

Changing a vehicle’s use

To change a vehicle’s use from commercial use to private use or from private to commercial, contact your local motor tax office to see if they will accept your vehicle’s change of classification and find out what documents they require.

Changing the classification of the vehicle may also change the amount of motor tax you need to pay. You should contact your local motor tax office for information on this.

Island vehicles

If your vehicle is kept and used exclusively on an offshore island, you can tax it at a reduced rate. However, island vehicles cannot be taxed online, they can only be taxed by your local motor tax office. Contact your local authority for more information including details of the documents you need.

Rates

A motor tax disc is issued for 3, 6 or 12 months and how the rate is calculated depends on the type of vehicle.

You can view the motor tax rates on the Department of Transport website. You can get information on how motor tax rates are calculated (CO2 emissions etc.) on motortax.ie.

On the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Power of One website, you can check the CO2 emissions levels for different car models.

Electric vehicles

The annual rate for an electric vehicle is €120 per year for a Battery Electric Vehicle. Electric vehicles are the lowest tax band for motor tax.

Commercial vehicles

The rate of motor tax is reduced for all commercial goods vehicles above 4,000kgs. The annual rate for a vehicle between 4,000kg and 12,000kg is €500 and €900 for vehicles over 12,000kg.

Vintage vehicles

A 'vintage' vehicle for motor tax purposes is a vehicle that is 30 or more years old. In determining whether or not the vehicle qualifies for 'vintage' status, the chassis number of the vehicle and the vehicle registration book or vehicle registration certificate must clearly display the age of the vehicle. Change of ownership When you purchase a new or second-hand vehicles, there is no charge for registering change of ownership details at motor tax offices or at the Vehicle Registration Unit.

Change of ownership

When you purchase a new or second-hand vehicles, there is no charge for registering change of ownership details at motor tax offices or at the Vehicle Registration Unit.

Taxing of commercial vehicles

If you are taxing a goods or commercial vehicle for the first time, there are additional documents that you may need.

Taxing a goods or commercial vehicle for the first time

Unladen weight

Document you need

Over 1,524 kg

(3,500 kg Gross Vehicle Weight)

A weight docket from an authorised weighbridge
Under 1,524 kg

(3,500 kg Gross Vehicle Weight)

A goods declaration form RF111A (pdf) from motor tax office.

This must be witnessed in a Garda station

You may also need additional proof that the vehicle is appropriately taxed. This includes:

  • Current commercial insurance certificate for the vehicle
  • Evidence of registration for VAT
  • Tax Clearance Certificate
  • Notice of Tax Registration Form

If you are an employee and you use your vehicle solely for the carriage of goods in the course of your employment, you will need a letter from your employer that states this. The letter should also provide information about your employer, such as, the nature of the business and its Tax Registration Number.

If the vehicle is one year old or over (for example, imported) a certificate of roadworthiness/pass statement (from an authorised tester) is required. If the vehicle is imported, a weight docket (from an authorised weighbridge) is required.

Other vehicles such as taxis and buses

If you are renewing your motor tax for a goods or other vehicle, you may also need the following:

Renewing your motor tax for a goods or other vehicle

Type of vehicle

Additional requirement

Small and large public service vehicles Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence
School buses Article 60 licence
Large public service vehicles and ambulances that are 1 year old or over A certificate of roadworthiness/pass statement issued by an authorised tester
Recovery vehicles A recovery vehicle declaration Form RF111B (from motor tax office)

Contact the Department of Transport

The Vehicle Registration Unit at the Department of Transport has responsibility for the registration of vehicle ownership. Contact them as follows:

Driver and Vehicle Computer Services Division

Department of Transport

Shannon Town Centre
Shannon
Clare
Ireland

Tel: 0818 411 412
Page edited: 31 August 2022