Change of vehicle ownership
If you sell your vehicle or trade it in for a new model, you must legally register the change of ownership. You register free of charge with the Department of Transport. The Department of Transport keep a record of vehicles called the national vehicle and driver file (NVDF).
Ownership and address details must be kept up to date at all times. This is important because, for example, if your vehicle is subject to a safety recall, manufacturers will contact all registered owners using their record. Upon receipt it takes approximately 2 to 5 days to process a Vehicle Registration Certificate.
This page tells you how to change a vehicles ownership detail on a Vehicle Registration Certificate (VRC, also known as the logbook).
If you sell a vehicle privately
There are 4 steps in a private sale for changing vehicle ownership. It is your responsibility as the seller to ensure it is done correctly.
- Complete and sign the change of ownership section on the back of the Vehicle Registration Certificate (VRC).
- The buyer must sign the same form.
- Send the completed form to the Department of Transport for updating (see ‘Where to apply’).
- The Department of Transport will post the VRC to the new owner.
If you sell your vehicle to a motordealer
If you sell your vehicle to a motor dealer, you must give the dealer the Vehicle Registration Certificate.
Both the seller and the dealer must complete the Form RF105 (pdf).
An approved dealer can use the online change of vehicle ownership service to notify the details online. Otherwise, the seller must send the RF105 to the Department of Transport.
Buying a vehicle with a registered owner deceased
If you buy a vehicle and the current owner (seller) is deceased, you will need the Vehicle Registration Certificate and a letter to show you have the right to the vehicle. This can be a letter from:
- The executor of the deceased's will, or
- The solicitor dealing with the will
If there is no VRC
If the VRC is not available, you can use a declaration of ownership form. To do this, you must get a statutory declaration sworn before a commissioner for oaths or a solicitor. The statutory declaration is a way of swearing that something is true. It is a written statement and must be witnessed by someone who is authorised to witness your declaration. The statutory declaration form should go with the letter from the executor of the will or the solicitor.
You can get a statutory declaration form from your local motor tax office.
1993 – 2004 vehicles
Owners of vehicles registered before May 2004 may still have a ‘Vehicle Licensing Certificate’ if they haven’t changed ownership. In such cases, a Vehicle Registration Certificate will be issued to the new owner upon change of ownership.
You can only tax your vehicle once the registration of the change of ownership has gone through.
You can renew your motor tax online or by completing a Form RF100A.
See our page on motor tax.
If you need to change ownership of a vehicle that has never been taxed either by the current or last owner see motortax.ie.
If you are a driver or a passenger with a disability, you may get tax relief when buying a vehicle.
Changing address details
If your address has changed, tick the change of address option on the reverse side of your Vehicle Registration Certificate (VRC). Fill in your new address details and post it to the Department of Transport. An updated VRC will be posted back to you. You can change your address online, but only as part of an online motor tax transaction. You cannot change your address by email or over the phone.
Replacing lost documents
It is possible to get replacement documents associated with changes to vehicle ownership. List of documents and the cost of their replacement is as follows:
|Vehicle licensing certificate/Registration Certificate||€12|
To get replacement documents:
- Download and complete form RF134 (pdf).
- Have this form witnessed by a member of the Garda Síochána at a Garda station.
- Send your completed form with the correct fee to your motor tax office.
You can pay by cheque, postal order or by bank draft. You should make it payable to your local motor tax office.
If the seller won’t send the Vehicle Registration Certificate
If you are having problems and the seller won’t send the VRC to the Department of Transport.
You as the buyer can do the following:
- Contact the Department of Transport, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, (include your postal address), and you will be given a statutory declaration form.
- Complete the declaration form and have it witnessed by a Commissioner for Oaths or a practicing solicitor.
- Send both completed documents back to the Department of Transport – see ‘Where to apply’ below.
This does not apply if you bought the car from a motor dealer. The motor dealer is responsible for following the procedures for change of vehicle ownership notification.