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However, up to 30,000 drivers who cross the Irish border on a daily basis could be caught out by the changes.The Association of British Insurers (ABI) have warned that drivers will need a physical copy of the insurance green card in place or could risk having their vehicle seized.
In a statement online, the ABI said: “The Green Card is an international certificate of insurance proving visiting motorists have the minimum compulsory motor insurance cover required by the law of the country visited.
“All European Economic Area (EEA) countries (EU countries, and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) are part of a Green Card free circulation area, meaning that motorists based there do not have to carry Green Cards when visiting other countries in the area.
“However, when the transition period ends then UK motorists will be required to carry Green Cards for driving in the Republic and other EU states, unless the European Commission agrees that the UK can remain in the Green Card scheme.
“Motor insurers have been preparing for the end of the transition period and will be able to issue Green Cards in time for your trip.
“We recommend that you contact your insurer around one month before you plan to travel.
“Your insurer will issue guidance in advance of the official date of the end of the transition period, confirming what information will need to be provided and when, if there is no deal.”
The ABI warns insurers can either send motorists a physical copy in the post or a digital copy which can be emailed.
However, drivers must print out their green card as storing one on a mobile device will not be accepted.
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Those who break the rules and do not have a valid green card in place will be failing to copy with the legal requirements.
The ABI warns drivers will risk having their vehicle seized and could face prosecution for making the simple mistake.
There is also the worry that green cards could explore regularly with cards usually valid for just 15 days in some cases.
The AA has already confirmed that customers with a car insurance agreement in place with the firm will have a green card issued for an entire year.
However, a statement from the ABI has warned that those who regularly travel across the border will need to speak to their insurer to guarantee a longer card is issued.
They said: “A Green Card provides a guarantee of insurance for a minimum of 15 days.
“If you frequently drive across the border, talk to your insurer or broker to ask if they can provide one that covers a longer period if this is required.
“Some insurers may provide you with a Green Card that lasts for a year.”
Businesses have also been warned to ensure drivers are following the regulations as the ABI revealed each employee will be responsible for carrying the documents.
They warn that deriving for any business purpose would not exempt anyone from carrying a card with drivers still set to face the consequences.
Businesses have been warned to speak to their broker about how to obtain green cards for a fleet of vehicles before they are caught out.
Carol Hall, ABI’s Assistant Director said: Motorists in Northern Ireland need to be geared up for the end of the transition period on 31 December.
“Motor insurers have planned for this and are ready to help and advise customers on what they need to do to ensure that they are driving legally in the Republic.”
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