Farmers urged to ensure they can legally tow trailers

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Tom Hayes is urging farmers to check that their current licence allows them to tow trailers.

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Tom Hayes is urging farmers to check that their current licence allows them to tow trailers.

Prior to 1989, a person holding a category C licence to drive a car was entitled, by default, to tow trailers, of any weight. Driver licence regulations introduced in 1989, established categories B and EB licences, with B being a licence to drive a car and EB to tow a trailer also. The new regulations provided that a car licence holder wishing to tow trailers would be required to undergo a test in order to qualify for an EB licence. A driver who held a car licence (Category C) at that time could retain the entitlement to tow trailers by having the EB category added to the licence at the next renewal date. This required the ticking of the appropriate box in the licence renewal application form.

“In a number of instances people unwittingly did not apply to have the EB category added to their licences at renewal time. They were unaware that, as a result, they had lost their entitlement to tow trailers and that by doing so they, effectively, were outside the law,” said Minister Hayes.

“Transport Minister Leo Varadkar and the Department have consulted with the relevant agencies and have considered the matter further. As a result it has been agreed with the Road Safety Authority, which is now the country’s driver licencing authority, that the licence category to tow trailers exceeding 750kgs will be added to the licence of those drivers that can provide proof that they held this entitlement prior to 1989, without the need to undergo a test. We are advised that the proof required can be obtained from the appropriate Motor Tax Office where records are retained. Where proof is not available from this source, the RSA is prepared to accept a sworn affidavit from the licence-holder indicating that he/she held a Class licence prior to 1989. The offer to add the trailer category will be available for a limited period to be determined by the RSA.”

“The Road Safety Authority is working through the details of this change currently and where a person makes contact with the RSA believing that they fulfil the above criteria, the RSA will take their details and contact the person at a later date. The RSA will update their website with any information and application details in due course,” he said.