Road Traffic Law: Disqualification & Endorsements

A brief note on the different categories of Disqualification and Endorsements which apply in Irish road traffic law: Disqualification

Three types of disqualification are applied by the Irish Courts:

Consequential Disqualification: where an individual is disqualified as a consequence of a particular offence being committed. Examples of consequential disqualifications include those for drink driving and for driving without insurance offences.

Special Disqualification: where a member of An Garda Síochána or the appropriate licensing authority applies to the Court for disqualification where he/she believes a person to be unfit to drive a motor vehicle due to the physical/mental disability or evidence of incompetence to drive any vehicle or any class of vehicle.

Ancillary Disqualification: where a judge acts at his/her discretion to disqualify a person from driving for the commission of an offence for which consequential disqualification (above) does not apply.


An endorsement is a stamp placed on the licence of a defendant by the motor taxation office local to the defendant. The endorsement will generally remain for three years from the date of the stamp. A court may order an endorsement with or without a disqualification. Where a disqualification order has been made (with the exception of special disqualification), the Court will endorse the licence. Second or subsequent endorsements may lead to disqualification and may also lead to higher insurance premiums for the holder. holder.