You must be authorised if you wish to hold unregistered vehicles.

Being authorised also allows a trader to avail of other benefits such as pre-inspection by the National Car Testing Service.

Authorisation of motor traders

You can apply to Revenue for authorisation to:

  • manufacture
  • distribute
  • deal-in
  • deliver
  • store
  • repair or modify

unregistered vehicles.

When not authorised by Revenue, you must follow the normal registration procedures.

To obtain an authorisation, you must apply to your local district and:

  • show you intend to be actively engaged in the trade
  • have suitable business premises
  • be registered for Value-Added Tax (VAT)
  • and
  • have a current Tax Clearance Certificate.


There are two requirements in respect of the premises covered by the authorisation:

  • the premises must be owned by the applicant, or rented, or legally leased by them
  • and
  • the premises must be one at which such business may legally be carried on. This excludes premises where the carrying on of the business is not permitted under planning laws.

VRT payment

If authorised, a Trader Account Number (TAN) is issued by Revenue. You will automatically be approved to use the non-deferred payment account or ‘FACT’ account. Details of this account and the conditions for deferred payment are available in the VRT Manual Section 10.

Revocation of an authorisation

Revenue can revoke an authorisation for reasonable cause and following reasonable notice.

The circumstances in which an authorisation may be revoked include:

  • the holder is no longer actively engaged in one of the prescribed businesses, or never commenced the business
  • the holder fails to produce a Tax Clearance Certificate when requested to do so
  • or
  • the holder does not keep the records of the business to the satisfaction of Revenue.

Where an authorisation is revoked, the business concerned can no longer hold, or deal in, unregistered vehicles.

Requirement to register

An authorised dealer who holds a new vehicle as stock-in-trade is not required to register the vehicle in their name. However, the dealer is obliged to ensure that the vehicle is registered before the customer takes delivery of it.

During a sale, the dealer collects the VRT from the customer and registers the vehicle in the customer’s name. This is done using the Revenue Online Service (ROS) or at an National Car Test (NCT) centre.

Once a vehicle is registered, it can then be supplied to the customer with registration plates fitted.

Only authorised motor dealers are entitled to hold unregistered vehicles.  Where a non-authorised person obtains an unregistered vehicle, it must be registered in that person’s name and VRT paid.

Traders are required to keep all documents relating to both registered and unregistered vehicles for a period of six years. Periodic returns are also required electronically or in hard copy on the periodic stock statement Form VRT 17.

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