If you drive a vehicle for commercial purposes, and that vehicle is fitted with a Digital
Tachograph, you must have been issued with a Driver Card by the relevant authority.
This is a so-called ‘smartcard’ and has an electronic chip on it (similar to the chip on a
‘Chip and PIN’ credit card). The Driver Card must store at least 28 days worth of data
and Operators in Great Britain are required to download that data at least every 28
days, although it is recommended that downloading be carried out at least every 21
days where possible.
Your Driver Card holds information that identifies you uniquely and, when used with a
Digital Tachograph VU, all relevant information on your activities will be written to it.
Once you have been issued with a Driver Card, you must keep it with you whenever
you are at work, even if you are not using a commercial vehicle with a Digital
The following data will be stored on a Driver Card for at least 28 working days:
- Identification of the vehicles used.
- Activities (driving, working, active and rest times).
- Crew status (1 or 2 driver operation).
- Dates and times of insertion into or withdrawal from a
- Digital Tachograph VU.
- Location in which the working days begin and end.
- Total distance.
- Identification of the control official and date/time of
- the last check.
- Tachograph events and errors.
the operator of the vehicle for downloading when required and to any authorised
enforcement official on request.
It is important to remember that once you have been issued with a Driver
Card, you MUST ALWAYS carry it with you when driving commercially, EVEN
IF YOU ARE DRIVING A VEHICLE FITTED WITH AN ANALOGUE TACHOGRAPH.
When driving a vehicle covered by the EU drivers’ hours regulations in Ireland, you must ALWAYS be able to produce your Driver Card on request by the Garda or RSA even if you have never used it to record drivers’ hours.
Can I display and print out information stored on my Driver Card?
Yes. The data stored on the Driver Card can be displayed through any VU when the
card is in the VU. If necessary, the data can also be printed off via the integrated VU
Can I be issued with more than one Driver Card?
No. The authorities in all the 27 European Member States must ensure that a driver is
the holder and specific user of only one valid and personal Driver Card. The RSA is the government agency responsible for issuing the various types of smartcard, including Driver Cards, within Ireland and RSA are the authority responsible for issuing these cards to those resident in Ireland.