A driver card serves as a record of when the driver is working and can be queried to show whether the hours they have spent driving and resting are within the limits set down by law. Vehicles generally can be operated without a card inserted, but this is against regulations except in certain circumstances, and the vehicle itself will make a note of any time it is used without a card.
The Driver Card;
Every driver, driving vehicles for the carriage of goods and having a maximum mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes or a vehicle designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers, comprising more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat, has to have a driver card.
When is it OK to drive without a tacho card?
If your driver card is still valid, but it has been lost, stolen or damaged to the extent that it will not function in the digital tachograph of your vehicle, you can still lawfully operate that vehicle within certain limits. The card must be permanently lost. If it has simply been mislaid, forgotten or left behind, the driver is required to retrieve it, and cannot engage in a work-based driving activity until they have done so.
In order to be driving without a digital tacho card you must:
Report to the RSA or next Garda Station that your card has been lost, stolen or damaged. If you realise the card is lost, stolen or damaged outside of the replacing agency’s normal working hours, you are required to report it as soon as possible during their open hours.
You must inform your superior, and anyone else your employer requires of you.
Manual entries for 15 calendar days can only be made if a driver’s card has been lost, damaged, stolen or is malfunctioning.