Apply for this licence

Start now on the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) website


In Northern Ireland, you need transporter authorisation from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to transport animals on journeys of over 65 kilometres for business purposes.

If all of the journeys will last for 8 hours or less, you need a short journey authorisation.

If any journey might take longer than 8 hours, or if you transport animals by sea or air, you need a long journey authorisation.

Other documents

If you transport horses, livestock or poultry by road only, your drivers or attendants must also hold a Certificate of Competence.

For long journeys you will also need a vehicle approval certificate.

As a livestock farmer, you should have received a book of movement documents from DARD. You will need to complete a movement document every time you move animals - unless you are moving them to a slaughterhouse, market or show.

There are specific rules for transporting each species. You can find out more on the DARD website.


Authorisation lasts for 5 years. If your circumstances change, you must tell DARD within 15 working days.


You must have:

  • a business established in Northern Ireland
  • equipment and procedures in place for the safe transport of animals
  • staff with appropriate training
  • no convictions for animal welfare offences in the last 3 years (both you and your staff)

For long journeys, you must:

  • include the names of your drivers or attendants on your application form
  • trace and record vehicle movements
  • have plans in place to deal with emergencies

How to apply

To apply, email DARD for more information.

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD)

Fines and penalties

If you don’t get authorisation or follow any conditions, you can be fined up to £5,000 or sent to prison for 2 months.