I was convicted of traffic offence in the UK in 2007 when I was a student there (Indian national). It was driving without full license and insurance. The punishment was some fine and 6 points on the learner's license. I left the UK in 2010 and have been living in India since.

I want to apply for an Ireland tourist visa and there is question "Do you have any criminal conviction in any country" but there are no other details like whether "criminal" includes traffic convictions too and whether we have to declare spent convictions.

  • Are there any other questions about eg penalties? This question relates to UK visa applications but may be relevant travel.stackexchange.com/questions/89631/…
    – Traveller
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 13:12
  • Just a single sentence question about "criminal convictions" with a yes and no answer and if yes then "please give details including date and type of conviction". Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 16:33
  • 1
    In general, on that sort of question, the safest thing to do is to answer "yes" and fill in the date and type information. If the traffic offense does not matter to the visa authority they will ignore it. If it does matter, and you do not declare it, you could be treated as having lied. Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 9:56

3 Answers 3


It is safer to tell them about this.

Either it is something they don't care about (which is quite likely), then it will be completely ignored and won't affect your application.

Or it is something they care about; in that case they will find out anyway and your application will be rejected.

And here is the one that you should worry about: If you don't mention this conviction, and they find out (for example by asking the UK if you did something seriously wrong), then the fact that you didn't mention it will be ten times worse than the conviction itself.

So much safer to mention it.


Assuming all you were convicted of was what you said then while they are criminal offences they aren't so-called "recordable" offences. So prior to the convictions being considered "spent" you had convictions but not a criminal record.

The INIS guidance talks about a "criminal record" but the form talks about "convictions". Your convictions are "spent" (which means they can be effectively ignored in certain circumstances) but they still exist.

Irish Citizen's Information states that spent convictions must be declared:

When applying to enter, be or remain in the State

Which would seem to apply here - so yes I would say you have to declare them.

  • This is an accurate distinction under UK law, but it’s not clear to me from this answer that Ireland would recognise that these convictions don’t count. In the normal English meaning of the term “criminal conviction”, a spent conviction is still a conviction.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 13:46
  • 1
    It does not matter in this case wether the UK authorities consider it a conviction or not. Relevant is, if it is a conviction according to Irish law. Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 14:06
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo I've done a little more digging and it would appear I was too hasty - looks like it will count for Irish immigration purposes. Have updated answer to reflect that. Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 14:30

Traffic offenses that does not lead to jail time are normally not criminal offenses, there are some exceptions around driving under the influence, but in your case I would say no to that question as you have not committed a criminal offense by being fined and loosing points on your license.

Normally the criminal offenses to be signed for in VISA applications are the ones that carry a jail sentence of 6 months or above, but of course clarify this before signing properly to avoid misunderstanding

  • Driving without a licence and / or insurance is a criminal offence in the UK motoringoffencesolicitors.co.uk/… IMHO the OP should declare the offence
    – Traveller
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 16:46
  • In English law, an offence is necessarily criminal. It contrasts with a tort, which is civil. I would expect that Ireland inherited the same distinction. Commented Dec 14, 2019 at 7:53

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