Welcome to the modern world Ireland…or not.

I was always a bit confused when people in Ireland gave me their addresses and there were no house numbers or zip (postal) codes.  With Ireland being a small country and all, this is understandable, the entire population is only a quarter that of New York City.  This became problematic when trying to fill out online forms that require a zip code.  Even though Ireland is in the process of assigning postal codes, the standard does not match most other countries formats, and finding your house that does not have a number is very problematic.  The Irish post (an post) is great at finding the place, but everyone else just can’t.  As I’ve of my favorite Irish comedians says “just get it to IRELAND (in all capital letters), and they’ll know what to do with it!”. 

The banks here ask for more proof of address than any place I’ve lived or had dealings with.  You need proof from utilities (not internet/tv, nor refuse) consisting of at least two bills…or a letter from a government body like revenue or Gardaí… but NOT the ppsn letters…the electricity will do but they bill by-monthly usually so this could take 4-6 months.  Lease agreements not accepted.  If I wanted to use my foreign address they need two proofs, like bank statements, but reprints not accepted, and you would have to set up for card to be sent afterwards when you change your address online.  I still have not figured out my banking, and likely won’t for a while.

I tried to register at revenue.ie, unfortunately it wouldn’t let me as it said my pps number is either inactive or already registered. I have never registered, and I went to the intreo office (social welfare/pps) who told me that my ppsn was active and fine! I then applied for my public service card, perhaps that will help…

The Gardaí and social welfare accepted my proof of address which was the lease agreement though!  On another related note, the bank told me a letter from Gardaí or doctor would work if the person in question had an account with AIB…who asks that!? It’s a bit if a personal question,and Irish people I ask think so as well. 

The driving licence exchange is getting even more complicated than expected. When researching before, the site only said there was an exchange program with Ontario, which I exchanged my new York licence for in about 30 minutes. The eye exam was done at the drivetest center counter, I just gave licence, passport, birth certificate, and driving abstract printout and boom! Licence exchanged…Now that I’m here, they have updated the NDLS site with all manner of new stipulations including: must have certified driving abstract from Canada, an eye exam form, a medical doctor form, a bunch of other forms, proofs galore, a fee of course, and driving restricted to automatic transmission!  I’m hoping they don’t enforce the last part, because finding an automatic in Ireland is like trying to find ice in the desert.  I still have yet to figure out insurance and was going to hold off until my licence was sorted as I have heard that non-Irish licence holders have drastically higher insurance rates…and I mean like 5x higher. The site also says it can take 2-3 months to exchange licence, before the new info was posted it claimed 2-4 weeks.

Since I’m dependant on my ability to drive and vehicle for work, this is turning into a nightmare. Ireland does not want immigrants. Period.  Expect to pay through the nose and become a trained circus seal if you want to move here. Everything is complicated, everything is expensive,and everything takes more time than most every other country in the world that I’m even remotely familiar with anyway.

So I’ll keep plugging away and possibly find work nearby until this is sorted out.  

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