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Driver Licences

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 15 January 2014

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Questions (99)

Martin Heydon

Question:

99. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the position regarding the provision of an exchange agreement for Irish driving licences with Alberta, Canada, the delays in which are causing difficulties for Irish people who have moved there; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1807/14]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Matters relating to the processing of driver’s licences in Ireland and reciprocal exchange agreements are the responsibility of the Road Safety Authority which falls under the aegis of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.

I am of course aware of the issues relating to driver’s licences in Alberta, and in other provinces across Canada. This is a matter of concern to me as it impacts on the welfare of Irish people in Canada. As such our Ambassador to Canada and his staff are assisting in advancing discussions and they have been working closely with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and with the Road Safety Authority to this end.

Driver’s licences in Canada are issued on a provincial rather than federal basis and the Ambassador has contacted all the main provincial authorities to establish details of their driving testing schemes and their willingness to enter into a reciprocal driving licence exchange scheme.

The Deputy may be aware that negotiations are well underway with the provinces of Ontario, Manitoba and Newfoundland & Labrador. It is hoped that the basis for agreement with them will be agreed in the coming months, allowing for the necessary legislative process to take place soon thereafter.

Negotiations between the Road Safety Authority and the authorities in Alberta are also currently underway, but these are at a less advanced stage. The Embassy will continue to support the process and to work with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Road Safety Authority, and with the authorities in Alberta, to help advance matters as speedily as possible.

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