Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Questions (640)

Ruth Coppinger


640. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason for the public services card being required for applications and renewals of driver licences from 9 April 2018 in view of the fact that the process for issuing driving licences now involves applicants attending in person as part of the process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9836/18]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The roll-out of use of the Public Services Card (PSC) in driver licensing applications is part of the Government's strategy for reducing burdens on the citizen, as well as part of the eGovernment strategy for making applications possible online.

Currently, numerous public services require people to produce proof of identity, with many different agencies and services across the whole range of Government having slightly different sets of documents required to prove the applicant's identity.  The move to request the PSC as part of an ID process will mean that people can prove their identity once, when applying for a PSC, and use the PSC as proof of identity for other services.  This was envisaged already in the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, which permits 'specified bodies' to request the PSC as part of transactions.  The Road Safety Authority is such a specified body.

It is also planned to introduce online applications for driving licences.  Any such system must have a robust ID process behind it.  There is one central system for this, the MyGovID platform developed by the Department of Employment and Social Protection.  Identity information on this platform is underpinned by the application process for the PSC.  Applicants for a PSC must prove their identity, and holders of a PSC can then register online via MyGovID.

The overall effect of these measures will be to streamline applications, not only for the driver licence process but across a range of other Government services.