From 9 April, there will be a new system of identification verification involved in the driver licensing process. As of that date, applicants appearing at a National Driver Licensing Service centre will be asked to produce a Public Services Card (PSC). There will also be an online system available.
The introduction of the PSC is part of a Government policy to reduce the burden of applications procedures for both the citizen and the State. Currently, numerous application processes across the whole range of Government services and agencies require people to prove their identity, usually with slightly varying requirements. These processes add significantly to the burden on the citizen to prove their identity repeatedly for different application processes, and add to the administrative burden the State.
It was always intended that the PSC would offer a single system for ID verification which could be used to access multiple public services. This was provided for under the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, under which 'specified bodies' - including the Road Safety Authority, which is in charge of the NDLS - may request production of the PSC as part of transactions such as applications.
At the same time, the move to an online system, which has frequently been urged by members of the House and others, is possible only when there is a robust ID verification system underpinning it. The State system for online ID is the MyGovID platform, established by the Department of Employment and Social Protection. The ID verification underpinning the MyGovID platform is the process of obtaining a PSC.