Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1284)

Michael McGrath

Question:

1284. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason the national car test, NCT, service no longer accepts a passport as a valid form of identification; if the matter will be investigated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18809/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Road Traffic (National Car Test) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 415 of 2017), provide the legal basis under which proof of identification is required by an NCT Test Centre when a vehicle is presented for roadworthiness testing. The Regulations permit an NCT Test Centre to withhold a vehicle’s test certificate until identification has been produced. The Data Protection Commissioner has deemed a driving licence to be the most appropriate form of identification for this purpose, as a driver is required to produce a driving licence when operating a vehicle in a public place.

The Regulations also permit the details on the form of identification to be recorded by an NCT Test Centre. The data recorded is held for a period of 12 months and then deleted. As the Data Protection Commissioner would not permit the recording and retention of passport details, the use of a passport for identification purposes was stopped.

The recorded identification details allow the Road Safety Authority to trace cars for follow-up quality inspections, particularly where there has been a recent change in ownership. In addition, the application of these measures also acts as a deterrent to fraudulent activity in relation to roadworthiness testing. It is important information to help identify and investigate unusual patterns of activity relating to test quality or outcomes, where a common thread in such unusual patterns may involve the presenter of the vehicle(s).