Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (77)

Thomas Gould

Question:

77. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Transport if provision can be made for bus drivers whose licences are due to expire in September 2020 in view of the delay in accessing NDLS appointments. [26212/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I am aware of the difficulties the Deputy refers to and my officials are working with the Road Safety Authority (RSA), which is responsible for the National Driving Licence Service (NDLS), to identify and bring forward a range of possible responses that are consistent with the national and EU legal frameworks.

All driving licences that expired between 1 March and 31 August 2020 have been extended for 7 months. This extension has been granted in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the disruption it has caused to licensing services delivered by the RSA. The extension will ease the pressure on the NDLS, free up appointment slots and make it easier to find those slots at local centres.

The RSA is working with their providers to see how they can increase capacity while adhering to the return to work protocol. Options under consideration include extended opening hours, overtime and protective segregation barriers between booths. Work is also continuing to expand the online facility to accommodate all driving licence and learner permit application types in a manner that does not undermine the existing legal framework or the effective operations of the stakeholders involved.

Any queries in relation to driving licences or urgent cases can be addressed to the NDLS customer service at 0761087880 or by emailing info@ndls.ie.