Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (114)

Mary Lou McDonald


114. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Transport the rationale for requiring a public services card to renew a driver licence online; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2838/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

A Public Service Card (PSC) is issued by the Department of Social Protection as part of its legal functions for the authentication of identity. A PSC can be used, under legislation, by a number of public bodies including the Road Safety Authority (who provides the National Driver Licence Service). The Department of Social Protection subsequently developed the online identity verification portal known as MyGovID, to enable people who have authenticated their identity and have been issued with a PSC, to verify their identity securely online. This is the tool that the State has provided to allow individuals to verify their identity in order to services online in a secure and safe manner.

To renew your driving licence you are required to present photographic ID, evidence of PPSN, evidence of address and evidence of residency entitlement. An applicant must present in person at a National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) office where the required documentation can be examined and a face to face verification can be made.

When applying online, the same information is required and the challenge of verifying a person’s identity is more difficult than when someone presents in person at an NDLS office. A verified MyGovID account, which requires a Public Service Card (PSC), satisfies this requirement.

The PSC is a way to streamline the identification process across all public services, making application for all services easier for everyone, and taking away unnecessary burdens from the citizen and the State. The intention is that people will need to go through the cumbersome process of providing documents to prove their identity only once - for the PSC - and then be able to use that card as an ID for a wide range of public services. More particularly, if people are to have confidence in using public services online, they need to have an verified and authenticated online identity and MyGovID, building on the Public Services Card, gives people that confidence and the means to access services online.