Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (108)

Cathal Crowe


108. Deputy Cathal Crowe asked the Minister for Transport the reason the BE classification has been removed from certain driver licences (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6412/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Prior to 1989, the driver licensing system permitted a car and trailer to be driven under the car licence alone. Licence categories were then changed, with separate categories covering car (Category B) and car and trailer (Category BE). People licensed to drive with trailer before 1989 were allowed to keep their old entitlements, simply by ticking the appropriate box on the application form when renewing their licences. Where a pre-1989 licence holder did not tick the box they would no longer retain that entitlement. However, the entitlement could be restored up to ten years after last holding it. If they let the entitlement to drive with a trailer lapse for longer, they must apply as learners for the purposes of driving with a trailer.

In 2013, the then Minister for Transport received representations from the Irish Farmers’ Association suggesting that many farmers who had a car licence before the 1989 regulations came into effect, had unintentionally lost their trailer entitlement by not ticking the appropriate box on the renewal form. The Minister agreed, on a once-off, exceptional basis, to allow people in this position - whether farmers or not - to reclaim the trailer entitlement, where they could prove that they had previously held it. The Road Safety Authority made arrangements to accommodate drivers in this position for a limited period (i.e. up to November of 2013).