Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (139)

Niamh Smyth


139. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Transport the way in which National Driver Licensing Service centres are operating during Covid-19 (details supplied); if he will provide clarity on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6723/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is responsible for the National Driving Licence Service (NDLS).

The NDLS resumed services in June, following the closure of the centres due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. All appointments must be booked in advance as it is not possible to facilitate any walk-ins due to social-distancing requirements and in the interest of protecting the staff and customers. This, of course, has led to an increase in the demand for appointments.

The RSA has worked with their providers to create additional capacity through a combination of additional staff, extended and additional operating hours (i.e. Sundays where needed), and the provision of overtime.

Under Covid-19 Level 5 Government restrictions effective from 6 January 2021, attendance at a NDLS centre is only possible provided that the applicant is an essential worker involved in the provision of essential services or essential retail outlets.

The RSA has expanded the current online facility to accommodate all driving licence and learner permit applications. A verified MyGovID account, which requires a Public Services Card, is needed to access the online system.

Applicants aged 70 years or over can make their applications by post. Applicants will be contacted directly by the NDLS and will receive a renewal pack in the post.