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Extension to the validity period of driving licences is a welcome response to disruption caused by Covid-19 – Higgins

11th August 2020 - Emer Higgins, TD

Fine Gael TD Emer Higgins has welcomed confirmation that the validity period of driving licences will be further extended by seven months due to Covid-19.

The Dublin Mid West representative raised the issue with the Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport, Eamon Ryan, TD, last month after being contacted by motorists who could not get a renewal of their driving license due to Covid-19 measures.

Deputy Higgins said, “I welcome the decision yesterday to further extend the validity period of driving licences due to the disruption caused to licensing services delivered by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) since March.

“The move means that anyone, whose driving licence is or has expired between 1 March and 31 August 2020, will have its validity extended by seven months in total.

“Therefore motorists whose driving licence expired on 10 March 2020 will have the life of their licence extended to 10 October 2020, while motorists whose licence expires on 15 August 2020 will have a new expiry date of 15 March 2021.

“This measure will provide much needed peace of mind to motorists who need a driving license to attend work, including frontline medical staff and retail workers who continued to provide essential services when the restrictions were first implemented months ago.

“The RSA which operates the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) on behalf of the Department also hopes to extend its online services over the coming months subject to the appropriate legislation being in place.

“This will help to reduce the backlog of applications which built up as a result of the inability to produce new licenses during the lockdown period. An exemption from having a current medical report for those aged 70 years and over, without specific medical conditions, is also being extended.

“NDLS offices are unable to facilitate any walk-ins due to social distancing requirements and in the interest of protecting staff and customers. All appointments must now be booked in advance which has led to an increase in the demand for appointments.

“This is a common sense solution to overcome an unforeseen crisis and I commend my colleagues Minister Hildegarde Naughton T.D and Minister Ryan for taking measures to address it.”

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