Extra staff on duty to counter driving licence delays

First day of new system marred by IT problems and helpline difficulties

Additional staff are working at the new National Driver Licence Service centres today after a series of problems yesterday left motorists unable to renew or obtain driving licences on the first day of the new service.

The service changed yesterday meaning that motorists seeking a new licence or a renewal must now visit one of the service’s 34 new centres rather than their local motor tax office.

Yesterday an IT glitch affected 12 centres located “predominantly” in the northwest of the country.

As part of the changes a licence applicant must visit one of the centres in person so that a photograph and signature can be captured digitally on the new plastic licenses.

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These are part of a number of new security features on driving licences which are designed to reduce the number of fraudulence licences.

Brian Farrell, spokesman for the Road Safety Authority, apologised to those who were inconvenienced yesterday and said additional staff were on duty in the centres to assist applicants.

However, he warned that delays were still possible in some of the busier offices in city centre locations.

He rejected a suggestion that the service had inadequate staff on duty yesterday and said the problems were due to a combination of unforeseen technical problems and higher than expected demand as drivers had delayed their application so that they could avail of the new licence.

Mr Farrell also said the RSA would look at the issue of compensation for those affected yesterday. He added that the service remained on track to meet a target of issuing a new licence within eight working days.

David Labanyi

David Labanyi

David Labanyi is Deputy News Editor and Breaking News Editor of The Irish Times