Long delays in issuing driving licences, says Dooley

Minister says situation to improve by end of the month

Some emigrants, said Mr Dooley, came home expecting to have their licences renewed or replaced within a normal holiday period. “That is not happening.’’

Some emigrants, said Mr Dooley, came home expecting to have their licences renewed or replaced within a normal holiday period. “That is not happening.’’

 


The waiting time for the issuing of driving licences was now close to eight weeks, Fianna Fáil transport spokesman Timmy Dooley told the Dáil. “We have reached a crisis point in the issuing of licences.’’

Mr Dooley said last October responsibility had transferred from local authorities to the National Driver Licensing Service (NDLS) under the auspices of the Road Safety Authority (RSA). At that stage it was clear that significant delays had built up at the start of the process of issuing replacement or new licenses.

He felt at the time that a new agency would have teething problems and should be given appropriate time to resolve them. But the situation had gone from bad to worse, with the waiting time lengthening.

Some emigrants, said Mr Dooley, came home expecting to have their licences renewed or replaced within a normal holiday period. “That is not happening.’’

Problem
He was not happy the RSA had done enough to solve the problem which was identified in early November. It was coming near the end of February, and still there was not the level of turnaround needed.

Minister of State John Perry, on behalf of Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar, said the NDLS was on track to have a 10-day turnaround by the end of this month, which was a transformation of the service.

There was already a transformation in the service, with almost 125,000 licences issued in response to 150,000 applications. “In respect of incomplete applications, regardless of how the office is, if an application is incomplete the licence cannot be issued.’’

Mr Dooley said he understood the difficulty associated with incomplete applications but that was not the issue. “I am talking about applications that are complete, and where it still takes seven to eight weeks to turn them around.’’