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Written Answers - Driver Licences

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 666. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy  asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar  if he has [978]actively engaged with An Post and the IPU with regards the possibility of the Post Office offering services previously provided by the local authority such as driver licence renewals. [16592/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar Under EU law, Ireland is required to introduce a plastic card format of driving licence in January 2013. I strongly support this. My Department decided that the transition to a plastic card licence provided an opportunity to review the way in which the driver licensing function was carried out. Consultants, engaged by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to examine the options, recommended a transition from the present system, under which licences are issued by the Motor Taxation Offices of the Local Authorities, to a centralised system. I am satisfied that this will deliver greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

In May 2011, the Government decided to proceed with the centralisation of the driver licensing system, with the RSA as the body to be responsible for the new system. At the same time, the RSA was asked to expedite the transition to the new plastic card licence. This work involves three main aspects: card production, front office (engagement with the customer) and back office (processing of applications). All three functions will be operated under contract, and the RSA has begun the tendering process for each.

Anybody with an interest in providing one or all of these services is entitled to submit a tender for consideration, including An Post.

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