Posted on January 24, 2013 10:49 AM   |   Permanent Link   

Sean Kenny, the Dublin Bay North Labour Party T.D. and member of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport, has welcomed the launch this week of the new credit-card style driving licences. "Almost 6,000 new plastic card licences have issued to drivers following the changeover from paper licences to plastic card licences last week. This is part of an EU Directive to standardise drivers' licences across Europe, as up to now, as many as 100 different types of licence were in operation throughout the EU. This means that the new licences will be recognised throughout the EU, so Irish road users will enjoy the benefits and protections which drivers already have in other EU countries. "The new driving licence is an important part of this Government's on-going commitment to road safety. It will help to eliminate licence fraud, ensure that motorists are properly trained and licensed, and keep unlicensed drivers off our roads. Equally, the new licence is also more durable than the old paper licences and much easier to carry around - making it a more modern and more convenient choice. "At the moment, the new licence is available to those who have passed their driving test and are applying for their first driving licence or those who are applying for or renewing a learner permit or driving licence. It also extends to those who are exchanging a foreign driving licence for an Irish driving licence. As all paper licences are valid for a maximum of 10 years, they will be replaced on a phased basis as they expire. "In addition to the introduction of the new licence, the Road Safety Authority will now be responsible for the delivery of the driver licensing system in Ireland. Members of the public will continue to go to Motor Tax Offices when applying for their licence until September 2013. The only change at the moment is that the licence will now be posted out to the applicant after the application has been processed, because the new plastic card licence is now produced in a specialist facility. The fee for a ten year licence is €55, a three-year licence will cost €35, and a one-year licence will be €25. The cost of a learner permit is €35. Licences for the over 70s will remain free of charge."