Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath has warmly welcomed plans by the Minister for Transport, following his intervention, to extend driving licences again due to the huge backlogs being experienced by the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS).
Driving Licences which were due to expire between 1st March and 30 June had previously been extended for a four-month period. These will now be extended for a further 3 months.
Driving Licences which were due to expire between 1st July and 31st August will be extended for a period of 7 months.
It is hoped that this extension will ease the significant difficulties being experienced by those unable to get an appointment to renew their licence in advance of their expiry date which was resulting in drivers being unable to drive for up to three weeks while they waited for an appointment with the NDLS to renew their Licence.
Deputy McGrath who first raised this issue in Dáil Éireann two weeks has warmly welcomed this decision by government.
“I have had a large number of constituents in contact with me as they were unable to get appointments with the NDLS to renew their licence in advance of their licence expiry date. This was effectively putting these drivers off the road as they could not legally drive on an expired driving licence.” Said Deputy McGrath
“The issue arose when those licences which were extended in March expired at the same time as all licences which would have naturally expired in July resulting in two months of licences expiring in a short space of time resulting in significant backlogs. It was taking at least three weeks to get an appointment and in some cases there were no appointments available to book at any point in the near future.
We have had taxi drivers, ambulance drivers and others who were being put off the road because of an administrative backlog and the government were initially unaware of the problem until I raised it in the Dáil two weeks ago.” Explained McGrath
“I have had regular contact with the NDLS, the RSA, Minister Eamon Ryan and his staff over the last few days and they have now informed me that they have agreed to extend the licences previously extended by a further three months and extend licences due to expire between July 1st and August 31st 2020 for a 7 month period. Minister Ryan is expected to sign the statutory instruments to bring this extension into effect later today.
I want to thank Minister Ryan and his staff for taking swift action on this matter to ensure that no further drivers will be affected and I want to compliment the staff in the NDLS centres for doing their utmost to try and accommodate those who had been impacted but the backlog was so great that they were facing huge difficulties. This extension should now allow more time to get proper procedures in place to deal with the backlogs in the future.” Concluded McGrath