Government accepts motion on National Driving Licence Service offices

The Government has accepted a Private Members Motion seeking a reversal of the decision to downgrade National Driving Licence Service (NDLS) offices across the State.

The Independent Group of TDs put forward a motion in the Dáil today (Wednesday) seeking a resumption of walk-in services at all 34 NDSL centres, the acceptance of cash payments and the discontinuation of the requirement of a Public Services Card for online renewals.

Independent Clare TD Michael McNamara, who introduced the motion, says its recommendations must now be implemented by government.

“In the space of ten years, we have gone from a place where anybody would be able to walk into their local authority office to renew their licence to a situation where people are not even able to book an appointment online,” stated Deputy McNamara, who first raised the issue with Junior Transport Minister Hildegarde Naughten in the Dáil two weeks ago.

He continued, “What ought to be a public service is no longer public because it’s provided by Swiss logistics company SGS, and it’s no longer really a service if you have to spend in excess of an hour on the phone to book an appointment.”

Deputy McNamara added, “The removal of the walk-in service during the pandemic was made permanent last year after the Road Safety Authority awarded the contract to Swiss group SGS over An Post which has a network of 950 post offices. Covid was used an excuse to remove the service and the Government’s claim that the move was aimed at making the service more efficient has proven to be wrong based on the scale of complaints about the service received from members of the public at the Constituency Offices of TDs across the country.”

“I welcome the support of opposition TDs for this motion as well as the Government for accepting it. I am now looking for government to accept cash payments immediately, to drop the exclusive requirement for a Public Services Card for online renewals, and to ensure that a tendering process of a walk-in service is introduced as soon as possible and no later than the end of 2022,” concluded Deputy McNamara.