Last week, Minister Eamon Ryan T.D. and Junior Minister Hildegarde Naughton T.D., at the Department of Transport, announced details of a further extension to the validity period of driving licences in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption it has caused to licensing services delivered by the Road Safety Authority (RSA).
This now means that any motorist, whose driving licence is or has expired between 1 March and 31 August 2020, will have its validity extended by seven months in total. This, in effect, means that a person whose driving licence expired on 10 March 2020 will have the life of this licence extended to 10 October 2020, while a person whose licence expires on 15 August 2020 will have a new expiry date of 15 March 2021.
Minister Naughton stated on the matter: “It is important that we continue to take the necessary measures which have the health and safety of our drivers and that of the staff of the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) at its core. This latest extension will also go a long way in allaying concerns that many drivers may be facing with delays in renewing their licence. The NDLS, in line with many other state agencies, has seen an increased demand for its services since resuming operations following its temporary closure due to the COVID emergency.”
Minister Naughton also urged anyone availing of the NDLS services to follow the procedures that have been put in place to protect customers and the staff. The patience and understanding of the public is both appreciated and necessary, as staff are delivering public services with much reduced capacity and in very challenging circumstances.
The RSA which operates the NDLS on behalf of the Department also hopes to extend its online services over the coming months, subject to the appropriate legislation and technical solutions being in place.
In addition, the Ministers also confirmed that the exemption from having a current medical report for those aged 70 years and over, without specific medical conditions, is being extended. The exemption is being put in place until 31 Dec 2020 and means that no medical report is required for over 70s unless they have one of the conditions specifically listed in the licence renewal application form.
The NDLS will be communicating with those who have appointments booked in August and September who have been granted an extension to request them to cancel the appointment on www.NDLS.ie.
The change to the period of validity for driving licences follows the recent extension of the period of validity of learner permits. All learner permits that expired between 1 March and 30 June 2020 have already been extended by four months. For permits expiring between 1 July and 31 October 2020 (including those already extended), the validity period of those permits has also been extended for a further four months.
For Frequently Asked Questions on extension of driving licences and learner permits, please visit the Road Safety Authority website.