THE NEW IRISH, credit-card sized driving licence was issued for the first time today.
Its introduction is part of an EU directive to upgrade and standardise all licences across the EU.
From September, licences will be delivered by the RSA under the banner of the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) at centres around the country. They say the new licence is more durable, modern and easier to carry around and because it cannot be easily replicated, it will also act as a key road safety tool to keep illegal drivers off our roads.
Almost 6,000 new plastic card licences have been issued to drivers following the changeover from paper licences to plastic card licences.
Minister Varadkar said the new licence is more secure and convenient:
It will help to eliminate licence fraud and ensure that motorists are properly trained and licensed. It’s also recognised throughout the EU, so Irish road users will enjoy the benefits and protections which drivers already have in other EU countries.
The new licence is available to those who have passed their driving test and are applying for their first driving licence; are applying for a learner permit; are renewing their learner permit or driving licence or 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.
The fee for a 10 year licence is €55.