Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Driver Licence Applications
1043. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the timelines for the introduction of an online facility to apply for a first-time learner driver permit which currently cannot be processed online; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6670/20]
1044. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the provisions being made to enable the children of farmers to apply for first tractor driver licences online in order to carry out work on their farms during the Covid-19 crisis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6671/20]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 1043 and 1044 together.
To obtain a category W licence for work vehicles and land tractors with or without a trailer, a person must first pass the BW category driver theory test to gain their learner permit, and then pass the W category driving test. As with other aspects of driving licence services, driver theory tests and the over-counter issuing of learner permits are currently suspended.
The Road Safety Authority is currently working, in consultation with my Department, on plans for the resumption of the range of public services and functions for which it is responsible, following the publication of the Government roadmap and, more recent, the National Return to Work Safety Protocol agreed by employer and trade union representatives – including carrying out risk assessments.
It is not possible to carry out the driver theory tests online, as it is vital that the identity of the candidate can be established, and that there is no possibility of fraud or misrepresentation. I appreciate that the inability to carry out the driver theory test at this time is inconvenient to those awaiting such tests.
Dates for the resumption of the Authority's services, and any special arrangements which will need to be put into place to allow for the provision of these services, will be determined in consultation with the relevant health authorities.
The safety of the public is of paramount importance at this time, and in this as in all aspects of the Covid-19 crisis, my Department will be guided by NPHET and national experts.
The RSA continue to work on expanding the online facility to accommodate all driving licence and learner permit application types. When this facility becomes available the RSA will update its website.
1045. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if an alternative is being considered to ensure that persons can still apply for a driver licence online or by post if they do not have a valid public services card in view of the fact that the issuing of the card has been suspended during the Covid-19 crisis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6695/20]
For those who hold a current drivers licence, in response to the Covid-19 restrictions introduced by the Government on 27 March 2020, I am pleased to tell you that Regulations were signed which extend the period of validity for all driving licences due to expire between March and June for a further four months.
No action is required of licence holders whose licences had been due to expire within this time period, as there is no need to apply for a new licence at this time.
For those who are applying for a driver licence, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) is currently examining how it can resume services in line with the Government framework and National Return to Work Safety Protocol. The safety of the public is of paramount importance at this time. Dates for the resumption of services and any specific arrangements that need to be put in place to allow for the provision of these services will be determined in consultation with the health authorities and relevant national experts.
If you need further information please contact the RSA by emailing them at