Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Driver Test

Darren O'Rourke (Meath East, Sinn Fein)
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1066. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason a person (details supplied) in County Meath has to sit a driver test; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6756/20]

Photo of Shane RossShane Ross (Dublin Rathdown, Independent)
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Prior to 1989, the driver licensing system permitted a car and trailer to be driven under the car licence alone. Licence categories were then changed, with separate categories covering car (Category B) and car and trailer (Category BE). People licensed to drive with trailer before 1989 were allowed to keep their old entitlements, simply by indicating this wish on the application form when renewing their licences.

Where a pre-1989 licence holder did not indicate that they wished to retain the entitlement, the category was not included on the renewed licence. However, the entitlement could be restored up to ten years after last holding it. If the entitlement to drive with a trailer was allowed to lapse for longer than the ten years, the person was required to apply as a learner for the purposes of driving with a trailer.

People who have a Category B licence, and who wish to acquire a Category BE licence, do not have to wait the usual 6 months before they can take the Category BE test. This change came into effect as of 10 January 2012. It is of the utmost importance, from a safety perspective, that people are properly qualified and licensed to drive the vehicles they have charge of on our roads, taking account of the particular risks and hazards associated with the particular categories they wish to drive.

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