Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
855. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if, in the case of persons whose provisional licence expired during the Covid-19 crisis, he will make an exemption to the rule that persons seeking to take out a third or subsequent provisional licence must show evidence of having taken a driver test or hold an appointment for a forthcoming driving test in view of the limited access to driver lessons and the suspension of driver tests since March 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11018/20]
Due to the closure of services provided by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, I took measures to extend the validity of number of documents, including the learner permit. Any learner permits which were due to expire from 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 inclusive have had their period of validity extended by 4 months.
The RSA has been working, in consultation with my Department, on plans for the resumption of the range of services and functions for which it is responsible, following the publication of the Government roadmap and, more recently, the National Return to Work Safety Protocol as agreed by employer and trade union representatives. The National Driver Licensing Service, as well as the driver theory test and National Car Test services, began reopening on a phased basis from 8 June.
I have no plans at present to waive the requirement to have undertaken a driving test or booked a test when applying for a third or subsequent learner permit but I will keep the situation under review.
The safety of the public is of paramount importance at this time, whether from infection or from deaths and injuries on the road, and in this as in all aspects of the Covid-19 crisis, my Department will be guided by NPHET and national experts.
The driver theory test was suspended, as were many other services due to the viral outbreak. Following detailed planning by the RSA, in consultation with my Department, the service has been resumed as of 8 June, with centres opening on a gradual basis. The resumption is dependent on strict protocols being in place for staff and test candidates in order to comply with public health guidelines. People wishing to take the theory test should contact check the service through , where they can book a test and learn about the protocols which will apply during their visit to the centre.
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.