A new National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centre is to open in Trim on Tuesday, 29th October.
At present, people wishing to apply for a driving licence or learner permit go to their local authority motor tax office but from Tuesday 29th October, applications must be made in person to a NDLS centre.
Managed by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) there will be 34 centres nationwide, including one at Unit 3, Finnegan's Way, Trim.
Customers are no longer restricted to going to their local centre and customers can visit any one of the 34 centres nationwide to apply for their licence or learner permit.
Another significant benefit of the new service will see centres opening from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and offices will remain open through lunchtimes.
For the first time customers will also be able to apply for their licence at the weekend as the new NDLS centres will open from 9am to 2pm on Saturdays.
A feature of the new service is the requirement to apply for your learner permit or driving licence in person. This applies to all customers, whether applying for a first licence or learner permit or renewing or replacing their current licence or learner permit.
This ‘face to face’ application should in most cases be a once off requirement and is part of a new security process that will help to combat fraud and keep illegal and unlicensed drivers off our roads.
In January of this year, Ireland switched from producing paper licences to plastic credit card sized licences and learner permits as part of an EU-wide change to make licences more secure.
Since then, 408,018 new plastic card licences and learner permits have been issued to customers throughout the country.
As part of the security process, customers will be required to bring documentation to confirm their identity, in addition to their application form. The customers photograph and signature will also be captured digitally, to be used on the new licence and this is included in the cost of the licence. The new licence or learner permit will then be posted out to customers within eight working days.
The fees for a driving licence and learner permit are unchanged. A ten year licence will cost €55, a three-year licence will cost €35 and a one-year licence will be €25. (The cost of the photographs, taken at the NDLS centre, is included in these fees). The cost of a learner permit remains €35. Changes to existing licences and permits, for example, if you wish to add a ‘New Category’, will cost €35. Licences and learner permits for the over 70s will remain free of charge.
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