DRIVERS are being asked not to avail of the new licencing service unless their licence is due to expire within four weeks.
The appeal will come as an embarrassment after the new National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) also experienced difficulties and delays on it’s first day of service earlier this week.
Since Tuesday, motorists seeking to renew or obtain driving licences must travel to one of 34 NDLS centres rather than their local motor tax office. There has been criticism that people in rural areas will now have to travel long distances to renew their licence - previously there were 55 offices nationally which they could visit.
A photograph and applicant's signature are captured electronically before being added to the new credit-card sized plastic licence, which includes a number of new security features aimed at reducing the number of counterfeit licences in place.
But technical problems in 12 out of 34 centres, mostly in the northwest, resulted in a backlog of applications building up on Tuesday, the first day of operation of the new service. The issue is believed to involve problems connecting with databases needed to record drivers' details.
They are now appealing for only those who urgently need to update their licence to come to the centres while they deal with the backlog.
“Due to high levels of demand for the new licences, we’re asking people to please only apply if your current licence expires within the next four weeks,” they said.