New credit card style driving licence to replace tattered paper version
IRISH motorists are to finally get a replacement for the old-fashioned paper driving licences that fall apart in wallets and purses.
A credit-card type driving licence with a microchip holding information about the driver is to be introduced next year.
The information contained in the driver’s card will include their name, address, date of birth, licence type, and details of the issuing authority as well as a photo of the holder.
The new cards will also carry a record of any penalty points or endorsements on the driver’s record – unlike the paper licences.
And they will reveal if the driver is required to wear glasses or a hearing aid and any curfews applicable to them.
The move is part of a European project to introduce the new licences by January 1st, 2013, to reduce fraud and assist cross-border policing of motoring offences.
Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said the new licences will be issued to those renewing or receiving their first licence next year but said there will be no obligation on motorists with a paper licence to switch.
“You won’t be required to change but we anticipate there will be interest from people who want the new licences,” he said, adding that the price of the new licences will be €25-€30.
The minister also plans to tender for a service provider to centralise the issuing of driver’s licences rather than local authorities.