Dreaded driver licence applications set to get simpler with new service card
Our Road Safety Authority expert says things will be much easier - and safer - under the PSC system
Changes afoot at the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) are going to make applying for a driving licence or learner permit a whole lot easier - not to mention safer - for customers.
From Monday, April 9, anybody applying for a driving licence or learner permit will need to have a Public Services Card (PSC).
The PSC is a government initiative that helps people access a range of public services easily. It means you will only have to complete one identity authentication process to get lots of different public services.
So when you get your PSC, you do not have to give the same information to lots of other state organisations. It was first introduced in 2011 and was initially rolled out to people getting social welfare payments. It is now being rolled out to other public services. It became a requirement to have a PSC when applying for the Driver Theory Test back in June 2017 and it will apply to the National Driver Licence Service from April 9.
The PSC now becomes the only form of identity accepted at an NDLS centre when applying for the first time or renewing a driving licence or learner permit. It will be the only thing you need to bring along to verify your name, PPS number, address and identity.
The change to the NDLS application process means that in most cases when applying for a driving licence or learner permit the only things you now need to bring along are the completed application form, your PSC card and the fee.
Previously, customers had to produce reams of documents to verify their name, PPS number, address and identity. All of that will now be taken care of with one simple piece of plastic - the PSC. And, importantly, you will be able to use it to cut out the red tape when applying for other government services such as Social Welfare services, passport services, and any public service mechanism accessed online.
The development really is a positive one. It will also increase the security around the process, help combat fraud and keep unlicensed, illegal drivers off our roads.
The PSC, because it is acquired through a secure face-to-face process known as Standard Authentication Framework Environment (SAFE) registration, will also greatly enhance the security of the application process. This means the application process is less susceptible to fraud, and consequently, will help keep unlicensed drivers off our roads.
Three-quarters of the population already have a PSC card. If you don't yet have a PSC, you can make an appointment to get one either by using www.psc.gov.ie by getting in touch with your local Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection office, or lo call 1890 927 999. You can apply for a PSC at more than 100 locations.
Once you receive your PSC you can apply for your driving licence or learner permit. When planning a visit to a National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centre, you can book an appointment on www.ndls.ie. Each centre also allows for walk-in appointments every day.
The PSC card will allow people to renew their driving licence and learner permit online. From April 2018, and for the first time, the option to renew a driving licence or learner permit online will be available to some customers. To use this online service, you must have a Public Service Card and have set up a 'Verified' account on www.mygovid.ie. The online service will be rolled out in 2018 to more customers. Yet again, this online service will further streamline the process of applying for a driving licence or a learner permit, making it easier for everybody concerned.
Overall, the changes coming down the tracks will make life a great deal easier and safer for those applying for a driving licence or a learner permit, and that change is a welcome one.