Delay in renewal of driving licences causing concern
Long delays in people getting driving licences issued and renewed, have prompted Wexford Bourough Councillors to demand that the service be returned to Wexford County Council.
Licences are now processed at the new National Driving Licence Service centre in Redmond Square.
The service was transferred from the County Council last October but there have been countless complaints from applicants who have been forced to wait for two months and longer to get new licences.
Cllr. Jim Allen said the new service which requires applicants' photographs to be taken in situ, came in under EU regulations in January of 2013 and was initially operated by the Council before moving to the centre Redmond Square last October.
'Obviously, there were teething problems in the beginning and people had to wait about two weeks.'
'But since it moved to the new centre in Redmond Square, there have been unacceptable delays,' said Cllr. Allen.
He spoke to a man whose son applied for his second learner permit on November 10. He didn't get it until February 6.
'That's 12 to 13 weeks,' said Cllr. Allen.
'The young man was taking driving lessons and wanted to book his driving test but he couldn't do so because he had no licence number.
'He then went for a job interview. He believes he didn't get the job because he couldn't tell them when he would have a full licence.
'He applied for his driving test on February 10 and was told he would have to wait until the first week in April.'
Cllr. Allen said the issuing of licences is taking far too long and no-one seems to know what the problem is.
'It's affecting people's lives. I heard of another person who couldn't hire a car when he went on holiday abroad because he couldn't get his licence renewed in time.'
He said he'd like to know what would happen in the event of an accident, if a driver is unable to produce a licence.
'When you apply for a renewal, you're given a receipt and advised to produce that to the gardai when you are stopped but if you have an accident, what happens then. Is your insurance valid,' he asked.