The New Year will see changes to the State driving licence which will see new licences issued as a plastic, credit card sized, document from January 12 2013.
The licence will be produced in a standalone secure facility, so no driving licences can be produced in the Motor Tax Office. As such, over the counter licences will no longer be available after January 12. Instead the licence or learner permit will be posted out to the applicant once he or she has applied to the Motor Tax Office.
The new plastic card licence will only be available to those who have passed their driving test and are applying for their first driving licence; are renewing their learner permit or driving licence; are exchanging a foreign driving licence for an Irish driving licence.
As all old paper licences are valid for a maximum of 10 years, all old paper licences should be replaced with a plastic card licence by 2023.
In addition to the introduction of the new licence, licence delivery will also be centralised and the Road Safety Authority will become the licensing authority in January. Motor Tax offices will continue to deliver the service until September 2013. After that, licences will be delivered by the RSA under the banner of the National Driver Licence Service.
Over the coming weeks, the RSA will begin an information campaign to alert road-users to the new service. The public can get more information at www.rsa.ie Specific queries can be emailed to [email protected]