File pic: Driving licence
A further extension by Minister of State in the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton TD, to the exemption that allows for those aged over 70 to apply for a driving licence without the need to provide a medical report is a welcome move in light of the surge of Covid-19 in the community, according to local Fine Gael TD, John Paul Phelan.
The announcement was made in order to ease the burden on medical services, Deputy Phelan explained. He has had several calls to his constituency office in past weeks from senior licence holders fearful of the implications of being stopped at a checkpoint with expired or near expired licences.
“This means that persons of 70 years of age or over can apply for, and renew, their driving licence without the need to submit a medical report, on the condition that they do not have an identified or specified illness and are not applying for a truck or bus category.
“This extended measure will eliminate the need for our drivers over the age of 70 from having to make an unnecessary journey to their GP, or to the NDLS centre, as we continue to work to minimise social interactions in our efforts to tackle COVID-19.”
Explaining the exemption which has been extended to June 2021, Minister Naughton said “All drivers who are over 70 years of age will be contacted directly with an application pack which will allow them to apply for a new licence by post. The NDLS service, which is managed by the RSA, will be sending out application packs to those eligible to apply by post in the coming weeks. The pack will include a partially completed application form that the customer must complete. Those drivers who have the option to apply online can do so at any time at www.ndls.ie .
“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to ask all motorists, not just those aged 70 or over, to take the utmost care while driving. In these challenging times it can be all too easy for any of us to be distracted on the road. Take care. Stay safe.”