The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, has been called upon to address the fiasco that has arisen regarding the need for UK and NI driving licence holders living in Ireland to exchange their licence for an Irish one in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice called on the minister to step up to the plate, as many people struggle to avail of the services currently on offer.
Those affected have until April 12th, 2019, to carry out the switch, according to the National Driving Licence Service (NDLS) website.
Commenting on the matter, the Roscommon-Galway TD said: “Several people who hold a UK driving licence have contacted my constituency office to voice their concern and frustration after attempting to get an appointment to convert their licence before the UK leaves the EU.
“It’s very hard for people to convert their driving licence if they cannot even get an appointment. I understand that some people have been told that they will have to wait until the middle of April – the 16th or 17th – before they can get an appointment.
“While the NDLS claims that 36 of its centers operate a walk-in service for people who wish to convert their driving licence, first-hand accounts from those who contacted my office indicate that those centers are understaffed and that they are not able to cope with the workload.
“Reports are circulating that people have actually been turned away from these walk-in services due to the large volume of people looking to change their licence.”
He added: “In the event of a no-deal Brexit, people who don’t manage to get their driving licence converted before the deadline will have to refrain from driving until they can complete the changeover.
“This debacle, once again, clearly demonstrates that this Government has not put the correct systems in place to deal with issues such as driving licences as part of its Brexit plan. If the Government cannot be trusted to efficiently handle a driving licence issue, what is going to happen when it comes to more complex matters?
“It is time that Minister Ross provides some clarity on the matter for the many people who are still struggling to convert their licences,” Fitzmaurice concluded.
Michael Fitzmaurice TD – 0861914565