The decision to transfer the issuing of Driving Licences from the Local Authority to the Road Safety Authority and a new agency called the National Driver Licence Service, for security reasons, is yet another nail in the coffin for local government, according to Cllr Tom Wood, who raised the matter at the December meeting of South Tipperary County Council.
“The Motor Taxation Office has diligently processed application forms and issued Learner Permits and Driving Licences for many years but this will all come to an end over the coming months and will certainly cost the motorist more as the new agency will have to make a profit,” according to the Cashel Councillor.
He also believes that its only a matter of time before the registration and taxation of vehicles will also be centralised with the resulting closure of the Cashel office, already operating on restricted hours, a loss of jobs and business to the local economy.
“The centralisation of services in this country has nearly always been problematic and one has only to look at the third level grants fiasco of recent months to realise that,” he says.
From January 12 next, the local office will process driving licence applications but will not be issuing driving licences and this will continue until September 30 at which time the entire service will be transferred to the NDLS.