Waterford Senator John Cummins has welcomed the news today that in light of the surge of Covid-19 cases and, in order to ease the burden on medical services, there will be an extension in the exemption that allows for those aged over 70 to apply for a driving licence without the need to provide a medical report.
Senator Cummins said “Over the past week I have had numerous queries from individuals over 70 who are coming up on their driver licence renewal date, concerned that they would have to present to the Diver Licence Centre and get a medical report from their doctor. Over the course of last week, I was in regular contact with Minister Naughton and my office went back and forth with officials from the Department and the RSA to push for a solution to this matter. At a time when the guidance is clear for people to stay at home and when our GP services are stretched, it was non sensical to require people over 70 to attend in person for appointments.”
In a statement Minister Naughton said “The change announced today 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, Senator Cummins 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. From feedback prior to Christmas, these were being turned around relatively quickly”.
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 .
In concluding Senator Cummins said “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 to be distracted on the road. Take care and Stay safe.”