Driving licence loophole closing
Published on 22 April 2013
Law-breakers will no longer be able to dodge penalty points by holding more than one driving licence.
A loophole existed in the system whereby drivers with penalty points could claim to have lost their licence and then apply for a new one but do so with a slightly-altered spelling of their name or the inclusion of a middle name or initial.
The driver was then issued with a new old-style paper licence by the relevant local authority, which was registered on the Department of Transport’s National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF) – WITHOUT the relevant penalty points, as these were not transferred to the new document due to the slight change in the name.
Furthermore, points were avoided by drivers who held both foreign and Irish driving licences, while other drivers simply changed names or photographs on paper licences to fraudulently dodge their penalty points.
But the recent introduction of the new credit card style plastic driver’s licence – centrally administered by the Road Safety Authority – will close all of these loopholes.
The new card was introduced in January and is issued centrally by the RSA, with responsibility removed from the 34 local authorities. All driver details are held in a central database and can be cross-checked; multiple licences can no longer be issued to one individual.
But - as a licence lasts for ten years - it will be a decade before the old system is totally removed.
National Vehicle and Driver File