Statement from the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, and the Road Safety Authority in relation to the gradual re-opening of some RSA services
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have confirmed that the phased reopening of some RSA’s services will begin on Monday 8 June, the start of phase 2 of the Government’s road map for easing of Covid19 restrictions.
The National Driver Licence Service (NDLS), the Driver Theory Test (DTT), and the National Car Testing Service (NCTS) will begin re-opening on a gradual basis from Monday 8 June. The re-opening of these services is being done in line with the National Return to Work Safely Protocol agreed by employer and worker representatives. This follows the resumption of the Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Testing Service in Phase 1 from 18 May.
Minister Ross said, “While I am pleased to announce the gradual resumption of these services, people do need to understand that things will be different. This is to ensure we continue to protect the health and wellbeing of both staff and the public. This must remain the overriding priority. Therefore, the delivery of these services will be subject to measures designed to mitigate against the spread of COVID19.”
Some of the conditions that will apply to services re-opening include;
· NCTS, NDLS and DTT centres will open on a gradual basis in the coming days and weeks. Check relevant websites for updates on centres opening in your area.
· Customers must make an appointment in advance to avail of any service. No walk-in appointments will be accommodated. This will be kept under review.
· All services must be paid for with credit / debit cards. No cash will be taken.
· Social distancing should always be maintained.
· Anyone wishing to use these services are reminded that they are subject to the Government’s current restriction on travel
“As I extended the validity of various certificates and licences relating to these services on 28 March for periods up four months, the greatest demand from the public for these services has been reduced in the short term. However, I believe it is important that the RSA’s services continue the gradual process of reopening, so we can contribute to the process of reopening Ireland’s economy and society.”
“I am also acutely aware that some people do need to avail of these services now. For example, there are vehicle owners who were affected by the ‘vehicle lift’ issue at the NCTS and who need to complete their test. These customers and anyone else who has been unable to complete their full vehicle inspection are to be prioritised. They are also being urged to check the NCTS website for updates. The reopening of the Driver Theory Test will allow people to sit the theory test. The opening of NDLS centres will then allow these people to apply for a learner permit, it will also enable people to apply for a replacement licence that may have been lost or stolen.”
“While the Driver Testing Service is not re-opening as part of this phase in the Government’s road map, I do wish to provide an update on this service. I appreciate that learner drivers will be anxious to know when driving tests will become available again. There are challenges to overcome in order to re-open this service fully. While I do see the possibility of truck, bus and motorcycle testing resuming, in Phase 3, there are issues to overcome to recommence car driving tests. These challenges include maintaining social distancing as a car driving test means close contact in an enclosed space between the driver tester and the learner driver for periods in excess of 15 minutes. I can assure learner drivers that officials in my Department and the RSA are looking at all available options to get car driving tests started again as soon as possible.”
“Finally, I would urge anyone availing of these services to follow the procedures that have been put in place. They are there to protect you and staff. I would also ask people to please be patient and bear with staff as they endeavour to deliver public services in very changed circumstances. With understanding on all sides, we can make the reopening of these services a success”, concluded the Minister.