New legislation which sees Louth people wishing to take out a learner permit or renew a driving license forced to now drive to Co Meath in order to do so has been criticised.
As of Tuesday 29th October 2013, instead of applying for a licence or learner permit in your local motor tax office you will need to apply in person at the new National Driver Licence Service NDLS at the Ground Floor Unit 3, Southgate Shopping Centre, Dublin Road, Drogheda, which is in fact over the border in Co Meath.
Accordin g to the NDLS, Security and safety is at the heart of the new National Driver Licence Service. Since the move from paper to plastic card, learner permits and licences are more secure, long-lasting and convenient.
“Now we’re adding another layer of security to make sure that the only person who uses your licence is you. This will help to keep unlicensed, illegal drivers off our roads.”
Yet for would-be and current drivers in Dundalk, this will mean a trek down to Drogheda, as opposed to dropping in the Motor Tax office in the Dundalk.
Speaking to the paper, Chairman of Louth County Council, Declan Breatnach, says that the issue has been brought to him on a number of occasions.
“There are a number of problems with this new systems.
“Why has the centre not been placed in a central location in Louth? Elderly people who wish to renew their license have to travel a considerable distance if they are coming from Dundalk or North Louth, and it is a significant inconvenience.
“You also now have to appear in person, which is a huge inconvenince for people with mobility problems and for people living abroad.”
“It’s also in Meath,” concluded Cllr Breatnach.
According to the website: ’At least one centre in every county in Ireland – and you can apply for your licence in any one of the centres nationwide,” despite the fact that ‘Louth’ centre is actually just over the border in Meath.