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Galway Ranks Third Worst For Waiting Times for Driving Licences - Silke

The Aontú representative for Tuam, Luke Silke, has secured statistics from the NDLS which ranks Galway as having the third longest waiting time for appointments for driving licences in the State. The statistics show people in Galway are waiting an average of 21 days for appointments. 

Speaking today, Mr Silke said:

"The system for applying for driving licences and renewal licences needs to be examined, particularly in the Galway area. The waiting times are just one issue which constituents have raised with me - and it is a serious issue with many waiting more than three weeks for an appointment. Compare this with Castlebar where the wait time for appointments is a mere four days, or Sligo and Donegal where same-day appointments are possible". 
In her letter to Aontú, the Interim Director of Driving Testing and Licencing said that "customers can now also quickly and easily renew their driving licence online without the necessity of attending at an NDLS office, on the website, all they need is a Public Services Card (PSC) and a verified MyGovID account". 

However, Mr Silke said: "This is not easy, especially for elderly people - who make up a large portion of the people seeking renewals. Many elderly people in rural areas do not know how to use a computer or the internet and would rather deal with a human being, in person. They also may not have a 'My Gov account'. It is my understanding that some centres, including Galway, do not accept cash payments, only card. Many older people do not carry card. In some cases I'm aware of individuals who made the trip into Galway and were turned away for reasons such as these - because they hadn't booked online. This isn't fair - and it is very difficult for elderly people to treck from rural parts such as Tuam, Dunmore, Headford, or even parts of Connemara, into Galway - especially so when they don't have a valid driving licence!"

"The system needs to change in order to become more friendly to elderly service users. People like to have face to face conversations with human beings rather than everything being conducted electronically. As for the waiting lists - Galway is the third worst in the country - I would argue we need investment to tackle this backlog - and more staff if necessary. If you're left waiting for weeks in Dublin for a license you're not too bad because you have public transport options - but here in rural Ireland life can become very difficult without the ability to drive", concluded Silke. 


By Aontú Press | 21 July, 2022

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