Lockdown has hit learners hard
The reality that many learner drivers face months more waiting to sit a driving test is all but confirmed in a new annoucement from the Department of Transport.
In it, the Department confirms that the validity of learner driver licences has been extended for another 10 months in response to the level 5 restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A statement said permit step is in response to restrictions on accessing many of the services delivered by the Road Safety Authority (RSA), as a result of Covid-19, some learner permit holders could not avail of driving lessons, sit the driving test or renew their learner permit.
The Department says this means a driver whose learner permit is or has expired between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2021 is being extended by 10 months. This is in addition to previous extensions granted. Therefore:
- Permits that expired between 1 March and 30 June 2020 that were previously extended by 8 months will now be extended by a further 10 months, so 18 months in total.
- Permits that expired between 1 July to 31 October 2020 that were previously extended by 4 months will now be extended by a further 10 months, so 14 months in total.
- Permits that expired or will expire between 1 November 2020 and 31 July 2021 will be extended for 10 months.
By way of example of the above, the Department said that where the date of expiry on the physical learner permit, which can be seen at opposite number 4b on the permit shows
- 5 March 2020, the new expiry date is 5 September 2021.
- 5 July 2020, the new expiry date is 5 September 2021.
- 5 December 2020, the new expiry date is 5 October 2021.
Drivers who are affected by the extension are encouraged to check the new expiry date of their learner permit by using the expiry date calculator on www.ndls.ie. Enter the expiry date printed on your learner permit into the calculator and it will tell you the new expiry date.
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Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton provided more details in the announcement made on Thursday June 24.
“Providing this further 10 month extension to the expiry date to Learner Permits will allow for peace of mind to many learner drivers as they continue to work towards passing their driving test in the months ahead. Those who will benefit from this extension don’t need to do anything, our systems will update their records automatically.
"A new learner permit will not be issued to drivers with the new expiry date, rather the electronic driver record will be updated to reflect the new expiry date.
"This means that a person whose learner permit expired on 10 March 2020 will have the life of this permit extended to 10 September 2021, while a person whose permit expires on 15 August 2020 will have a new expiry date of 15 October 2021.
"If you have already renewed your permit, and it had an expiry date between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2021 the extension will not apply, and the expiry date of your permit will be as shown on your new permit. The RSA has also told Insurance Ireland and An Garda Síochána about the new expiry date of learner permits,” she said.