Ireland gets rid of paper driving licences


In Ireland, the paper driver’s licence is finally being replaced with a plastic credit card one from next January. The design has been based on a similar driver’s license found in Finland, but it retains the same pink colour that the current Irish licence is printed in today.

The new licence is going to feature a photograph of the driver, along with their name, date of birth, and signature. The license is also going to give details about whether the driver has to wear glasses, or if they have any driving endorsements or penalty points.

January is the last date that European law allows the country to change the license from paper to a plastic form, and the Irish will be introducing this license on 19 January. The reason for the change demanded from Europe is to increase security and offer better logistics. It is likely that in the future a microchip is going to be installed on most drivers’ licenses.

Leo Varadkar is the transport minister in Ireland and he has stated that he is currently investigating whether the new form of driver’s license can be used as a valid form of identification for air travel within the European Union. The Irish airline, Ryanair, currently does not accept paper form drivers’ licenses as a means of identification and having plastic licenses should make air travel and easier process.

The paper licence will be remaining valid in the country until it expires, but any resident is able to trade the license for a plastic one at any point. The paper licence will cease being issued immediately upon introduction of the plastic license.

The issuing of the license is going to become a centralised process which will mean that the government will save money as less people are needed in order to produce and distribute them.

He said that staff are not going to lose their jobs, but are going to be redeployed to other areas where staff are needed. The Irish government are currently seeking out a company capable of producing both the new form of driver’s license, and learning permit.