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NDLS and applying to drive.

  • 17-01-2018 4:46pm
    Registered Users Posts: 10 happylad21

    Hi, I am applying for learner Permit next week. And I have a few questions about the NDLS and how they operate and over the last couple of weeks I have been gathering all my information that I need such as passing theory test and getting Eyesight report filled out. And now I am ready to apply for NDLS Centre. But I am going on Holidays soon and I want to home to collect the licence when it comes in the post, but one things baffle’s me is that the length it takes to be posted out to people like 5 to 8 working days. I been trying to decide whether to wait until I come back from Holidays and apply or just apply now and hope it comes in time.

    I been trying to figure out why it takes so long to be posted out since when you go into the centre you sit down and the lady/man at the computer called an agent looks at your application and takes your picture and signature, I am just wondering since they input information about you into their computer would that information not be sent immediately to the printers who print the licence card and that just take a day or two for printing and then add another day for posting so why doesn’t it take like 2 or 3 days to arrive at your home.
    Am I missing something, like can someone who has applied for a licence please tell me the process when you go in like. I know you walk in and sit down and when called you go up to the counter to the lady/man what happens after that. Do they go through each section on the Application form and Eyesight test form or what? Is the application that people fill out posted to Cork or just a scanned electronic copy of them is just sent to central processing unit?

    Could someone please explain the process to me?

    I have seen people from the who work as Back Office Advisors in the NDLS Central Licensing Processing Unit reply and answer threads on this website could they please answer my question.

    I am sick of state services taking so long to process applications for people and they could be processed and more efficient if they looked at modern ways doing things.

    Thanks in advance.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,022 ✭✭✭✭ Alun

    I don't know about first licences, but my wife applied in person for a replacement licence recently and it only took a couple of days to come through. I guess the 5 to 8 days things is to cover them for eventual problems or hold ups. It's the same for online Motor Tax renewals, they usually turn up within 2 days of applying, but they cover themselves on the website with a much longer time limit.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,469 ✭✭✭✭ cantdecide

    There are four main entities involved really.

    The NDLS network is basically an outsourcing firm contracted by the RSA. They are a private company employing private sector workers that administer rules set by the RSA. The NDLS network is the front-of-house operation and they inspect the application packs and try to ensure applicants have applied correctly depending a large number of variables. The NDLS will create a 'stock item', ie a licence or learner permit file that exists on the state's licence database. They will then bundle your application and supporting documents into an envelope and post it for further processing.

    The envelope then arrives at the Central Licencing Processing Centre in Cork which is an entirely secondary operation provided by a different outsourcing private sector firm. Basically, it's a checking service and work from the same rule book provided by the RSA. The CLPU will inspect the application and supporting documents again and if anything was missed or incorrect, they will contact the customer to fix it. If you ring the NDLS with a query, you are ringing the CLPU in Cork.

    For the vast majority of applications, they slip through the process in a step by step basis and are turned around quickly. If there are no problems, the CLPU are contracted to turn these applications around in something like 3 working days. This means that once the CLPU press approve on your application and your stock item, the stock item goes for printing at another outsourcing firm and is posted to you by them.

    The overwhelming majority are approved in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, if you are one of those with an error on your application and need to be contacted, the service level agreement for problem applications is something like four weeks regardless of how fast you respond.

    Barely a public servant in sight in the licencing process these days and all to the cheapest bidder. If you're having a very bad experience with the process, you can complain to the RSA - their licencing division is the boss of the rest.

    You may as well apply now, it's not like a learner permit is any good to you abroad except as an ID, possibly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16 crashpilot

    For me it's never been more than 2-3 days to get the licence through the door. Any longer than that it's probably an issue with the post service.

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 1,924 Mod ✭✭✭✭ MascotDec85

    Do you have a Public Services Card?

  • Registered Users Posts: 10 happylad21

    Hi, all thanks for your replies.

    I glad to here it doesn't take that long after all.

    Could any of ye tell me the procedure as to what happens when you go into the NDLS Centre, I know you go in and sit down and wait to be called but what happens after that.

    Yes, I do have a Public Service Card.

    I like to have a little insight before I go to the centre to know what happens.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,011 ✭✭✭ IrishGrimReaper

    (Monaghan NDLS Office Experience)
    If you are going for a walk in appointment, you go in and look for the computer terminal, which you will need to sign in on with your name and it will give you a number, which is your position in the queue. You need to sign in, if you don't sign in and just sit there you will not be called. They'll either call out the number when they are ready to see you or there will be a display sign saying which number should come to the clerk now.

    Just make sure you have all the documents you need.