Dozens of motorists had to walk away empty-handed from the new National Driving Licence Service (NDLS) centre in Wicklow Town yesterday after technical difficulties caused long queues and delays in processing applications.
Based in a small office in the Wicklow Enterprise Centre with a staff of two, the delays began early in the day after an IT crash around 9am ground operations to a halt.
Motorists traveled from across the county to get new licences, many of whom simply got fed up waiting and left, while others queued for hours.
Motorists described the office as “jam-packed” with only one desk in operation.
“I went in just after 12 and didn’t leave the place till 3:40,” one driver told WicklowNews.net. “The place was jammers and supposedly they were having trouble with the machines.”
“There were two desks but only one open,” another said. “They didn’t process the first one until 11:30am. There was a girl in front of me who had been there for four hours. They were taking half an hour to process an application. Wasn’t the best start.”
“My Dad went in today at two and the place was jam-packed,” WicklowNews.net was told. “The staff locked the door at three, saying it was going to be after five before everyone in the office would be processed as there was only one actual photo machine for the office.
“At 4:45 the system went down so they told everyone in the office they would have to come back later. So after waiting almost 3 hours my Dad has no licence and is going to have start the whole process again tomorrow.”
The fault affected all 34 of the new centres nationwide but all are expected to be back in operation today.
One feature of the new driving licence application service is that motorists no longer need to attend their local office and can file their papers in any centre.
Given this, drivers in northern areas of Wicklow might instead choose to apply for new licences at the NDLS branch in Leopardstown Shopping Centre.