Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Drink-driver licence charge rises

The cost of a standard licence renewal is going up from 20 pounds to 30 pounds, Alex Attwood said

Drink-drivers will have to pay even more to renew their licences under new price structures announced by the Environment Minister.

The cost of reissuing licences to disqualified drivers is going up by 60%, from £65 to £104.

Alex Attwood has also decided to increase the fee for obtaining a provisional licence - rising from £50 to £62.50. The cost of a standard licence renewal is going up from £20 to £30.

Under the current fee rates, driver licensing income for 2012-13 is estimated to be £3.17 million while administration expenditure is estimated to be £5.62 million.

Mr Attwood said half of drivers would not be impacted by the changes, which come into effect on Monday.

"In deciding these changes, I have recognised the difficult times many face," he said.

"That is why I have kept medically restricted licences, licences issued when a driver changes name and address, and licences issued to drivers over 70 years of age free, which is 50% of all licence holders, and why renewal and replacement licences increase by only one pound a year for each year of the licence, the equivalent of two pence a week.

"Keeping licences free and keeping licence increases low is all about recognising hard times.

"I do not do so for all. I believe those who require a licence after disqualification, e.g. for alcohol-related driving offences, should pay more. This may offer a little more deterrence and create more penalty for those on the wrong side of the law. Fees for licences in these cases are increasing by 60%.

"There will be a fee for bus and lorry licences - but it will only be £20. I think that a small licence fee for people engaged in various work activities is proper and the fee very reasonable."

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