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Explanatory Memorandum to Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 2007

Driver Licensing

20.Part III includes a number of amendments to existing legislation to bring Northern Ireland into line with the driver licensing system operating presently in Great Britain, together with a number of new measures to be introduced.

21.Article 35 amends the existing arrangement that allows the Department to designate a country or territory that is not an EEA State for the purposes of exchangeable driving licences. It removes an anomaly whereby licence holders from certain countries may exchange their driving licences in Great Britain, but not in Northern Ireland.

22.Article 36 allows the Department to make any driver licensing information held by it available to the police for prescribed purposes.

23.Articles 38, 39 and 40 introduce a new system that will allow for the issue of endorsable fixed penalties to persons without a paper counterpart to their driving licence. This will be achieved by allowing access to the Department’s “driving record” rather than having to rely on the counterpart. The new system will initially apply to unlicensed and foreign drivers. Eventually it will be extended to all drivers and counterparts will cease to be part of the driver licensing system.

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