The Public Service Card and your Driver Licence

From April 2018 you will need a PSC to get a Driver Licence

Written by Rebekah Connolly


The National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) is changing the documents they accept as identification when applying for or renewing your driver licence or learner permit. Until now you could use several forms of identification to verify your name, PPS number, address and identity. After 9 April 2018 Public Service Cards (PSC) will be the only form of identity accepted. 

The Public Service Card

The PSC is a card issued by the Irish Government which verifies your identification. It was first introduced in 2011 and given to people getting social welfare payments. It is now being rolled out as a proof of identity for other public services such as for your driver licence and all first time passport applicants aged 18 and above. 

Why is it the only form of identity accepted?

The PSC verification process is being put in place to help the security of public services. The NDLS wants to make the application process less affected by fraud and help keep illegal drivers off the roads. With the PSC card you will not have to bring any other documents with you to the NDLS centres as it has your PPS number, address and identity.

What do I do if I don't have a PSC?

If you don’t have a PSC you will need to apply for one. You can do this by making an appointment at or by calling into your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office. The appointment to register is called Standard Authentication Framework Environment (SAFE) registration.

Standard Authentication Framework Environment (SAFE) registration

Once you apply to make a SAFE appointment the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will send you a letter with the date of your appointment. Your appointment will take around 15 minutes at your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office. At the appointment your photo and signature will be taken for your card and will also have to answer some security questions.

You need to bring certain documents to your appointment to prove your identity and address.

Documents you need for your PSC card

Irish citizens born in Ireland:

  • Current Irish passport or current Irish or UK driving licence or Irish learner driver permit. If you are adopted you will need to bring your adoption certificate with you.

Irish citizens via naturalisation or Foreign Birth Registration:

  • Current Irish passport or Certificate of Naturalisation or Foreign Birth Registration Certificate and Irish or UK driving licence or Irish learner driver permit.

EU citizens (other than Irish and UK):

  • Current passport or national identity card.

 Non-EU citizens

  • Current passport or 1951 travel document

You also need to bring the letter you got confirming your appointment and your mobile phone to verify your number by the Department. If you currently have a Social Services Card you should bring that too.

Online NDLS service

Your PSC will also allow you to use the NDLS new online service from the end of April 2018 to renew your licence or permit. This service will not be available to anyone without the card. To use the online service you will also need to set up a Verified account on For more information on this service click here.

Our work is supported by