You don’t have to get a public service card – but you have to get a public service card
THE row over the ‘mandatory but not compulsory’ public service card (PSC) rolls on at an embarrassing level. My son, who recently passed his driving test (first time #proudmum) now has to upgrade his learner permit (cost
€35) to a full licence (cost €55). He is told he needs to acquire a public service card (cost: a lot of time and trouble) to do so.
The PSC is now needed not only for this, but also just to sit the driver theory test (cost €45). It is, we are told vehemently, Not A National Identity Card.
It is simply, we are to believe, handy, convenient, useful, expedient, but definitely not compulsory. Except you have to have one.
Since April 9, it is the law, but it’s not mandatory or anything. Just, you know… essential.
Not crucial, but necessary. Anyone renewing their existing driving licence also needs a PSC. Except they don’t. Well, unless they want a new licence.
Confused? If only there was an organisation which could clarify the situation. Oh… but wait.
The Road Safety Authority, which does a worthy job in curtailing deaths on our roads, has spent a whopping
€2m on advertising the need for the non-mandatory PSC to be compulsory for driving purposes. It was told to do so by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
This is more than it spends on practically anything else. Now it’s been revealed that, actually, it’s probably illegal and there shouldn’t be any requirement to insist on it just to sit a driving test. Except there is. It’s still up as a mandatory (but not compulsory) requirement on its website.
There’s been a stand-off between the Attorney General, the Department of Transport (I wonder if Minister Shane Ross has a card, given he collects the pension now), and the RSA over who needs one, why they need it and how it’s going to be rolled out. Nobody seems any the wiser, but Joe Citizen, as ever, is getting stuffed along the way.
So, the bottom line is you do need one. Well, you don’t, unless you need stuff from the State. Like a driving licence, pension, dole or a passport. Still, that’s hardly anyone, right? Before you go as goggle-eyed as I did trying to read up on it, here’s the handy guide to get your ID in order, gleaned from the websites of the Departments of Social Protection, Transport and Foreign Affairs: To get a public service card, you need a passport or driving licence. To get a passport or driving licence you need a public service card.
She’s quick off the Markle
IWONDER if Meghan Markle needs an identity card to get married tomorrow? Being American, she had to sit a UK citizenship test just to join the family. For the purposes of research, and also craic, I also sat this and it involves such gems of questions as “Who is the Monarch?”, for which I sincerely hope she won’t need prompting, but also “Is the BBC controlled by the government?” (tin-foil hat may be donned before answering) and “Which Scottish king defeated the English at the Battle of Bannockburn?” (to which the correct answer must be, “who cares?”).
She’ll need a holiday after it’s all over, but it turns out they’re not going on honeymoon until later in the year, plunging the new bride into royal duties straight away.
A garden party for a mere 6,000 is first up, God love her.
The whole honeymoon thing has got out of hand anyway. People these days have mini-moons (before the wedding), baby-moons (before the sprog), pre-wedding girlie holidays (for the tan), hen trips, stag jollies and everything else which, unless you’re Croesus, costs the guests you drag along an absolute fortune.
Just get on with it and stop involving us in the expense.
Hotel room with plenty of space
WHILE we’re on the subject of honeymoons, here’s a novel suggestion for the rich and famous to get away from it all.
While we’re waiting for Richard Branson and Elon Musk to jet off into space along with the handful of billionaires holding out to become the first space tourists, kudos for forward planning go to Bark.com, the world’s first online space travel agent. Admittedly inter-galactic trips aren’t available just yet, but that’s not stopping the enterprising company from taking reservations for 2021, when the first space hotel begins its orbit.
Holidaymakers can expect flights to cost up to $790,000, while €9.5m price tag for a 12-day visit to the Aurora Station ‘spotel’ will bring potential holidaymakers down to earth with a bang.
Transport Minister Shane Ross will be needing a PSC – or not