Controversy as driving licences suffer added bureaucracy

Rules governing the issue of driving licences – already mired in bureaucracy – are yet again set to change, much to the fury of national doctors, who claim they will simply not be able to cope.

The problem stems from a decision involving medical certificates.

From January 2017, ‘atestados médicos’ (certificates needed for all those taking out first-time licences, and many who require to renew licences due to age) have to be submitted ‘electronically’ – in other words, by computer.

With thousands regularly caught-out by stipulations surrounding licence renewals, this represents yet another hurdle in a process that has often been likened to a frustrating game of snakes and ladders.

But for the doctors who will now be responsible for filing ‘atestados’ online, it is the thin end of the wedge.

They say they are already massively overworked, and this new responsibility will simply mean an increasing number of people ‘failing’ by default.

Sol newspaper claims licensing authority DGS is trying to calm criticism, saying delays will only arise in “exceptional circumstances” but the independent syndicate of doctors is adamant. With the “recurring failures” that their IT systems suffer, the new rules will add to their daily round of “torture”, and complicate the whole process.

By NATASHA DONN [email protected]