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New credit card driving licences to outsmart forgers

NEW plastic driving licences have been launched here, bringing us in line with the rest of Europe.

The credit card-style identity will replace old paper versions, and are expected to boost road safety by making it tougher to pass off forgeries.

Almost 6,000 of the new cards were issued to drivers this week following a changeover on January 19.

It is part of a wider plan to standardise all licences across the EU where, previously, up to 100 different types were in circulation.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said the new cards were more secure and more convenient for motorists.

"It's easy to carry, you can carry it in your wallet, and you can use it as ID if you like," Mr Varadkar said.

"It's going to be recognisable across Europe and it's very difficult to forge."

The new version is available to all who have passed their driving test and are applying for their first licence.

Those applying for a learner's permit will also get the card version, as well as those renewing their licence or exchanging a foreign one for an Irish one.