How can I get my Driver’s Licence Renewed?

There are many ways to describe the process of getting your driver’s licence in South Africa, though most people would probably pick ones like – ‘torturous’, ‘mind-numbing’ or ‘only slightly better than death. All in all, it’s generally not something that most people look forward to. Sadly, once you finally get your licence, you’ll notice an expiration date printed on it and you’ll realise that, eventually, you’ve got to do it all over again. But how do you do it? How can I get my Driver’s Licence Renewed??

While your driver’s licence itself does not actually expire, your licence card does. You can renew your driver’s licence card at any Driver’s Licence Testing Centre (DLTC). Simply arrive at the DLTC with all relevant documentation and the application fee and complete the renewal form (DL1). This form will be available at the DLTC.

How can I get my Driver’s Licence Renewed?

What do I mean “all relevant documentation”? Good question, voice in my head.

What Documents do you Need to Renew your Licence?

Before you head off to the DLTC, make sure you have the following

  1. ID
  2. Copy of your ID, old licence card or valid SA passport.
  3. 4 black and white ID photos (it is suggested that you check with your DLTC beforehand as they may want more)
  4. Proof of residential address (if, for example, you can’t find a utility bill in your name, you can have the owner of the bill sign an affidavit declaring that you live on the property. This affidavit must then be attached to the bill).
  5. A date stamp from a ward councillor if you live in an informal settlement
  6. Application Fee

Renewal costs are different depending on the province and the DLTC in question, that said, they will normally be between R200 – R250.

However, it should be noted that if you need a temporary licence card, you’ll need to pay for that. These are normally around R90.

How Long is my Driver’s Licence Valid for and When does it Need to be Renewed?

The expiry date of your card is located below your licence number and is normally set at 5 years from when the card was issued.

Even so, you’re supposed to get your licence renewal underway 4 weeks before the card expires as it takes some time to get a new one ready. If you wait until the card expires, you’ll need to pay for a temporary licence while you wait for your new one.

What are the Penalties for a Late Driver’s Licence Renewal?

Aside from the R90 cost of a temporary licence, there are currently no penalties for a late renewal.

How can I get my Driver’s Licence Renewed?

What are the Penalties for Driving with an Expired Driver’s Licence Card?

In most cases, being caught without a valid driver’s licence will result in a relatively light fine. You should keep in mind though, that some areas of the country fall under AARTO jurisdiction, in these locations, fines may be issued alongside demerit points which could eventually lead to your licence being revoked.

That said, perhaps the best reason to make sure your licence is up to date is that some insurance company policies may be voided if your licence is not valid.

Can my Insurance Company Refuse to Pay Out if my Licence was Expired?

Let’s imagine you get into an accident while out driving. You’re uninjured (thank God for hypothetical seatbelts) but your car is badly damaged. An expired driver’s licence is going to be the least of your worries on that day, right?

How can I get my Driver’s Licence Renewed?

Wrong, some insurance companies may refuse to pay out if your driver’s licence was invalid at the time of the accident. The only way to know if your insurers play by these rules is to thoroughly read through their policies.

How do I apply for a Temporary Driver’s Licence?

As mentioned, if you renew your licence after it has expired, you’ll have to pay an extra R90 for a temporary one. This is also the case when you’ve lost your licence and need an interim one to keep the cops at bay.

But how do you get one?

Once again, head to your local DLTC with the following

  1. Certified copy of your ID
  2. Proof of residential address
  3. A date stamp from a ward councillor if you live in an informal settlement
  4. 4 black and white ID photos – check with the DLTC in case they need more
  5. Application Fee

Once you arrive, you’ll need to complete the DL1 form and your temporary licence should be issued on the same day.

How Long is a Temporary Driver’s Licence Valid for?

A temporary driver’s licence lasts for 6 months once it’s issued, so make sure you renew your actual licence card before that time runs out.

Do you Need to Take your Driving Test Again when you Renew your Licence?

No, you do not. Besides making sure your eyes are still working, there are no written or practical tests that need to be done when you get your licence renewed.

How can I get my Driver’s Licence Renewed?

Can you Renew your Driver’s Licence Online in South Africa?

At the time for writing, only 2 provinces have made online renewal an available function. Readers who live in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape can try their luck online while everyone else will have to stand in line as usual.

Unfortunately, the Automobile Association has criticized this process and argues that such online resources are “not functional”, so whether or not you’re actually able to renew your licence online is another question.

Can you Have your Eyesight Tested Before Getting your Driver’s Licence Renewed?

Perhaps the most dreaded part of the renewal process is the eye test. It means that there’s an extra queue you’ll have to wait in which could easily extend the time you spend in the building by a couple hours.

What’s worse is that the chin and forehead rests of the machine are always coated in a layer of grease (who has such a greasy head?). These factors have led many people to wonder if there’s an alternative.

How can I get my Driver’s Licence Renewed?

Thankfully, there is. You can have your eyesight tested by an optometrist before going to the DLTC and submit the results when you get there.

How do you Find out When your Licence will be Ready?

Once you’ve applied to renew your licence you may have to wait a few weeks before it’s ready to be picked up. Luckily, there is a tracking system that should allow you to track the progress of your renewal. Additionally, you should be notified when your licence has become available for collection.

In Conclusion – How do you Renew your Driver’s Licence and When does it Have to be Done?

While some provinces have made the renewal process available online, most of us will have to find our nearest Driver’s Licence Testing Centre (DLTC) and complete the DL1 form to get the job done. Before you go, make sure you have –

  1. ID
  2. Copy of your ID, old licence card or valid SA passport.
  3. 4 black and white ID photos (it is suggested that you check with your DLTC beforehand as they may want more)
  4. Proof of residential address
  5. A date stamp from a ward councillor if you live in an informal settlement
  6. Application Fee

You are able to have your eyesight tested beforehand by an optometrist. If you choose to do this, you’ll simply need to take the results along with you, if not, you’ll have to have your eyes tested at the DLTC.

Your driver’s licence card is valid for 5 years after it has been issued. The expiration date should be clearly printed below your licence number. You will need to get your licence renewed 4 weeks before the actual expiry date as the renewal process may take some time.

How can I get my Driver’s Licence Renewed?

If you renew your licence after the expiration date or if your licence was lost or stolen, you’ll need to pay for a temporary licence while you wait for your new one. This temporary licence is only valid for 6 months.

The renewal process usually costs between R200 – R250 while temporary licences cost around R90. Aside from the cost of the temporary licence, there is currently no penalty for a late renewal.

It is important to ensure that you operate your vehicle with a valid driver’s licence or a temporary licence as it is a finable offence to drive without one. Additionally, some insurance companies will refuse to pay out after you have been in an accident if your licence was invalid at the time.

Disclaimer LAW101: All of our posts are for research purposes only. Law 101 aims to assist its readers with useful information on the laws of our country that can guide you to make decisions in line with the South African Governmental Laws currently in place. Although our posts cite the constitution in many instances, they are intended to assist readers who are looking to expand their knowledge of the law. Should you require specific legal advice we advise you to get in touch with a qualified legal expert.

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