It can cost up to R10,000 to get these types of personalised number plates

The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works recently announced that it was looking to make a number of proposed changes to be made to the ‘CA’ license plate.

Under the proposals, all new vehicles would instead show ‘CAA’ as a replacement for ‘CA’. The change will not affect current vehicle owners or people who wish to transfer the vehicle licence to a different vehicle, but will apply to all new vehicle registrations.

A departmental spokesperson previously told BusinessTech that the changes are being introduced because licensing authorities are running out of possible alphanumeric combinations which will inevitably lead to duplicates.

This was the same reason behind Gauteng’s change to a new number format several years ago, and remains a problem for a number of current number plate systems around the country.

One potential way around this shortage is through the use of customisable licence plates. Current South African road laws allow motorists to apply for these plates from their local traffic department (subject to certain restrictions) for a specific amount.

However, not all customisable plates are equal, and certain configurations can run you into the thousands of rands. With this in mind, BusinessTech looked at the current process and costs involved when applying for a customisable plate in Cape Town.

The first step is to check if the licence number is available. You can either phone the traffic department or send an emailed inquiry here.

To apply for a special number plate, you need to complete and return application form SLN1, with a copy of your RSA ID.

Business applicants should provide:

  • A Traffic Register Number Certificate (issued by a motor vehicle registering authority);
  • Or a Business Registration Certificate (issued by the registrar of companies);
  • A copy of the proxy or representative’s RSA ID.

Once the proof of payment is submitted and processed, you will be issued with:

  • An allocation letter;
  • An order letter for the licence plate manufacturer to enable them to manufacture the number plates.

Following this, you need to register the vehicle at a motor vehicle registering authority. The licensing letter and PLN2 certificate enables you to license your vehicle using the special vehicle licence number.

Personalised licence number Fee Example
1 x alpha or numeric character R10 000 1 – WP
B – WP
2 x alpha and/or numeric characters R6 000 11 – WP
1A – WP
3 x alpha and/or numeric characters R4 000 111 – WP
All others, up to a maximum of seven characters R1 750 JOHNNY2 – WP
3 x digits and letters R10 000 CA 1
4 x digits and letters R6 000 CA 11
6 x digits and letters R2 000 CA 1111
CAW 111
All others R600 CA 123-456
CAW 12345

Read: How much it costs to drive 100km after the latest petrol price hike

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It can cost up to R10,000 to get these types of personalised number plates