Deadlines for driver’s and car licence renewals in South Africa

The City of Cape Town has warned of high transaction volumes – both online and at customer offices – as motorists rush to meet the deadline to renew their motor vehicle licences.

The coronavirus lockdown made it almost impossible for motorists to apply for and renew documentation as licencing centres remained closed for weeks and strict social distancing rules were put in place.

As a result, Transport minister Fikile Mbalula extended the renewal date for licences a number of times to accommodate those who could not renew.

Deadlines as per the latest regulations:

  • 31 August 2020 –  All motor vehicle licence discs, temporary permits and roadworthy certificates that expired between 26 March 2020 up to and including 31 May 2020 are deemed to be valid and their validity period is extended for a further grace period ending on 31 August 2020;
  • 30 November 2020 – Motor trade number licences that expired between 26 March 2020 up to and including 31 May 2020 are deemed to be valid and are extended for a further grace period ending on 30 November 2020;
  • 31 January 2021 –  All learner’s licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits that expire during between 26 March 2020 up to and including 31 August 2020 are deemed to be valid and their validity period is extended for a further grace period ending on 31 January 2021.

Expect penalties 

The City of Cape Town said that motorists who have failed to meet renew or apply before these deadlines can expect to face penalties.

“Customers who could not renew their licences due to lockdown, but who needed to renew their licences before 26 March when the lockdown was implemented but failed to do so, will, unfortunately, have to pay penalties,” the City of Cape Town said.

“These fines cannot be written off as it is not a decision the City can make. This falls within the ambit of the National Department of Transport and the City follows the prescripts of the applicable regulations and legislation,” it said.

The city said that it will engage the Western Cape Government and the National Department of Transport on this issue.

“The decision to write off licence penalties rests with the National Department of Transport. The Ministry did not include this scenario for penalties to be written off for vehicle licences that have expired before the lockdown.”

What to expect when renewing

“Customers are reminded to only visit offices when necessary so that we continue to curb the spread of Covid-19,” said the city’s Ian Neilson.

“Longer queues are also likely to be expected due to the conclusion of the three-month grace period for licence renewals and reduced staff complement, as the Covid-19 regulations require.

“Please visit offices early in the day or make use of online services where possible. Social distancing must please be adhered to when visiting our customer offices.”

Neilson said that customers should expect the following when renewing:

  • Covid-19 screening at the entrances;
  • Limited number of customers allowed in at a time;
  • Social distancing is required and must be adhered to;
  • Visit early in the day. There are longer queues due to reduced staff at some offices as required by Covid-19 regulations and high volumes of transactions are being experienced;
  • You only need your ID for motor vehicle licensing and registration renewals.

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Deadlines for driver’s and car licence renewals in South Africa