The Road Traffic Management Corporation’s (RTMC) has warned motorists whose driving licence cards expired at the start of the lockdown period, in 2020, to renew their documents and not wait until the last minute.
The group said that motorists, whose driving licences expired between 26 March 2020 and 31 August 2021, are not taking advantage of the extended validity period to renew their documents.
As a result, the backlog of driving licence cards that expired between the stipulated period stands at 1,476,853. Gauteng accounts for 509,888 driving licence cards not yet renewed, followed by KwaZulu Natal with a backlog of 242,170 cars, and the Western Cape with 192,519 cars.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula extended the validity of driving licence cards that expired between 26 March 2020 and 31 August 2021 to the end of March 2022.
The Department of Transport also recently opened two new driving licence centres in Gauteng increasing available capacity in the province by 26,000 additional slots annually. The two centres at Waterfall Office Park in Midrand and Eco-Origins Park in Centurion operate daily, between 07h00 to 21h00, including Saturday and Sunday.
All other provinces, except the Northern Cape, have introduced extended operating hours in 106 major centres and are open on weekends in an effort to clear the backlog, the RTMC said.
Experience from the two newly opened RTMC centres showed that 25% of applications for renewal are from people affected by the lockdown and covered by the extension of the validity period whereas 75% are from applicants who are exempted from the extension.
“Motorists are warned not to be complacent as the March 2022 deadline is fast approaching and chances are that another extension will not be granted. It remains a great concern that 30% of applicants who book for renewals on the online platform do not show up to finalise the application,” the RTMC said.
“Meanwhile motorists who applied for the renewal of their licence cards when the two RTMC centres opened in October are now able to collect their cards. Messages are being sent to those whose cards are ready for collection.”