Big changes for driver licences in South Africa – including simulators and online renewals

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula says this department will officially launch online services at Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTCs) in February 2022 as part of a massive revamp of the country’s licensing system.

In a media briefing on Tuesday (17 January), Mbalula said the launch of online services will significantly improve service delivery and minimise the need for motorists to visit a licencing centre more than once.

“This would mean motorists are able to access services in the comfort of their homes,” he said.

He added that his department is taking a number of steps to digitalise driving licence renewal procedures which will result in a completely paperless experience.

“This will include online eye-testing, where the eye test result will be automatically uploaded and linked to the user application.

“Long term interventions include integration of driving licence simulators into the testing procedures. This will entail testing the motorist’s level of knowledge of the motor vehicle and rules of the road before actually getting into the vehicle.”

The recording of the driving licence testing and digitalising test results will also be part of this innovation. “This will also include new functionality to complete the renewal of driving licences online,” he said.

The transport minister said that all of these online features will also be incorporated into the booking of licence tests, motor vehicle registration and licensing as well as online vehicle licence renewals. “This will aid in addressing the corruption associated with the issuing of these licenses and or rendering of the services,” he said.

Mbalula also recently confirmed that the government is considering a new smart driver licence card for the country, which will be presented to president Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet shortly.

This will help address a growing backlog as approximately half a million South African motorists are stuck with expired driving licence cards because the twenty-year-old machine that prints them all has been out of order since November.

Read: Pick n Pay launches vehicle licence renewal service – here’s how it works

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Big changes for driver licences in South Africa – including simulators and online renewals