Good news for driving licences in South Africa

 ·26 Jan 2022

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has announced that South Africa’s only driving licence card machine has been fixed and is now back in operation.

In a video posted to social media on Wednesday (26 January), Mbalula said that staff at the Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) were now working to address the country’s licence backlog.

Driving licence cards in South Africa are produced by the DLCA – a national entity that produces these driving licence cards for Driving Licence Testing Centres around the country.

The machine used in the production of the cards broke down in late November and was sent abroad for repairs, leaving approximately half a million South African motorists stuck with expired driving licence cards.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also led to a significant backlog in licences as testing centres were forced to close for several months due to restrictions.

As a result, the department extended the validity period of learner’s licences, driver’s licence cards, temporary driving permits, and professional driving permits that expired between 26 March 2020 and 31 August 2021 to 31 March 2022.

To address corruption and other ongoing licensing issues, Mbalula said his department will officially launch online services at Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTCs) in February 2022 as part of a revamp of the country’s licensing system.

The launch of online services will significantly improve service delivery and minimise the need for motorists to visit a licencing centre more than once, he said.  This will include the option to have your licence delivered to your place of work or office, 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.”

Read: South Africa has a massive driving licence backlog – here are the rules you should know

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