New driving licence to be introduced in South Africa – with plans to use ‘the blockchain’

 ·9 May 2022

The Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) says it is making steady progress in its plans to introduce a new driving licence card in South Africa.

The DLCA is the trading entity responsible for the production of driving licence cards in South Africa. In its latest annual performance plan, the group said the new card will include a new design and security features.

The card also presents the opportunity for the ‘re-engineering of processes’ to improve service delivery and deliver cards efficiently and effectively, it said. The DLCA also confirmed that it is considering the adoption of new technologies in the new card, including the incorporation of blockchain technology.

The new driving licence card is expected to launch in the country by October 2023.

Responding to parliamentary questions in March, Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said the design for the new driving licence card has now been completed and is undergoing a cabinet approval process.

Mbalula has previously mooted the possibility of incorporating identification features in South Africa’s licences and in a February media briefing he said the country’s new driving card will feature a number of security enhancements and international recognition – meaning it can be used as a form of identification.

Once the physical licence card has been introduced, the government also plans to introduce an electric driving licence which will available through a motorist’s smartphone.

With the introduction of the eDL, the motorist will have an option to apply for a physical card and electronic driver’s licence which will be accessible through a motorist’s mobile phone.

The DLCA said it is also committed to making the driving licence process more seamless and was working on a new ‘smart enrollment’ system. This will allow it to more easily collect data directly from the driving licence card and multiple other channels, with the government looking to expand online licence renewals in the coming years.

Read: Push for new driving licence extension in South Africa as thousands of fines are set to hit

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