Johannesburg - Many motorists continue to face fines for inadvertantly driving with expired vehicle licence discs due to not receiving renewal notices in the post.
This is several months after the department of transport claimed to have solved the issue. In March transport minister Dipuo Peters admitted in Parliament that the DOT hadn’t paid its post office bills, which had led to renewal notices not being sent out.
She claimed the matter had been settled but some motorists are still reporting that they’ve not been posted renewal notices, leading to them being fined for driving with expired licence discs and also having to pay a late-renewal penalty at the licensing department.
Department of transport spokesman Ishmael Mnisi explains that a contractual dispute had led to delays in the payments to the Post Office for the delivery of renewal notices to motorists.
“To remedy the situation,” he said, “the Road Traffic Management Corporation is concluding a payment regime of outstanding fees to the Post Office.”
Earlier in 2016 the Automobile Association received numerous queries about what steps motorists could take to resolve this issue and described licensing departments as “chaotic” because of the situation.
The AA says the situation has improved somewhat and complaints around this issue have died down compared to three months ago.
Vehicle owners are reminded that the DOT is not obliged to send renewal notices. It’s always been a convenience, just one that motorists have become very accustomed to.
“We advise motorists to continuously monitor their vehicle disk expiry date and use the provisions of the 21-day grace period to make their annual renewal payments,” said Mnisi.
You must take along identification and proof of address when going to renew your car’s licence.
The 21-day grace period, if you have not renewed the expired motor vehicle licence, is calculated from the expiry date on your current licence disc and if it’s not renewed by the end of the grace period, penalties will be charged at 10 percent of the licencing fee for every month that the licence remains lapsed.
However, there also appears to be a shortage of licence disc forms in some areas. Last week Motoring visited two post offices in Johannesburg to assess the situation. In one post office we were told that renewals were offline indefinitely as the forms hadn’t been delivered for some time.
In another, there were also no forms at first but they had arrived when we returned later that day.