New SA driving licence card planned for 2023 and it might be valid for 10 years

South Africa is set to get a new driving licence card from October 2023. Shown here is the current card.

South Africa is set to get a new driving licence card from October 2023. Shown here is the current card.

Published Feb 3, 2022


Johannesburg - While the Department of Transport is making headway in its battle against the current backlog of driving licence cards, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has also announced that the department plans to introduce a new driving licence card in South Africa from October 2023.

“The new card will have advanced security features and meet international standards, which means it can also be used as an alternative form of identification,” Mbalula said.

Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday, the Minister said that the current licence card would be phased out over a five year period, meaning motorists would not need to scramble to renew their cards. The most welcome news, however, is that the department is at least considering extending the validity period of the new licence cards from five to 10 years.

According to the Minister, the RTMC has appointed a panel of researchers to look into the matter and a decision on whether or not to extend the validity period will be based on the findings of this study.

During an earlier briefing in January, Mbalula also said that there were plans to introduce online payments for driving licence cards as well as to-your-door delivery, at an extra cost, although a timeline for this service has yet to be announced.

No grace period extension

As for the current driving licence maladies, Mbalula stated that the DLCA’s card machine, which had been sent to Germany for repairs following a breakdown last year, is back in operation. With the DLCA currently working 24 hour shifts, it is anticipated that the current backlog of 597 492 renewal applications awaiting cards will be cleared within four months.

The total backlog of licences that will have expired by 31 March 2022, that have yet to be renewed, stands at 2.1 million nationwide, the department said.

The Minister did not extend the current grace period beyond 31 March 2022. This applies to cards that expired between 26 March 2020 and 31 August 2021. Those with licences that expired after the end of August will be required to apply for temporary licences.

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