File picture: Newspress.
Pretoria - With close to 50% of driving licence application bookings being made online, Gauteng will cease walk-in bookings at all its driving licence testing centres with effect from November 1, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said on Sunday.

Out of 108 554 people who submitted applications last week, 48 205 used the online booking system instead of waiting in long queues at the driving licence testing centres, RTMC spokesman Simon Zwane said.

This encouraging growth had been achieved within seven weeks since the launch of the service on August 30. The new innovative system had reduced long queues and saved travelling time and money for thousands of applicants, he said.

The system allowed new applicants to schedule the date and time on which they intend to take learner licence or driving licence tests. It also allowed users to renew their driving licence cards and public driver’s permits.

The Gauteng Transport Department had decided that all booking applications would be done exclusively online with effect from November 1, due to the successful implementation of the system, Zwane said.

The City of Tshwane council took a similar decision earlier and moved the services to the online platform with effect from October. The service had received warm accolades from the public.

Before the introduction of the online service, applicants were required to travel to a driving licence testing centre and queue for between 140 and 180 minutes depending on what time they arrived to book a time slot.

The online service took the applicant between 5 and 0 minutes depending on the speed with which the applicant was able to type and the available capacity at the centres.

If a preferred time slot was not available at the first centre, the applicant could quickly search for the available slot at any other participating centre.

African News Agency (ANA)