DURBAN - Licencing centres across the country may have been in operation for several months, services have been greatly impacted as a growing number of employees test positive for Covid-19 and centres are forced to close.
In KwaZulu-Natal, 13 Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTCsl have been affected by Covid-19 outbreaks and have been temporarily shut down until further notice. In efforts to address these issues, Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has gazetted an amendment to the lockdown regulations to allow road users until next year to renew their expired licenses.
The gazette, released on Wednesday, states that licence cards expiring as of March 26 will be valid until January 2021.
“All learner's licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits that expire during the period that commenced from March 26 up to and including August 31 are deemed to be valid and their validity period is extended for a further grace period ending on January 31 2021,” it states.
The Automobile Association (AA) welcomed the news and said this is a major victory for motorists in South Africa.
“As the champion of South African motorists we are elated at this move. It’s great news for motorists who have been worried about being legal on the road in the face of mounting backlogs with renewals. We applaud the government and the RTMC for making this decision which, ultimately, is the right way forward. We also want to thank the Minister for being responsive to motorists’ needs during this difficult time and for taking this pragmatic step,” said Willem Groenewald, CEO of the AA.
The grace period is also extended for all motor vehicle licence discs, temporary permits and roadworthy certificates that expired from March 26 up to and including May 31. They will be considered as valid until August 31 this year.
The gazette further stipulates that motor trade number licences that expired during the period from March 26 and up to May 31 also have their validity extended for a further grace period ending on November 30.
It should be noted that motorists visiting licencing centres should follow the gazetted health and safety guidelines. These include:
- Covid-19 screening at the entrances;
- Limited number of customers allowed in at a time;
- Social distancing is required and must be adhered to;
- Limited daily transactions, please visit early in the day. Ticket numbers are issued and if a service limit is reached for the day, bring the same ticket number with you the next day if possible;
- Longer queues due to reduced staff;
- Only your ID is needed for motor vehicle licensing and registration renewals.
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