How you can easily avoid long queues when renewing your driver’s licence

Driving licences that expired between 26 March 2020 up to and including 31 August are now deemed valid until 31 March 2022.

Deputy Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga gets her eye test done at a driver's licence testing centre. Picture: Fikile Mbalula/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG – Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Friday announced the extension to the grace period for the renewal of driver's licences.

Driving licences that expired between 26 March 2020 up to and including 31 August are now deemed valid until 31 March 2022.

While this gives motorists some buying time to renew their lincences, licence centres have been grappling with backlogs and technical issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of booking for a renewal online:
- First things first, you have to book for your licence card renewal four weeks before it expires. This will help you avoid paying an additional cost for a temporary one after it expires while you wait for your permanent one.

  • While you’ll not be required to take a driving test when you renew your card, it is mandatory that you either take a) an eye test at the driving centre or b) you can avoid the long queues at driving licence testing centres (DLTC) by doing your own eye test with an optometrist and submit your report to your nearest DLTC.

  • Now that you have established a date to book for your card renewal and have your eye tests done, you will have to go to the National Traffic Information System (Natis) website to grab a form.

After grabbing the form on the Natis website, it needs to be accompanied by the following documents:
- Your original ID and a copy of your ID,

  • Your old driving licence card or valid South African passport,

  • Four black-and-white ID photographs (before you have photographs taken confirm with your DLTC how many photos they require),

  • Proof of residential address e.g. utility account. If the utility bill is not in your name, the of owner of the bill must make an affidavit declaring that you live at the address and the utility bill must be attached to the affidavit,

  • If you stay at an informal settlement, you must bring a letter with an official date stamp from the ward councillor confirming your residential address,

  • Your eye test report that you can do at the testing centre or at the optometrist of your choice,

  • Prescribed application fee.

Licence testing centres tend to have long queues and can be crowded, which means you could risk contracting COVID-19. So, instead of putting your health at risk, you now also have the option of booking online through the Natis website.

All you have to do is:

  • Click on the application for renewal of driving licence card option,

  • Enter your personal details,

  • Choose which traffic department you want to show up at and the time and Bob’s your uncle,

Once you’re done renewing your licence, it will take about for to six weeks for your driving licence to be ready.

For more information, visit the SA government website.

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