In South Africa, a driver’s license has a 5-year lifespan; for example, if your license was issued on January 21, 2022, it will expire on January 22, 2028. South Africans are required to drive with a valid driver’s license under the National Road Traffic Act.
Driving without a valid driver’s license can result in jail time, fines (ranging from R1,000.00 to R2000.00 depending on your vehicle class), or license suspension. Because driving legally is always advantageous, having a valid driver’s license is the most responsible thing a person can do.
How to get started with a driver’s license renewal?
The South African government encourages drivers to renew their licenses 4 weeks before they expire. A driver’s license holder must book a driver’s license renewal online 4 weeks before the expiry date.
A driver’s license renewal can now be scheduled online through the NaTIS online booking system. The system enables license card holders to schedule a driver’s license renewal appointment with their local Driving License Testing Center (DLTC). The service is available in all 9 provinces of South Africa.
To make a booking, go to the NaTIS website and follow the instructions below:
- Use the ‘book now’ drop-down menu on the NaTIS website.
- Choose the province where you want to renew your driver’s license.
- Enter your personal information, including your ID number, initials, and surname. Then, to proceed with your application, click ‘next.’
- Choose your preferred driving license center within your province, and then select the time and date for renewal.
- Confirm the renewal date and time by entering the OTP sent to your mobile number.
Alternatively, a driving license card holder can renew their driving license between Monday and Sunday by visiting the RTMC (Road Traffic Management Corporation) Waterfall in Gauteng or the RMTC EcoPark DLTC in Gauteng. This process is faster as it only takes up to 20 minutes to complete.
Senior citizens or those aged 60 and up can visit any of their local DLTC. Senior citizens are allowed to walk-in in into any DLTC in South Africa without making a booking; hence they can renew their license at any time.
Knowing what to do when your driver’s license is about to expire is critical.
What to do when a driver’s license is about to expire
The first step is to renew your license online through the NaTIS website, to walk in for a renewal if you are over the age of 60, or to go to one of the two RMTCs that accept walk-ins.
A license holder must renew their driver’s license 4 weeks before their license expires. If a driver’s license is not renewed within 4 weeks of its expiration date, the holder must obtain a temporary driver’s license.
A temporary license costs between R54.00 and R94.00 and is only valid for one year. At the driving license testing center, a temporary license is issued right away.
Before going for a driver’s license renewal, it is important to make a list of the things you need to bring with you. Here is a list of documents and information to bring when renewing a driver’s license.
Requirements for a driver’s license renewal
- Must have a valid South African ID book or Smart card or a passport;
- Copy of your ID or passport;
- Current driver’s license;
- ID-sized photos;
- Proof of residence that is not older than 3 months; and
- Credit/debit card to make a renewal payment. Those that want a temporary license that is valid for 6 months will have to make an additional payment.
With the necessary information, one can apply for a driver’s license renewal at the DLTC. An eye test and fingerprint data will be carried out at the DLTC. An optometrist or the DLTC will perform an eye exam. Eye tests at the DLTC are included in the driver’s license renewal fee; however, those who get an eye test from an independent Optometrist will need to. pay that practitioner separately.
When renewing a driver’s license, fingerprints will be taken at the DLTC. Fingerprints will not be charged separately because the cost is included in the license renewal fee. As a result, fingerprints cannot be taken in advance and must be taken at a DLTC facility.
After completing the checklist, you can go to a DLTC to renew your driver’s license. The renewal fee at the driving license testing center is R250.00. The new driver’s license will be ready for pickup within 4 to 6 weeks of renewal.
What to do after submitting a driver’s license renewal
Those who chose to get a temporary license after submitting a license renewal will receive it immediately. After 4 to 6 weeks of renewal, a new driver’s license will be issued. An SMS can be used to track the delivery of a driver’s license.
One should send an SMS to 33214 with their ID number. The department will send you an SMS with the status of your new license. Four weeks after renewing, one must go to their DLTC to pick up their new driver’s license.
FAQ: South African Driver’s Licence Renewal Guide
1. How do I renew my South African driver’s licence?
To renew your South African driver’s licence, visit your nearest driving licence testing centre (DLTC), complete the renewal form (DL1), submit necessary documents, pay the renewal fee, and pass an eye test.
2. What documents do I need for licence renewal?
You’ll need your current driver’s licence card, your ID (South African ID book, card, or passport), two identical black and white ID photographs, and proof of residence not older than three months.
3. How much does it cost to renew a South African driver’s licence?
The cost to renew a South African driver’s licence may vary slightly depending on the province. As of September 2021, the approximate fee is R140.00, but it’s advised to confirm the updated fee with your local DLTC.
4. How long is a South African driver’s licence valid for?
A South African driver’s licence is valid for five years from the date of issue. It’s important to renew it before the expiry date to avoid penalties or driving with an expired licence.
5. How do I know when my driver’s licence is due for renewal? Check the expiry date printed on your driver’s licence card. It is recommended to start the renewal process at least four weeks before the expiration date to allow for processing time and potential delays.
6. Can I renew my South African driver’s licence online?
As of September 2021, there is no nationwide online renewal system in place. However, the City of Cape Town has an e-Services portal for licence renewals. It is recommended to check with your local DLTC for any updates or additional online options.
7. What happens if my driver’s licence has expired?
Driving with an expired licence is illegal in South Africa and could result in fines or penalties. If your licence has expired, you must renew it as soon as possible while waiting for the renewal to be processed.
8. Can I renew my driver’s licence if I lost it or it was stolen?
Yes, you can renew your driver’s licence if it was lost or stolen. You’ll need to report the loss or theft to the police and obtain an affidavit. When visiting the DLTC, bring the police affidavit, your ID, two identical black and white ID photographs, and proof of residence to apply for a duplicate licence.
9. How long does it take to receive my renewed driver’s licence?
The processing time for a driver’s licence renewal can vary depending on the DLTC. Generally, it takes between 4 to 6 weeks for the new card to be available for collection. It’s advised to apply early to avoid driving with an expired licence.
10. Can I renew my South African driver’s licence from abroad?
No, you cannot renew your South African driver’s licence from abroad. Renewal can only be done in person at a DLTC within South Africa. If you’re temporarily living abroad and your licence expires, you’ll need to renew it upon your return to South Africa.
Renewing your driver’s license ahead of time allows you to avoid the need for a temporary license while you wait for your new driver’s license. Drivers who renew their licenses ahead of time are less likely to break the law by driving with an expired license.
A driver’s license holder who drives with an expired license may face penalties, fines, and/or jail time. To avoid this, it is important to renew your driver’s license before it expires.