With 1.2 million expired licences, Transport Minister extends deadline

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With the current backlog experienced at Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTCs), the government is further extending the grace period for the renewal of licences.

Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula said, “In order to give motorists a fair opportunity to renew their licences, while we are rolling out a number of measures to improve efficiencies and resolve challenges, we have decided to extend further the grace period for the renewal of licences.”

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in restrictions that led to the closure of DLTCs, causing backlogs, claims the government.

During a media briefing on 27 August 2021, the Minister said nationally, 1 210 965 licences are not yet renewed, out of 2 852 388 expired licences. This represents 42.4% non-renewal, with 57.6% of all expired licences having been renewed.

The Minister further said, “All learner’s licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits that expired during the period that commenced from 26 March 2020 up to and including 31 August 2021, are deemed to be valid, and their validity periods are extended for a further grace period ending on 31 March 2022.”

Moreover, two self-service kiosks are being prepared for testing and should be rolled out by October 2021 to assist those who do not have immediate access to a DLTC. “As part of the rollout of a bouquet of services to improve customer experience, processes to introduce online payments are advanced and a banking partner has already been appointed. While we had agreed with the MECs that operating hours of DLTCs must be extended, a number of provinces have experienced challenges relating to overtime. However, significant progress has been made in this regard,” announced the Minister.

In seven of the nine provinces, central registering authorities and DLTCs have extended their operating hours to include Saturdays and further augmented their human resource capacity.

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