Friday, April 01, 2022

Grace period for expired drivers' licence extended

Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, extended the grace period for renewal of driving licences until 15 April 2022

These are driving licences that expired between 26 March 2020 and 21 August 2021.

In August 2021, Mbalula, announced the extension of learner's licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences, and professional driving permits for a grace period ending on 31 March 2022.

He said the number of driving licence cards, for which renewal applications are still to be made, stands at 1 424 756, a reduction from 2 813 016.

“This means that only 49% of the affected motorists have applied for renewal of their expired driving licences... Motorists are not coming forward to renew their licences for a variety of reasons.

“As of 28 March 2022, we had produced 628 150 driving licence cards, reducing the backlog of cards to be printed to 522 839. This is in respect of those who have already applied to renew their licences,” Mbalula said.

‘’We are concerned that the pace of renewal in the Provinces remains sluggish,’’ he added.

Out of 403 507 expired licences in the Western Cape, 218 286 driving licences have been renewed, representing 54.1% renewal.

‘’We urge all those who have yet to renew their driving licences not to delay any further and take advantage of the additional capacity we have provided and the online services. Those who apply for renewal of their driving licence cards before the expiry date are permitted to use the expired card for a period of 3 months, provided that they have in their possession the expired card and the receipt in the vehicle at all times. This is a provision that is contained in our National Road Traffic Regulations,’’ said Mbalula.

The Minister also announced that the department has agreed with the MECs that they will extend the operating hours of the driving licence testing centre (DLTCs) in different provinces and open over weekends.

Mbalula announced that the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has been commissioned to undertake research on possible changes to the renewal time frames.

‘’Various countries in the continent have renewal periods that range from 2 to 5 years and a number of other countries require renewal at anything from 6 to 15 years, while others have integrated the driving licence into their identity cards.’’

‘’The research will look at the co-relation between the renewal period and safety on our roads and what factors should be taken into account if we are to revise the current 5-year validity period. This work is already underway and will be concluded by 30 April 2022.’’

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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