Motorists will be breathing a sigh of relief as the Minister of Transport has made an announcement regarding the driver's licence renewal period.
Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula has announced an extension of the grace period for motorists with expired learner’s licence, drivers licence cards, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits.
“All learner’s licence, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits that expire 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,” declared Mbalula.
Every five years, holders of South African drivers licences need to renew their driver’s licence card. However, challenges of all sorts have been hampering legal drivers from obtaining new cards.
This includes backlogs to Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTCs) offices being closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the one driver's licence printing machine having to be prepared in Germany.
This is especially concerning as not having a valid drivers licence card could come with a range of consequences. This includes fines and people driving illegally.
Minister Mbalula revealed that around 42% of expired drivers licences in South Africa have not yet been renewed.
He said, “Nationally, 1.2 million (1,210,965) licences are not yet renewed out of a total of 2.8 million (2,852,388) expired licences. This represents 42.4% non-renewal, with 57.6% of all expired licences having been renewed”.
The minister added that In seven of the nine provinces, Registering Authorities and DLTCs have extended their operating hours to include Saturdays and further increased their human resource capacity.