You can’t be fined for an expired driving license card

An extension for expired driving license cards but NOT for expired vehicle licenses

The Department of Transport has recently announced that any learner or driving license cards that have expired between 26 March and 31 December 2020, will now be valid until 31 August 2021. However, it’s important for motorists to note that there has been no extension given for vehicle licenses. 

A News24 article (Did you know your driver’s license never expires?) points out that when your driving license card expires, it doesn’t mean your actual driver’s license has expired, and there is no law making it mandatory to renew your driving license card. Many Metro Police officers are either not aware of this fact, or they are disregarding it. 

Additionally, there is no penalty to pay when your driver’s license card is expired. You would pay around R160 to renew your license card (prices vary per province) and a temporary license would cost around R45.

However, even if your driving license card is expired, be sure to always keep it on you when you’re driving. It is illegal to drive without your driving license card with you.

While the law doesn’t state that it’s mandatory to have an up-to-date driving license card, your insurance might. Many car insurance policies state that they will only pay out if your driver’s license card is up to date. If your driving license card has expired, read through your policy and let your insurance company know, just to make sure you’re still covered in the event of an accident or theft.

This is unfortunately not a straightforward answer. It depends on whether your fine was issued under the Criminal Procedures Act or the AARTO Act.

  • If your fine was issued under the Criminal Procedures Act, you should write a letter to the state prosecutor at the court you have been notified to appear in, referencing the extension to the validity of learner’s license and driving license cards. The letter can be emailed, posted or hand delivered to the relevant Magistrates Court.
  • If the fine was issued under the AARTO Act, you should complete and submit the AARTO 08 Representation Form, citing the extension to the validity of learner’s license and driving license cards.  

Read this comprehensive News24 article for in-depth instructions and advice: What to do if you're fined for an expired driving license card. Thankfully with the latest announcement from the Department of Transport, which states that an extension has been granted until the end of August, you shouldn’t have to debate this with any Metro Police officers. It would be handy to print out and keep a copy of the government announcement in your car. Click here to download your copy: National Gazette No. 43958, 03 December 2020.

Important – There is no extension for vehicle licenses!

Please note that while there is an extension for learner and driving license cards until 31 August 2021, there is no extension for vehicle licenses. If your vehicle license expires, you will be faced with penalties. Unfortunately at this stage there is no online option and you are required to renew your license at your closest licensing centre. There is of course the option to use a third party services to do this. 


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