Step-by-step: how to renew your driver’s licence

Is your South African driver’s licence about to expire? It’s a good idea to keep track of its expiry date as your card needs to be renewed four weeks before its expiry date. If not, you’ll need to pay extra for a temporary driving licence while you wait for your new licence to be issued. And if your licence expires and it’s discovered by a metro cop who pulls you over randomly on the side of the road, you could get slapped with a hefty fine.

  • The good news is that you won’t need to take another driving test to renew your licence. What you will need is to undergo an eye test and have your fingerprints taken. If it’s too intimidating to have your eyes tested at the licensing department, or if you want to save time there, you can have them tested by an optometrist, and submit the report at the licence testing centre where you’re renewing. If your sight has worsened since your last licence was issued, new conditions will be attached to your licence.
  • If you live outside of Gauteng, you don’t need to make an appointment – you can just show up at the licensing department most convenient for you. Some people like queuing from early in the morning in order to minimise their wait, but there’s no guarantee this will result in a shorter waiting time. Check with the licensing department beforehand about opening hours, and what times are the best to visit (again – there’s no guarantee that you won’t have a long wait).
  • All Gauteng residents should apply online for the licence  renewal:

You’ll need the following with you:

  • Identity document (ID) and a copy of your ID, old driving licence card or valid South African passport
  • Proof of residential address e.g. utility account. If the utility bill is not in your name, the owner of the bill must make an affidavit declaring that you live at the address and the utility bill must be attached to the affidavit. 
  • If you stay at an informal settlement, you must bring a letter with an official date stamp from the ward councillor confirming your residential address
  • Prescribed application fee – cash is best in case cards aren’t accepted, or machines are down. Check with your department what the fee is.

All those renewing should complete the form DL1: Application for renewal of driving licence card, which is available at each department.

Your new licence will be ready in around four weeks.

MotorHappy DRIVE is a rewards and benefit programme exclusively available to the MotorHappy community. Once you sign up for free, you’ll get access to some amazing discount vouchers, an online vault to safely store your car’s most important documents and you can even set your own reminders so that you never forget your driver’s licence or vehicle licence disk renewal dates ever again. You need to be a car owner to join – it’s that easy. 

For more info on MotorHappy DRIVE, click here.


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