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Friday / 14 June 2024
HomeNewsSouth Africa getting new driver’s licence cards this April – Details

South Africa getting new driver’s licence cards this April – Details

Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga announced today that her department has nearly procured a new driver’s licence printing machine and that the first of the country’s new licence cards will be produced before the end of April.

At a media briefing regarding the shutdown of Gauteng’s e-tolls, Chikunga said: “We are at the tail-end of the procurement process [for the new printer], because the team that is busy with that had to travel to France to see the machine for themselves.”

“I can tell you now that before the end of this month, we will be printing new driving licence [cards] and will launch at least the first 100 per province.”

The licences were supposed to be introduced before the end of the 2023/2024 financial year – i.e. March 2024 – with the delay attributed to the complexity in the process of obtaining a new printer, said Chikunga in January.

Tender document showing the front of South Africa’s new licence card

What to expect

The introduction of new cards is aimed at addressing numerous issues with the current licencing system, including the prevalence of fraudulent cards and renewal backlogs.

The upgraded cards will therefore incorporate “smart card” technologies like intricate watermarks and user biometrics that can store data and be channelled through multiple authentication systems.

This will make it far more difficult to illegally modify or create counterfeit cards.

Furthermore, they will be compliant with the International Information Technology Personal Identification Compliant Driving Licence (ISO18013) standard and subsequently be valid in countries outside South Africa.

These enhanced cards will pave the way for the introduction of digital driver’s licences that citizens will be able to access from their phones, which should assist in cutting down on the administrative process of physically queuing to get a new card.

Tender document showing the back of South Africa’s new licence card

According to Chikunga, the new printer should also improve turnaround times for licence cards in South Africa.

The machine will be able to produce a card within five working days – nine days quicker than the current printer – which is a benefit that can be passed on to consumers.

Time around the Driver’s Licence Card Account won’t be relying on just one printer to manufacture licences for the entire nation, either, which will enable it to avoid the renewal backlogs that plagued innocent motorists in recent times.

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