The Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula has announced that the grace period for South Africans with expired driver’s licences has been extended to 31 March 2022.
This includes all learner licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences, and professional driving permits that expired during the period between 26 March 2020 and 31 August 2021.
This extension will come into effect from the date of the publication of the directions in the Government Gazette, said Mbalula.
Expired licences in South Africa
South Africans have been plagued with difficulties when renewing their driver’s licence cards, with the problem being particularly relevant in Gauteng.
Residents in Gauteng must use the eNatis online booking system to schedule a renewal appointment – but when logging onto the system, consumers are met with a “0 slots available” notification across all driving licence testing centres in the province.
Several allegations arose of individuals and organisations “manipulating the system” to book slots, and in May it was revealed that companies with teams of employees are booking up driver’s licence renewal slots and selling them.
Relief for insured drivers
Following the reports of difficulties with expired licences, the South African Insurance Association announced that motorists with an expired driver’s licence card will not automatically have an insurance claim rejected in the event of an accident.
SAIA said it has received multiple queries from motorists about the impact an expired driver’s licence card or vehicle licence disc will have on a potential insurance claim.
“In short, drivers can take comfort in the fact that an insurer will not automatically reject a claim where a licence has expired,” said the association.
The association stated, however, that drivers must contact their insurance company or broker to let them know if they are experiencing difficulties in renewing their driver’s or vehicle licence.