The Department of Transport will launch online services at Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTC) in February 2022.
In a media briefing on 17 January, reported on by BusinessTech, transport minister Fikile Mbalula said the launch of online services will improve service delivery at DLTCs, and that these services are a part of an extensive revamp of South Africa’s licensing system.
Mbalula said that his department is in the process of digitalising driving licence renewal procedures with the end goal of creating a completely paperless experience.
This will include online eye-testing, where the eye test result will be automatically uploaded by approved optometrists and linked to the user application.
Recording driving licence testing and digitalising test results will also be part of the revamp, as well as the ability to “complete the renewal of driving licences online”.
“Long term interventions include integration of driving licence simulators into the testing procedures. This will entail testing the motorist’s level of knowledge of the motor vehicle and rules of the road before actually getting into the vehicle,” said Mbalula.
Additionally, these online features will be incorporated into the booking of licence tests, motor vehicle registrations and licensing, and online vehicle licence renewals.
“This will aid in addressing the corruption associated with the issuing of these licences and or rendering of the services,” said Mbalula.
Driver’s licence cards
The announcement of the online services follows an interview from earlier in January where Mbalula said the government is pushing ahead with introducing new driver’s licence cards.
South Africa has an estimated growing backlog of over half a million driver’s licence card renewals as the only licence card printing machine in the country broke down in November 2021 and is currently in Germany for repairs.
In the same month that the machine broke down, tender documents were filed that depicted what the country’s new licence cards might look like.
The new licence cards also create the need for a new and more advanced printing machine, as the one currently in use is over 20 years old and no longer in operation in any other country in the world.
The new licence card and printing machine are still awaiting approval from the Cabinet, however.
A public announcement from Mbalula about the cards is also expected soon.