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Department of Transport clarifies licence renewal terms

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Drivers have been given a grace period in which to renew their driving licence cards, but this does not apply to vehicle licence discs, the government has clarified.

A South African driving licence card.
The period for renewing driving licence cards has been extended. However, this does not apply to vehicle licence discs, says the Department of Transport. Picture: Jehran Naidoo/African News Agency (ANA)

THE DEPARTMENT of Transport has clarified the terms and conditions on which driving licence renewals are based.

A backlog has built up at licensing offices across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the department has therefore extended driving licence expiration dates.

However, only the period for driving licence cards renewals has been extended, not vehicle licence discs.

“The Department of Transport clarifies to the public that the Government Gazette of the 30th of November 2020 announcing the extension of licences did not include vehicle licences/licence discs,” the department said in a statement last week.

It said all learner’s licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licence cards and professional driving permits that expired from March 26, 2020, to December 31, 2020, are deemed valid for a grace period ending on August 31, 2021.

The department has urged residents to use the extension to their advantage and either update or obtain their driving licence for the first time.

Furthermore, the department said that the extension period was created to cater to the backlog caused by the hard lockdown period.

But the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party believes that not giving people a chance to renew their vehicle discs was a “reckless” move by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula which, it said, disregarded President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for no large gatherings during lockdown.

The DA said in a statement that Mbalula should implement an online renewal system.

“In order to avoid deadly gatherings in queues, the DA-run City of Cape Town metro has for a number of years allowed motorists to renew vehicle licences online,” said the DA’s spokesperson on transport, Tim Brauteseth.

Brauteseth called this a “modern and efficient method”.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher