Thursday, 31 March 2022 15:02

Driver's licence renewal grace period has been extended.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has announced an extension of the grace period for driving licences that have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a government gazette published on Thursday (31 March), Mbalula said all learner licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits that expire during the period between 26 March 2020 and 31 March 2022 are deemed to be valid and their validity has been extended for a further grace period ending 15 April 2022.

Mbalula had previously extended expired licences to 31 March 2022 due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic which meant motorists could not visit licensing centres. This grace period covered all documents which expired in the period between 26 March 2020 and 31 August 2021.

However, the country still faces a significant backlog of licences which is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands due to ongoing lockdown delays and the breakdown of the country’s only licence card printing machine at the end of 2021.

Mbalula is scheduled to present further details about the extension on Friday morning (1 April 2022).

Backlog 

In a statement on 25 March, the Department of Transport said it is well on track with the production of outstanding driving licence cards, and that the renewal backlog that was experienced due to the Covid-19 pandemic grace period will be cleared off by September 2022.

The following regulation will apply in due course:

  • Motorists who apply to renew their driving licence cards before 31 March 2022 will have their driving licences valid for a further three months on the condition that they are in possession of their old driving licence cards.
  • They must also have proof of fees paid for the application to renew in the form of a receipt.

"The regulation is also applicable to those who have applied to renew their driving licence cards since 25 February 2022 and before the end of the grace period of 31 March 2022. Their driving licence cards will also be valid for a further period of three months.

"If you apply after the expiry date, please note that you will be required to apply for a temporary driving licence," the department said.