What do you do if you’ve lost your South African driver’s licence? You’ll need a temporary driver’s licence from your local driving licence testing centre (DLTC). Read on to find out the detailed application procedure, so you know exactly what to do should you need a temporary driver’s licence!
Who Needs a Temporary Driver’s Licence?
There are just two occasions when you will need a temporary driving license in South Africa:
If your regular South African driver’s license has been lost or stolen;
If you’ve allowed your regular licence to expire, or if you wish to renew your driver’s license and your new permanent licence will not be ready until after the expiration date on your old driver’s licence.
That’s it. This does not affect learner drivers or visitors from abroad, only South African nationals who have passed their driver’s test in South Africa. Remember that having a valid driver’s licence is not only a legal requirement, but not having a valid licence will also affect things such as your car insurance (since insurance companies will NOT pay out in the event of an accident if you are driving with an invalid or expired licence).
Renewing Driver’s License after Expiration
Renewing your driver’s licence after it has expired is quite a common scenario because your license only lasts five years. Perhaps you only realised it had expired when you were stopped and asked for it by a police officer. A temporary license takes much less time to obtain than it does to renew your five-year license, and therefore can be used as a stop gap until your real licence arrives. However, a temporary driver’s licence does NOT replace a permanent one, you’ll still need that permanent driver’s licence eventually!
Where Do You Get a Temporary South African Driver’s Licence?
These licenses are issued by the authorities in your local municipality. There is no other way, no online application and no way that you can post a form off, unfortunately. You just have to go along to the driving licence testing centre in your municipality and join the queue. Most open at 7.30am or 8am and close at 3pm or 3.30pm.
Some municipalities publish waiting times for drivers’ licences at different offices. These should not apply to temporary driving licences, but can give you an idea of how long a queue you can expect at your local office, which is always handy!
What Do You Need to Get a Temporary Driver’s Licence?
In order to apply for a temporary driver’s licence, you will need:
A certified copy of your identity document (ID card) or South African passport. If you are a foreign national living in South Africa then you will need a traffic register number certificate;
4 identical photos (black and white only). However you need to check with your local driving licence testing centre (DVLC) that 4 will be enough before you have them taken because all photos MUST be identical;
Proof of residential postal address. This might be a bank statement or a utility bill. If you take a utility bill in someone else’s name then that person must complete an affidavit stating that you live at that address. Attach the affidavit to the utility bill and take both along to the DVLC. If your address is in an informal settlement or in a rural area then you will need an officially stamped and dated letter from the ward councillor confirming that as your residential postal address;
You will also need to take along the required fee in cash. The only way to find the amount of that fee is to phone your nearest DVLC. Pro tip: while you are on the phone you should check the number of photos required at the same time!;
A completed DL1 driver’s license application form. You can download and print off this from your local DVLC website or from the enatis.com site. If this is inconvenient you can just pick up a form when you arrive at the driving licence test centre and fill it in while you wait.
This might all seem a little overwhelming, but there is some good news: you will NOT need to re-take your driving test!
How Much Does a Driving License Cost?
You will need to pay a R70 fee to have your fingerprints checked against the national SAPS criminal fingerprint database. This is standard at all testing centres and cannot be avoided. This fee is in addition to the locally determined temporary license charge. The cost of a temporary driver’s license costs will vary depending on which DVLC you attend. A few representative charges are listed below:
How Long Does it Take to Get a Temporary Driver’s Licence?
You should be able to get your temporary licence on the day that you apply. There may be queues at the DVLC though and it is far from an instant procedure! One possible delaying factor is the eyesight test that you must do at the DVLC. You might save time on the day by opting to have your eyes tested privately by a qualified optometrist and taking the results along with you. Simply ask your local optometrist to do the test and tell him it’s for the DVLC, he may charge a small fee, but the time you save could be worth it!
Applying for a Temporary Driver’s Licence: Conclusion
It may seem like a lot of trouble to get a temporary South African driving license, but unfortunately there’s little that can be done about it. The best way around it is to organise your license renewal before it expires, and to avoid losing your licence (or running it through the washing machine!) if at all possible!
Main Subject: driver’s licence
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