New Western Cape provincial licence mark FAQs
Read new licence-related notices
- Draft Registration and Licence Fees for Motor Vehicle Regulations, 2020
- Intention to Determine Licence Mark and Establish Licence Number System for Province
- News: New provincial licence mark for motor vehicles and vehicle licence fee increase
- Where can I find details of the intention to determine a new provincial licence mark?
On Friday 15 November 2019, Provincial Minister of Transport and Public Works Bonginkosi Madikizela published a notice of his intention to determine that the licence mark for the Province of the Western Cape is “WC” (Provincial Notice 115/2019, Provincial Gazette Extraordinary 8174). The deadline for comments was 13 December 2019.
- How may I submit comments on the proposed WC provincial licence mark?
The comment period is now closed.
- What are the main features of the proposed new WC licence numbers?
The proposed new WC licence numbers will consist of a combination of two letters, two numbers and two letters, in any sequence, and end with the licence mark “WC”. No licence numbers may contain the letters A, E, I, O, U or Q. Licence numbers beginning with the letter G will be reserved for government vehicles.
- What are the main features of number plates bearing the proposed new WC licence numbers?
The number plates will be the same as those currently in use for both the metal and acrylic versions. They will not contain logos or graphic images. These number plates will continue to be available from South African Bureau of Standards- (SABS) certified number plate manufacturers throughout the province.
- What will be the main differences between the current town-specific licence marks (e.g. CAA and CX) and the proposed new WC licence mark?
The proposed new WC licence mark will make approximately 16 million 8-character licence number combinations available for allocation to motor vehicles.
Unlike existing town-specific licence numbers, any vehicle with the proposed new WC licence number will retain that number throughout its life span for as long as it is licensed in the Western Cape.
Once a vehicle with a WC licence number is no longer licensed in the Western Cape (deregistered, exported or relicensed in another province), the number will not be made available for reuse, as is currently the case.
- What is the intended date of implementation?
The intended implementation date of the proposed new WC licence mark is 1 February 2020. All existing town-specific licence numbers will be phased out by 31 January 2025.
If the proposal is accepted as it stands, from 1 February 2020, any motor vehicle that requires the allocation of a licence number after acquisition (new, used or built-up vehicles) will be allocated a WC licence number.
The existing personalised licence number system (licence numbers ending in “WP”) will not be affected by the introduction of the proposed WC licence mark.
- How will a motor vehicle owner be affected by the 5-year transition period to WC licence numbers?
A motor vehicle owner using a current town-specific licence number will be able to continue to use that number until 31 January 2025. From 1 February 2025, it will be compulsory for a WC licence number to be allocated to such a motor vehicle. A motor vehicle owner using a current town-specific licence number may apply for such a licence to be changed to a WC licence number at any time during the 5-year transition period.
- Will the transfer of a town-specific licence number be permitted between vehicles belonging to the same owner during the 5-year transition period?
The Department is working with the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) to ensure that the National Traffic Information System (NaTIS) provides for a motor vehicle owner to transfer a town- specific licence number between the owner’s own vehicles during the 5-year transition period. Such a transfer will only be possible if the licence mark in question is the current approved licence mark of the local registering authority where the vehicle owner’s registered address is located.
- Is there a specific process to obtain a WC licence number?
No, the process and applicable fees remain the same. The vehicle must be licensed upon acquisition with a WC licence number, or must be re-licensed in order for a current town-specific licence number to be changed to a WC licence number.
- Who will carry the cost of new number plates if the current licence number system is changed to WC?
When a current licence number is changed to a WC licence number, the motor vehicle owner will bear the cost of the new number plates. When a WC licence number is automatically allocated to a vehicle after acquisition, the motor vehicle owner will bear the costs of the number plates as is currently the case.
- Will a motor vehicle owner be allowed to keep using a special town-specific licence number they purchased the use indefinitely?
No. Such a licence number may only be retained for the duration of the 5-year transition period, i.e. until 31 January 2025.
- Will the Department reimburse users who purchased the use of special town-specific licence numbers?
No, the Department will unfortunately not be able to refund any fees paid for the purchasing of the use of these special town-specific licence numbers.
However, the Department will consider swopping a special town-specific licence number with a personalised WP licence number of the user’s choice, free of charge and in line with existing policy guidelines, provided that the requested number is still available for allocation in accordance with the scenarios outlined below:
The Department is in process of conducting an audit to determine which users of special town-specific licence numbers have a valid claim to a free personalised WP number. The Department will address correspondence to these users in due course.
In the event of such a swop, the user and registration fees payable to the Department will be waived, but the user will have to pay for the new number plates.
All such swops must be completed by 31 January 2025 to avoid the situation where a WC licence number is automatically allocated to the vehicle. The user may also voluntarily forfeit the option of requesting a free WP licence number and instead request the allocation of a WC number in which case the vehicle must be relicensed.
WC numbers will not be sold and the process of allocating a WC number is automatic when a vehicle is licensed upon acquisition, or when a vehicle is re-licensed from another licence number to a WC number. It will remain possible to sell licence numbers that are part of the personalised licence number system (WP licence numbers).
- Did the Provincial Minister and his Department consider using other options, e.g. utilising the former Cape Province licence marks of CB and CC to expand the available pool of licence numbers?
The entire range of legal options was considered. The WC provincial licence mark is believed to be the best proactive solution to the ongoing demand for vehicle licence numbers. Practical reasons for proposing a provincial licence mark rather than adding more local marks to the existing ones include: 1) problems associated with a single municipality having multiple licence marks (e.g. the City of Cape Town has CA, CAA, CEY, CF, CFM, CFR and CY licence marks); 2) problems associated with more than one municipality having the same licence mark (e.g. CAM for Theewaterkloof and Overstrand); and 3) problems with the current boundaries of municipalities not corresponding to the boundaries of municipalities when town-specific marks were first allocated (the revenue may be allocated to the wrong municipal licensing authority).
- Will the personalised licence number system be affected by the implementation of the proposed WC licence number system?
No, the personalised numbering system will not be affected by the proposed change to the WC licence system. Vehicle owners who have purchased the use of a personalised WP licence number will be able to continue to use that number. The Department will continue to sell the use of personalised licence numbers.
- What is the way forward when the 9-character threshold has been reached for the CAA licence licence mark?
The Department is monitoring this situation very closely as this event is imminent (within the next few weeks). As an interim arrangement, the Department will allow new CAA licence numbers beyond CAA 100 000 until such time as a new system is adopted.
- What impact will a 9-character CAA licence number have on the SABS approved number plates?
The Department has advised the public, traffic law enforcement authorities, as well as SABS-certified number plate manufacturers that 1 of the 5 sizes of number plates that are legally allowed on vehicles registered before 1 January 2010 will not comply with the South African Bureau of Standards specification (SANS 1116) if a 9-character licence number is used. This will mean that in such a case the 9-character number plates will be 520 mm x 113 mm rather than the current size of 440 mm x 120 mm. Vehicle owners allocated such a number may also request any of the other shaped number plates that are allowed in the place of the 440 mm x 120 mm standard.
- What is the way forward when the 9-character threshold has been reached for the CAW licence mark?
The Department is monitoring this situation very closely as this event is imminent (within the next few weeks). When the CAW licence mark reaches 100 000 licence numbers, it will be replaced by the new licence mark CAG as per the notice published in Provincial Gazette 7884 on 26 February 2018. This is an interim arrangement until such time that a new provincial licence mark has been implemented.