Applying for a professional driving permit

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A professional driving permit (PrDP) is needed to drive public transport and heavy-duty vehicles, for example lorries, buses and breakdown vehicles. There are some exceptions though, as you won’t need a PrDP to drive a hearse or a tractor.

Before it was called a PrDP, a professional driving permit was originally called a public drivers’ permit (PDP) which was issued to drivers of these vehicles before 1998.

If you drive any of these vehicles, you’ll need a valid professional driving permit:

  • Goods vehicles, (with a GVM of more than 3 500 kg).
  • Breakdown vehicles.
  • Buses (any bus).
  • Minibus (with a GVM of more than 3 500 kg), or which is designed or adapted for the conveyance of 12 or more persons, including the driver. (A PrDP (P category) is needed to drive a minibus vehicle that seats 12 or more, even if it is not a taxi and even if there are no passengers.)
  • Vehicles used to transport people for payment.
  • Goods vehicles carrying dangerous goods (with a GVM of more than 3 500 kg), such as  Road tank vehicles for petroleum-based flammable liquids.
  • Motor vehicles transporting 12 or more people, including the driver.
  • If you own the motor vehicle for which a professional driving permit is required, you may not let another person drive that vehicle on a public road unless  the other person has a professional driving permit of the appropriate category.
  • you have a valid driving licence for the type of vehicle you’re applying for,
  • you’re over the required age limit (this depends on the type of vehicle in question),
  • you’re certified by a doctor to be medically fit,
  • certified by an approved training body (only required for dangerous goods vehicles),
  • you haven’t been convicted of or has paid an admission of guilt fine for any of the following offences:
    • driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a drug having a narcotic effect;
    • driving a motor vehicle while the concentration of alcohol in your blood or breath exceeded a statutory limitation;
    • reckless driving; or
    • in the case of an application for a category “P” and “D” permit, an offence of which violence was an element; and  
    • your driving licence isn’t suspended or cancelled.

Your professional driving permit may be suspended or cancelled if you become medically unfit or if you’re convicted of or have paid an admission of guilt fine on any of the above offences.

You'll need the following to apply for a PrDP:

  • your ID,
  • 2 photographs (ID size),
  • your driving  licence,
  • a medical fitness certificate
  • pass a police criminal clearance check (facilitated by the Driving Licence Testing Centre through taking your fingerprints)

For more information, contact the Transport Administration and Licensing helpdesk at Western Cape Mobility Department.


In order to apply for a PrDP you’ll need to go to a  driving licence testing centre and:

  • complete form PD1 (obtainable at a driving testing centre),
  • pay the required fee,
  • produce your ID,
  • provide 2 photographs (ID size),
  • show your driving licence,
  • produce your training certificate (if applicable),
  • produce your medical certificate (to show that you’re medically fit),
  • produce your police clearance certificate, or if any offenses have been recorded against you, then produce your criminal record (for every applicant, 5 years prior to application), and
  • show any other professional driving permit(s) or public driving permit(s) that you already hold.

As part of  the application process  your fingerprints will be taken, which will be verified against the SAPS criminal records database to ensure that you do not have a criminal record that will prohibit you from obtaining a PrDP.  If no criminal record is found your new driving licence card showing the PrDP will be ordered.

You’ll be informed once the card is ready for collection. You must have identification on you to collect the card. Any cards not collected within 120 days are destroyed.

You can apply for a PrDP at any Driving Licence Testing Centre near you.

The expiry date of the PrDP will be printed on the front part of the card, and before it expires, you’ll need to apply for a new one in the same way that you applied for your first PrDP.

You can find out about PrDPs by contacting a Driving Licence Testing Centre near you, or the Western Cape Mobility Department:
Contact details Driving Licence Helpdesk Tel: 021 483 6401/ 2078/ 2080