Driving licences



All South African drivers are required to have a credit card format driving licence. This is automatically issued when a new driver receives a licence.

The credit card style driving licence expires five years from the date on which it was issued. The expiry date appears on the card. Before the card expires, you should apply for a new card.

  • Applying for a driving licence
  • Renewing your driving licence
  • Replacing your driving licence

Note: Motorists must verify all personal and address particulars with any motor vehicle or driving licence transaction.  These documents can be used as proof.

Applying for a driving licence

Before you apply

  • Ensure that you're 18 years and older and have a valid learner’s licence. However, you can apply for a licence to drive a motorcycle (up to 125 CC) if you're over the age of 16.
  • Have your eyes tested at the driving licence testing centre on the day you make your appointment.
  • Make sure you have 2 identical black and white photographs measuring 45mm x 35mm.
  • Make sure your face is clearly visible and that the background is clear, with no shadows.
  • If your religion specifies that you cover your hair, you may do so, but your face must not be covered.
  • Your picture should be printed on photographic paper.
  • Ask a professional photographer to take your picture so that you get the best quality.
  • Bring the required fee.

Where to apply

You can apply at your nearest driving licence testing centre

When you apply, you should:

  • bring your ID,
  • 4 photographs and valid learner’s licence to make your appointment,
  • complete the green colour-coded form, DL1 provided by the traffic department,
  • bring a pen to complete your forms, and
  • a proof of address not older than 3 months.

Your application will specify, in accordance with your learner's licence, which type of vehicle you would like to drive (motorcycle, car, minibus etc).

Once you've applied for the licence and have passed the eye test, a date will be set for your driving test.

The driving test uses the K53 method and the examiner for driving licences will ensure that you:

  • Have a valid learner's licence.
  • Know and understand the road traffic signs.
  • Have a sound knowledge of the rules of the road and the different signals which a driver of a vehicle is required to give when driving on a public road.
  • Are generally capable of driving the type of vehicle specified on the application.

Study materials are available at libraries or can be bought at various shops to help you prepare for your driving test. Many people hire a driving instructor.

Once you have passed the driving test, you'll be issued with a temporary driving licence while your credit card format driving licence is prepared.

Once the credit card format licence is ready for collection, you'll be notified in the post. When you collect the licence, you need to produce your ID. Licences not collected in 120 days are destroyed.

If another person is set to collect the driving licence, the person collecting the licence will need to have:

  • a certified copy of their ID,
  • a certified copy of the driver's ID, and
  • an affidavit stating why the driver can't collect the licence themself as well as the name and ID number of the person collecting the licence.

How much does it cost?

The cost of application is determined by the type of driving licence you're applying for. It's advised to contact your nearest Driving Licence Testing Centre to find out the costs.

Passing your licence

Once you've applied for your driving licence,  you'll need to get driving lessons to prepare for your test. You'll also need to understand the rules of the road and traffic signs, and demonstrate your ability to drive a vehicle. Once you're ready to take the test, the traffic officer will test your knowledge and skills to determine whether you’re ready to get on the road.

Collecting your licence

When you pass your test, you'll receive a temporary licence. A few weeks later you'll receive a letter to notify you to collect your driving licence card. If you can't fetch your driving licence, you can send someone else to get it for you.

They will need:

  • their ID,
  • a certified copy of your ID, and
  • an affidavit stating why you can't collect the licence yourself.

Renewing your driving licence

Your credit card driving licence is only valid for 5 years and needs to be renewed before the expiry date, which appears on your licence. Don't wait for the renewal notification. Check your licence to make sure you don't miss the date.

You can renew your licence at any time before your licence expires. The new licence will be valid for 5 years from the date of the renewal.

To renew your licence, you need to complete the DL1 application form at your nearest Driving Licence Testing Centre.

You'll also need:

  • your current driving licence card,
  • your ID,
  • 2 black and white or colour ID photographs if you're renewing your licence before the expiry date of your current licence or two photographs if you're renewing your licence after the expiry date, and
  • a proof of address not older than 3 months. 

Before your licence can be renewed, you'll need to have your fingerprints taken and you'll have to undergo an eye test. If your sight has deteriorated since your licence was issued, new restrictions may be attached to your licence. For example, you may be required to wear glasses when driving. Should you fail the eye test completely, your driving licence will not be renewed.

You're not required to undergo the driving test again.

South Africans who are overseas at the time that their driving licences expire can only renew their licences when they return to the country. At present, there are no penalties for late renewal.

If your driving licence has already expired when you go to renew it, you'll have to get a temporary driving licence while you wait for the credit card licence to be issued. In this case, you'll need an extra 2 black and white or colour photographs.

There's a licence renewal fee and a fee for a temporary licence, please contact your nearest Driving Licence Testing Centre to confirm the costs before visiting. 

Replacing your driving licence

If your driving licence is lost, stolen or destroyed, you can apply for a replacement licence by completing form DL1 at any driving licence testing centre.

In order to replace your licence if it has been stolen, you'll need to obtain an affidavit from the police stating the circumstances in which the licence was stolen. If your licence has been misplaced or lost, you'll need an affidavit from a commissioner of oaths. You also need to complete Part C of form DL1: Application for Driving Licence, obtainable from your nearest driving licence testing centre.

You'll be issued a temporary driving licence which is valid for 6 months or until the replacement driving licence is issued, whichever occurs first.

To apply for a replacement licence, you need to complete form DL1 at any driving licence testing centre.

You must provide:

  • your ID.
  • four black and white or colour photographs,
  • an affidavit from the police, and
  • a proof of address not older than 3 months. 

Contact your nearest Driving Licence Testing Centre to confirm the costs.

For more information, contact the Driving Licence Helpdesk

Tel: 021 483 0520/6401/2469/2080/2078


Prices for Driving Licences

Heavy Motor Vehicle
Application: R200
Card Issue: R140

Light Motor Vehicle
Application: R135
Card Issue: R140

Application: R135
Card Issue: R140

temporary driving licence costs R45

Right of appeal to chief executive officer

Did you fail your learner’s or driving licence test

Any person who is aggrieved at the refusal of an examiner for driving licences to issue or authorise the issue to him or her of a learner’s or driving licence, may, within 21 days after such refusal, in writing appeal to the chief executive officer, and such person shall at the same time serve a copy of the appeal on the examiner concerned.

After receipt of the copy of appeal, the examiner for driving licences, shall forthwith furnish the chief executive officer with his or her reasons for the decision to which such appeal refers.

For the purpose of deciding an appeal, the chief executive officer may nominate any person to examine and test the appellant as to his or her competency to drive the class of motor vehicle concerned and may in addition require each party to the appeal to furnish such information and evidence as he or she deems expedient. 

The chief executive officer may after considering the appeal give such decision as he or she deems fit.

The applicant must submit the following documents to the Department of Transport:

  • Written letter of appeal – a brief description of the events and why the applicant are dissatisfied with the outcome of the test;
  • Copy of the test sheet – obtainable at the Traffic Department where the test took place;
  • Copy of identity document;

The above-mentioned documents can be submitted directly to the Management Representative of the Traffic Department (where your test was done)or to the Department of Transport, the contact detail of which below.