Roadworthiness testing

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What is vehicle roadworthy testing?

A roadworthy test determines whether a vehicle is safe to drive or not. A vehicle that passes will be certified as roadworthy on the National Traffic Information System (NaTIS). The test is a safety examination only and is not a comprehensive technical examination. The various aspects of the vehicle that must be tested, together with the standards deemed acceptable, are prescribed by law.

A roadworthy test:

  • helps ensure your safety on the road,
  • reduces your overall motoring costs, and
  • identifies potential hazards and save money by preventing additional damage before it happens.

The roadworthiness test checks the following parts of the car:

  • identification and documentation, 
  • electrical systems,
  • fittings and equipment (including mirrors, safety belts etc.),
  • braking system,
  • wheels (including tyre condition),
  • suspension and undercarriage,
  • steering,
  • engine,
  • exhaust system,
  • transmission and drive, instruments, and
  • vehicle dimensions.

You can get a vehicle tested for roadworthiness at any private or public testing station (TS).

How do I get my vehicle tested?

  1. Go to the nearest vehicle testing station with the following:
    • Vehicle's registration certificate. (optional- determined by the VTS)
    • Identity document (ID) of the applicant.
    • Prescribed fee (determined by the TS).
  2. Complete the Application for Certification of Roadworthiness (ACR) form.

When should I get my vehicle tested?

  • If you are the owner or operate a private vehicle with a gross vehicle mass less than 3 500 kg (mainly cars and bakkies) you are not required to obtain an annual CoR. The only time you must obtain a CoR, by law, is during a change of ownership.
  • If you are the owner or operate a vehicle with a gross vehicle mass greater than 3 500 kg (mainly trucks and buses) or one less than 3 500 kg that you operate for reward (mainly light delivery vehicles, taxis and minibus taxis), you are required by law to obtain a CoR every 12 months, except for buses. Owners or operators of buses are required to obtain a CoR every 6 months.
  • A roadworthy test must be conducted every time a vehicle changes ownership. The test, which is a legal requirement, can take up to 60 minutes per vehicle and ensures vehicles meet the safety standards defined by the SABS.
  • No registration certificates or vehicle licenses will be issued to new owners without valid roadworthy certificates.

How much does it cost?

Contact the TS that you wish to visit for the price.

Forms to complete

ACR forms are available at your nearest testing station or you can download them from the NaTIS website.

Sources: Western Cape Mobility DepartmentNaTiSThe AA of South Africa

The full roadworthiness test sheet is available in the Government Gazette of 23 November 2005 (no 28227).

For more information contact:

Charlton Majiedt
Tel: 021 483 4204
Twitter: @WCGov_Mobility