Learner's licence valid longer

2010-02-22 22:51

Johannesburg - Learner's licenses will now be valid for two years instead of 18 months, the transport department announced on Monday.

It also extended testing hours for the licenses to 17:00 on Saturdays and from 07:00 until 13:00 on Sundays, it said in a statement.

"These measures form part of government's efforts to improve service delivery and will enable us to provide a better service to driving licence applicants," it said.

"Given the challenges relating to service delivery and administrative bottlenecks at certain driving licence testing centres, this is being done with the view to improve the quality of service."

High demand for driver's tests

The department has come in for criticism with thousands of learner drivers unable to obtain dates for their driving tests before their licenses expire.

Gauteng Magistrate David Thulare recently told reporters he would not convict learner drivers if they could prove that they had tried and failed to secure testing dates.

"The law does not expect impossibility," Thulare reportedly said.

On Monday, the transport department said it was rolling out a computerised testing system that would improve efficiency and help combat corruption.

The department also plans to teach "road safety education" as part of the curriculum in schools.

"Learners in Grade 11 will be able to acquire their learner's licences and their driving licences as they complete Grade 12," it said.