Driving with J9: The 90-day grace period does NOT apply to all expired licences

A driver's licence.
A driver's licence.
Duncan Alfreds, News24)

• The 90-day grace period is not for ALL expired licences
• Renew your expired vehicle or driver's licence as soon as possible
• There are no penalties, but there are arrears fees to be paid

This might come across as a reoccurring topic, but there is still much confusion about the 90-day grace period for expired vehicle and drivers' licences. 

If your vehicle licence has expired during the period of 28 March and 31 May, you should not be fined for an expired vehicle or driver's licence. However, it is important to note that while you won't be penalised for late renewal, you will have to pay the arrears amount, which includes the lockdown months. We'll have an in-depth explanation of this later during the week directly from the Department of Transport and Public Works. 

READ | What to do should you be fined for a 'lockdown' expired licence

So to iterate, only if your vehicle or driver's licence has expired during the period of 28 March and 31 May, then you are eligible for the 90 day grace period to renew.

If testing centres have not yet opened in your area, you could renew your vehicle licence at any South African Post Office in the country, except in the Western Cape, we'll have an explainer about this too.

If you're still unsure about the 90-day grace period for expired licences, please email us here.

What is interesting to note is the number of emails I have received from readers who have had their vehicle and licence periods expired way before lockdown. If your vehicle or driver's licence has expired before March, you will be fined, you do not have 90-days grace, and you too will be paying extra when renewing.

And, for those who have expired licences during the lockdown, it does not mean you should wait until 31 August to go and renew it. So for those who had licences expired in January or February, and your 21-day usual grace period fell before or during the lockdown, the 90 days grace does not apply to you. If you are only renewing your licence now during June, you'll be paying an extra amount when renewing for all the months which have lapsed. 

We can not be complacent about renewing our licences just because of the extended grace period. 

However, there are some complex situations which need to be considered. Several readers have revealed their vehicle licences are registered in a different province to where they currently work or reside, and are not yet able to travel. Or, what if you are trying to book a date online the eNatis system, but there are currently no slots available anywhere in Gauteng due to the severe backlog. Or, what if you are too ill or have a compromised immune system to go and renew your licence, what do you do then?

We'll hopefully have all these answers, and more, later this week. For now, please practice physical distancing, wear your masks and wash or sanitise your hands at all times.

janine van der post

Wheels24 editor Janine Van der Post - Image: Calvin Fisher

Janine Van der Post is the first female editor at Wheels24, and of a mainstream motoring publication. She's known as SpeedQueen, and is as passionate about cars just as much as South Africans love beer, biltong, and rugby.

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