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Licence card machine broken but show must go on

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Traffic and licencing director, Warren Prins, stands outside the Korsten Driving Licence Testing Centre during a previous occasion.        Photo:Facebook
Traffic and licencing director, Warren Prins, stands outside the Korsten Driving Licence Testing Centre during a previous occasion. Photo:Facebook

Motorists whose drivers’ licences expired during the lockdown period in 2020 and were given an extension since they fell within the amnesty period, have to renew their licences before the end of March this year to avoid paying an additional R96 for a temporary licence.

Driving Licence Testing Centres in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro have been under a huge amount of pressure after the country’s only machine that is able to print licence cards, broke late last year.

As a result, motorists who have been applying for the renewal of their licences, have been waiting for several weeks, some even months.

To add to the chaos, some motorists have been granted an amnesty period while others have not, creating further confusion as to who has to renew their licences and when.

Municipal spokesperson, Kupido Baron, said if a motorist’s licence expired between March and August 2020, they still have a grace period until 31 March 2022.

However, it is imperative that these motorists apply for their new licence cards before the grace period is over. They will then be able to use their receipt as proof to show traffic officers that they have applied for their licence cards.

“If they wait until after the grace period is over, they have to still apply for their licence cards and pay R96 for a temporary licence. They would then need to show both the temporary licence and receipt of renewal to traffic officers,” Baron explained.

He confirmed that the machine was broken and added that those not falling under the amnesty period, meaning that their licences expired after August 2020, should have applied for their licences irrespective of how long it would take for the card to be issued due to the broken machine.

If a person falling outside of the amnesty period, applied for their licence in time, the expired licence and receipt would be accepted as adequate proof by traffic officers.

“A person still needs to apply and pay for his/her driver’s licence renewal. This process did not stop. With the receipt you will still be able to drive for three months.

“We have not received any contrary information from the National Department of Transport or the Road Traffic Management Corporation in this regard,” he said.

“They still need to apply to renew their driver’s licences even though it is uncertain when their cards will be available for collection at the Traffic Department.”

Baron explained that the process of applying for a temporary licence does not require an appointment.

Motorists can go to the Driving Licence Testing Centre and apply for it. They will need two ID photos, R96 and a proof of residence.

He placed emphasis on a proof of residence as many motorists tend to forget to take this document along.

“For young motorists who still reside with their parents and don’t have a proof of residence in their name, the process would be for the parent whose name is on the utility bill, to accompany their child to get an affidavit, stating that the child resides with them.

“This person can then take the affidavit to the Driving Licence Testing Centre themselves and it will be accepted as proof of residence,” Baron said.

When asked whether the Driving Licence Centres in the metro have the capacity to accommodate motorists who would be applying for temporary licences, Baron said:

“We have the capacity to manage our system and managed to address teething problems adequately from the inception of the online booking system being introduced.

“We are satisfied that our city is functioning optimally and cannot comment on issues other areas are encountering.”

He added that they remain committed to assist the public to the best of their ability and will keep consumers informed regarding new developments.

“All applications for driver’s licence cards are processed by the Driving Licence Card Account nationally.

“We therefore would like to appeal to the public to be mindful of this fact when interacting with our officials. Our hands are tied in this regard as we are dependent on the service levels of this agency.”

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