Driving with J9: Appointments now available to book online for licence renewals


 • Natis system is now open for bookings for licence renewals in Gauteng. 
 • Applicants are encouraged to take note of available days in their areas.
 • The 90-day grace period DOES NOT apply to licences which have expired before the national lockdown.

Since lockdown regulations have been eased somewhat, officials announced a 90-day grace period for learners, drivers, and vehicle licences which expired between 26 March and 31 May. However, many motorists in Gauteng have been experiencing trouble trying to renew their licences since 1 June when trying to book appointments on the online National Traffic Information System (Natis).

To iterate, if your licence has expired during 26 March, and 31 May, you have 90 days grace to renew. However, it is essential to note that you will be paying extra for arrears fees during the lockdown months.

However, if your licence expired at the end of January and you had not renewed your licence during the 21-day grace period prior to lockdown, or if your licence had expired any time during 2019, or before the lockdown was implemented, the 90-day grace period DOES NOT apply to you.

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

We're awaiting some clarity for those with learner licences which have expired after 1 June and who have been battling to get an appointment. The Western Cape office has indicated no new appointments will be taken until the backlog caused by the lockdown has been seen to first.

I have collated the most frequently asked questions directly to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) to get some answers for those who have been caught in the predicament of not being able to renew their licences via the online system in Gauteng.

The RTMC'S Kevin Kara-Vala says: "Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTC's) all opened at different dates, due to these centres having to be inspected for compliance with OHS guidelines.

"The Gauteng Provincial Department of Roads and Safety has oversight and is responsible for the management of all DLTCs and have instructed that all applicants who missed their bookings which were paid for and expired during lockdown, must be called and rescheduled by DLTC's before opening slots to the general public.

"The Corporation has been informed that most of the DLTC's have now managed to reschedule their backlogs and will now open slots to the public.

"It should also be noted, as explained, that all DLTC's are not allowed to have a full contingent of staff on their premises, and with fewer examiners being allowed on site, it thus reduces the capacity of applicants that can be booked, as every applicant is booked against the time that is available per examiner."

Below is a summary of days on which DLTCs avail slots from 07:45 onwards:

Ekurhuleni: Wednesdays
Johannesburg: Tuesdays
Merafong: Mondays
Mogale City: Daily
Rand-West: Daily
Sedibeng: Mondays
Tshwane: Mondays

• The above information is also on the RTMC website. The organisation warns that this does result in applicants checking as early as possible and slots are taken within an hour or two.
• The RTMC strongly suggests to check on these days and as early as possible as slots are taken within the first couple of hours each day.

The RTMC says, and it is also noted on the Natis system: "The Gauteng Province wants to ensure that all DLTC's are Covid-19 compliant to ensure the safety of applicants. The sites inspection of DLTC's are almost done.

The following should be noted before visiting your preferred DLTC:

• All applicants who paid for a Learner's Licence test, which would have taken place during the lockdown period can apply in person at the DLTC where the application was made for a rescheduling of the Learner's test.
• All applicants who paid for a Driving Licence test, which would have taken place during the lockdown period can apply in person at the DLTC where the application was made for a rescheduling of the driving licence test.
• All Driving Licences which expired between 27 March 2020 to 31 May 2020, are deemed valid until 31 August 2020.
• All PrDP's which expired between 27 March 2020 to 1 June 2020, are deemed valid until 31 August 2020.
• DLTC's that are Covid-19 compliant have opened bookings for Driving Licence card renewals since 3 June 2020.
• DLTC's that are Covid-19 compliant have opened Learner's Licence and Driving Licence test bookings since 8 June 2020.
• DLTC's that are Covid-19 compliant have opened applications for PrDP's since 8 June 2020.

Kara-Vala also says: "The RTMC strongly believes that the Online Booking system is the ideal mechanism to reduce the spread of Covid-19. The online booking system ensures that ONLY applicants with a booking are arriving at a DLTC.

"The above-mentioned thus directly impacts and prevents large volumes of crowds arriving at a DLTC, which could result in the spreading of Covid-19.

"The current staff complement (which is reduced to ensure compliance with OHS provisions) can thus be utilised more safely by applying the recommended social distancing protocols, by having to deal with fewer applicants.

"With fewer applicants being expected in certain centres, it will also assist in the physical layout of queues which can then also lend comfort to arriving applicants that the risk of contracting Covid-19 is reduced."

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