Driving with J9 | The new August 2021 driver licence extension does not apply to everyone

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License disc. Image: Wheels24 / Charlen Raymond
License disc. Image: Wheels24 / Charlen Raymond
Charlen Raymond
• Driver and learner licences which expired from 26 March to 31 December will be valid until 31 August 2021.
• The new grace period does not apply to vehicle licences.
• If your vehicle licence expired before or during lockdown, you will incur hefty penalties if it is not yet paid. 
• For more motoring stories, go to Wheels24.

With the news that expired learner and driver licences have been given a further grace period to the end of August 2021, it's important to note it does not apply to vehicle licences.

I am gravely concerned with the influx of emails from readers asking whether the new law applies to their expired vehicle licences. It does not, and if you have not yet paid your lockdown expired vehicle licence, you'll be liable for some hefty penalties, and it will only increase the longer you take to renew.

The deadline for expired vehicle licences has come and gone and the final date for renewal - without any penalties - for vehicle licences which had expired between 26 March and 31 May had to be renewed by 22 September. If you went for renewal after this date, you would be liable for penalties from the time your licence had expired - even if it was in lockdown.

For some reason, there are thousands of motorists who seemingly believed the 31 January 2021 extension date for learner and driver's licences also applied to vehicle licences. Now, more so, the same people wrongfully believe the new extension also applies to vehicle licences. 

It is imperative to note that this new extension is only valid for "all learner's licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits that expire during the period that commenced from 26 March 2020 up to and including 31 December 2020. 

These documents are "deemed to be valid and their validity periods are extended for a further grace period ending on 31 August 2021."

Foreigners who hold international driving licences also have until 31 August to transfer their licences.

If your leaner or driver's licence expires in January 2021, I urge you to already apply for your new licence as this extension will not apply to you. The same goes for any other licences to expire later than that in the new year. 

Please check your driver licence cards and try to renew your licence at least six to seven weeks before its expiration date, doing so will also ensure extra costs of having to pay for a temporary licence. 

Janine Van der Post,wheels24
Wheels24 editor, Janine Van der Post

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