Driving with J9 | What to do if you're fined for an expired driving licence card

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Earlier this week, we reported that driving licences never expire, only your driving licence card does. But, what happens when you're stopped by traffic officials and get fined?

Also, there also seems to be some confusion or information has been misinterpreted. Just because your driving licence never expires, you are still required to have your valid driving licence card on your person at all times when driving a vehicle. If you do not, you can legally be fined for this. 

The Department of Transport has also recently announced that any learner, or driving licences (cards), and PDPs which have expired any time from 26 March to 31 December 2020 will be valid until 31 August 2021.

READ | Driving with J9: Did you know your driving licence never expires?

However, hundreds of Wheels24 readers have written in to share to ask advice about the fines they have received during the pandemic for expired licence cards as law officials continue to wrongfully issue fines for something which there is no legal requirement to renew. 

Again, I have to emphasise that even though your actual licence never expires, all motorists still need proof of a valid driving licence in the form of your driving licence card, or temporary licence, on their person when driving a motorcycle or vehicle, or else you could be fined by traffic officials.



So, what should motorists do if they are being unlawfully fined for lockdown expired driving licence cards?

We've asked Justice Project South Africa's Howard Dembovsky to advise motorists on the matter in the event of being fined for an expired driving licence card.

Dembovsky says: "Regrettably, it's complicated. The reason is that in its wisdom, our government decided it would be a good idea to have two completely different systems in place to prosecute the provisions of road traffic law.

If the fine was issued in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act:

"The alleged offender may write to the state prosecutor at the court he or she has been notified to appear in, referencing the extension to the validity period of learner's licenses, driving licence cards, temporary driving permits and professional driving permits contemplated in Government Gazette 43958 of 3 December 2020, and ask that the charge be withdrawn. Such a letter may be emailed, posted or hand-delivered to the relevant Magistrates Court. It need not be sworn before a commissioner of oaths."

If the fine was issued in terms of the AARTO Act:

"The alleged infringer must download and use the prescribed AARTO 08 representation form, which is available here (click here to access the form)

"They should also use the extension to the validity period of learner's licenses, driving licence cards, temporary driving permits and professional driving permits contemplated in Government Gazette 43958 of 3 December 2020 and ask that the infringement notice be cancelled.

"This form may be submitted online over here, emailed to the email address on the form, posted by registered mail to the address on the form or delivered to the RTIA's offices in Midrand.

Dembovsky adds: "Sadly, there is little or no recourse regarding the incompetency of law enforcement officials who illegally issue such fines. Perhaps this explains why such so-called "officers" continue to act outside of the framework of the law.

"It is my strong recommendation that anyone whose learner's licence, driving licence card, temporary driving permit or professional driving permit has expired since 26 March 2020 or will expire before 1 January 2021 downloads and prints a copy of page 4 of Government Gazette 43958 of 3 December 2020. This may be accessed free of charge online here. 

toyota supra janine
Wheels24 editor Janine Van der Post
 
If you have any driver licence or vehicle licence queries, or need some motoring advice? Please feel free to email the editor by clicking here.

Or, do you have a cool story to share about cars? Perhaps you have something to get off your chest or have an opinion about F1 or cars? We'd love to publish it here on Wheels24. Just email us here.

Please note we're trying to respond to all reader emails, and ask for some patience if you do not receive an immediate reply.

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