Good news for motorists: expired learner and driver licences now valid until August 2021

Motorists queue outside a Licensing and Testing Department.
Motorists queue outside a Licensing and Testing Department.
Photo by Luba Lesolle/Gallo Images

The Department of Transport has announced that lockdown expired learner and driver licences have been extended to August next year. 

This extension also applies to all expired licences from 26 March to 30 December 2020.

For months Gauteng motorists have been battling to find online slots to renew their driver or learner licences since the national lockdown was implemented earlier in March 2020. 

This is incredibly good news for motorists all over the country. Despite the RTMC's efforts to assist with troubleshooting and trying to avail more capacity at driving licence centres to prioritise driver licences, motorists have still been battling to use the online eNatis system.

It's also a huge relief for the those motorists aged sixty years and older who have been advised that "walk-in" appointments would be available only on Wednesdays. They too have had to endure extremely long queues, and had to risk being exposed to the coronavirus, despite the special arrangement.

Since the increase in Covid-19 cases has surge drastically in the past few weeks, more readers have been concerned about having to stand in queues for driver licences, especially those who are in retirement villages or old-aged homes, not to mention those who have severe comorbidities. Motorists can definitely take a a huge sigh of relief and not worry about having an expired licence.

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

It is extremely important 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."

This information was published on 3 December by Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula: "Determination of extension for the validity period of learner's licences, driving licence cards, licence discs, professional driving permits and registration of a motor vehicles, published under Government Notice No. 544, in Government Gazette No. 43339 of 20 May 2020 and amended under Government Notice No. 802, published in Government Gazette No. 43539 of 22 July 2020.

Although there is a further extension, I urge motorists and licence holders to still try and renew their licences as soon as possible. 

This extension will not apply to drivers' licences which expire from 1 January 2021. Therefore, it is vital that motorists apply for a new driver licence card at least six to seven weeks before it actually expires. If you have not yet done so, please check your driver licence card and make a note of your next expiration date.

This extension also does not apply to vehicle licences, if you vehicle licence disc has expired before or after the lockdown period and you have not yet renewed it, unfortunately you'll be facing heavy penalties when you do go and renew. 

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Wheels24 editor Janine Van der Post
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