Why are motorists misled with extensions when they are not compelled to renew licence cards?

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A Metro Police officer talks to a motorist at a roadblock in Cape Town, South Africa. South Africa will begin a phased easing of its strict lockdown measures on May 1, in a continued attempt to contain the increase of coronavirus cases.  via Getty Images)
A Metro Police officer talks to a motorist at a roadblock in Cape Town, South Africa. South Africa will begin a phased easing of its strict lockdown measures on May 1, in a continued attempt to contain the increase of coronavirus cases. via Getty Images)
Photo by Nardus Engelbrecht/Gallo Images
• Wheels24 reader Lloyd Castle has sent in some valid questions applicable to all motorists.
• Castle asks why motorists are continuously misled with extensions if they are not compelled to legally renew the licence card.
• Justice Project SA's Howard Dembovsky shares some useful insight. 
• For more motoring stories, go to Wheels24.




Wheels24 reader Lloyd Castle, just like many other motorists, has posed the question why motorists are misled with gracious extensions when they are not legally compelled to renew their licence cards.

Earlier this week, I raised the issue that a driving licence never expires, only your licence card does. This has prompted Wheels24 reader Lloyd Castle to ask several valid questions.

We've asked Howard Dembovsky, chairman of Justice Project South Africa to give some insight to Castle's questions and we'll be publishing it over the next few days in several articles.

READ | Did you know your driving licence never expires?

Dembovsky says: "It is true that no-one is compelled to renew their driving licence card, however, that is only part of the story. 

"While a driving licence is valid indefinitely unless it is suspended or cancelled in terms of the National Road Traffic Act, a driving licence card is only valid for five years at a time. 

"Section 12(b) of the National Road Traffic Act compels every driver to carry proof that he or she is licensed to drive the class of vehicle he or she is driving/riding with him or her, while driving. 

Accordingly, while a person whose driving licence card has expired may not be convicted for driving whilst not licensed to do so, he or she may be convicted of failing to produce proof that he or she is licensed to drive.


READ | What to do if you're fined for an expired driving licence card

"It is deplorable that, according to Wheels24's Janine Van der Post's column, some insurance companies include clauses in their policies that people have current valid driving licence cards. This, in my view, merely exposes such companies as being in business for the profits they can make and not for the purpose they purport to fulfil. 

"Insurance companies are there to mitigate their clients' losses. They are not there to police their clients on behalf of the Sate. They would do well to remember this."


 
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