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Licensing woes – motorists must plan ahead

Licensing woes – motorists must plan ahead

The Automobile Association (AA) notes with concern ongoing problems with the issuing of driving licences (both new and renewed) at various licensing stations in Gauteng, particularly Tshwane.

“We are aware many people are not able to renew their driving licences at centres in Pretoria as these centres either have limited capacity to help them, or, in the case of the Waltloo centre, have stopped issuing licences altogether because of the theft of computers. We are grateful the City of Tshwane has made provision to accommodate people at other centres, but we fear this may not alleviate the backlogs which are growing” the AA says.

While the Waltloo centre is out of commission, the centres at Akasia, Bronkhorstspruit, and Centurion are available to motorists wanting to renew their licences. Pretoria residents can also renew their licences at any other licencing authority in the province.

The AA says it has been informed that private optometrist eye certificates (known as the Purple Certificate) are accepted at all stations in Tshwane. This greatly reduces the waiting time for applicants who then do not have to complete the eye test at the centre. It must be noted these certificates may not be older than three months to remain valid at the time of processing.

“While we welcome the measures aimed at keeping the renewal process moving, we believe many people will not renew their licences either because they cannot travel to other testing centres, or do not have the time to queue for many hours to complete the process,” the AA cautions.

The Association says it believes this current crisis should be seen as an opportunity by authorities to seek alternative ways for motorists to renew their licences. It says this will take pressure off local government to fulfil this mandate, and make it easier for motorists to stay legal on the road.

“Our advice to motorists is to check the expiry dates of their licences, and ensure they plan to have their cards renewed in good time. It is also worth noting that driving cards can be renewed at any licensing centre in Gauteng, not only in Tshwane. Speak to family and friends about their experiences: where did they go, and when,” suggests the AA.

The Association also advises motorists to arrive at licensing centres earlier, and to bring all the necessary documentation with them. This includes:

  • Completed eye test form from your optometrist (recommended, not required)
  • A completed DL1 form
  • Identification (ID) document
  • Certified copies of your ID document (may only be needed at some centres)
  • Four ID size photographs
  • Recent proof of residence (i.e. municipal or telephone account)
  • Card issuing fee