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New drivers’ licence soon to be launched – what you need to know

Motorists will officially be expected to carry the newly introduced which will be launched next year. This means the current drivers’ licence cards will remain valid but only until 2029. NEW LICENCES OFFICIALLY TO BE LAUNCHED Giving an update on the drivers’ card backlog, Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula spoke on the replacement of the…

Giving an update on the drivers’ card backlog, Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula spoke on the replacement of the current driving licence card.

Cabinet has officially approved the replacement with a new card that has more secure design features. This new card will comply with the international driving licence standards, Mbalula said.

The current driving licence card was introduced in 1998 and the production equipment, now aged 24 years, has become obsolete, Mbalula said.

“We will publish the changes to the driving licence card in the government gazette. This will then enable us to commence the procurement process for the new production infrastructure in October 2022.”Fikile Mbalula

ALSO READ: REMINDER: Today is the last day for drivers to renew licences

The current drivers’ licence was introduced in 1998 and its technology has become obsolete. PHOTO: Twitter/@MbalulaFikile


The new card will not be introduced any time soon. It will instead be piloted from 1 November 2023 until 31 March 2024.

On 1 April 2024, the current drivers’ licence card and equipment to produce it will be decommissioned, said Mbalula.

“However, there will be a five-year period of transition from the old card to the new. The current cards will continue to be recognised as valid licence cards until 31 March 2029,” said Mbalula.


The current five-year period for a valid drivers’ licence is still under review. Mbalula said the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) undertook a benchmarking exercise covering 64 countries.

The research found that countries ranked above South Africa have an average driving licence card validity period of 9.3 years. Countries ranked lower than South Africa are averaging 4.4 years.

Mbalula said they are in the process of evaluating the options at their disposal. This will be informed by the reality in South Africa which includes carnage on the roads, driver competence and lifestyle that influence safe driving.

“We have consulted with the MECs on the matter and have received full support for the review. Once we have made a final determination on this matter, this will be communicated accordingly.”

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