Driver’s Licence Renewal: 10 FAQs Answered

by Staff Reporter

Renewing your driver’s licence can be a daunting process, which is why we’re here to help ease the process. In this article, you’ll find the answers to the 10 most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about renewing your driver’s licence in South Africa.

Ready? Let’s jump in!

Table of Contents

driver's licence

1. When Should I Renew My Driver's Licence?

Your driver’s licence in South Africa is valid for five years. It’s advisable to renew your licence at least four weeks before its expiry date to avoid any fines or complications. Keep an eye on your expiry date and plan accordingly, considering the waiting times for appointments can sometimes be lengthy.

2. What Documents Do I Need to Renew My Driver’s Licence?

To renew your driver’s licence, you need the following documents:

  • Your current driver’s licence card
  • Your South African ID book or smart card ID
  • Proof of residence (such as a utility bill or lease agreement)
  • Two black and white or colour ID photographs (confirm the exact requirements with your local licensing office as these can vary)
  • A completed DL1 Application Form (available at the licensing office)

Make sure all documents are current and in good condition. If you’ve changed your address since your last renewal, ensure that your proof of residence reflects this.

student paying for driver's licence renewal

3. How Much Does It Cost to Renew My Driver's Licence?

The cost of renewing a driver’s licence varies depending on the province. On average, you can expect to pay between R140 and R300. There may also be additional fees for photographs if you choose to have them taken at the licensing office. Always check the latest fee structure with your local licensing department as prices can change.

4. Where Can I Renew My Driver's Licence?

You can renew your driver’s licence at your local Driver’s Licence Testing Centre (DLTC) in South Africa. It’s best to renew at a centre in the province where your licence was originally issued, although some provinces do accept applications from other areas. Licensing centres in major cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban tend to be busier, so consider smaller centres if you want to avoid long queues.

To help you get a better idea of which DLTC is closest to you, be sure to view our complete list of Driver’s licence Testing Centres (DLTCs) in South Africa.

5. Can I Renew my Driver’s Licence Online?

Only residents of Gauteng or the Eastern Cape have the option to book their driver’s licence renewal appointment online through the eNatis website. This can save you a significant amount of time. 

On the website, you can select your preferred date and time for the renewal and avoid long waiting periods. 

Unfortunately, if you reside outside Gauteng or the Eastern Cape, you will need to book your driver’s licence renewal at your local DLTC.

student getting eyes tested before driver's licence renewal

6. What is the Eye Test Requirement?

An eye test is a mandatory part of the driver’s licence renewal process to ensure that you still meet the minimum vision standards for driving. You have two options for the eye test:

  1. The first option is to have your eyes tested at the DLTC when you submit your application. This is usually included in the renewal process and doesn’t incur extra costs. However, the downside is that there may be a long queue waiting for you when you arrive.
  2. The second option is to have your eyes tested at an optometrist of your choice and bring the certificate to the DLTC. This is a great way to skip the queues, allowing you to arrive at the DLTC prepared and ready to renew your driver’s licence.

7. What Happens If My Driver’s Licence Has Already Expired?

If your driver’s licence has expired, you can still renew it, but you may face a fine. The amount of the fine varies depending on how long your licence has been expired. It’s important to renew it as soon as possible to avoid legal issues. You will also need to explain the reason for the delay in your application form, which will be reviewed by the licensing officer.

student abroad applying for driver's licence renewal

8. Can I Renew My Licence If I Am Studying Abroad?

If you are studying abroad and your driver’s licence expires, you can still renew it, but it requires some additional steps. You will need to appoint someone to act on your behalf in South Africa through a Power of Attorney. This person can then submit your renewal application at a local licensing office. 

Make sure to prepare all necessary documents and send them to your representative in advance. Alternatively, some consulates offer renewal services for expatriates, so check with the South African consulate in your host country.

9. What If I Lose My Driver's Licence Before Renewing?

If you lose your driver’s licence before it’s time to renew, you will need to apply for a duplicate licence. The process for obtaining a duplicate is similar to that for renewal. You’ll need to submit:

  • A completed affidavit stating how you lost your licence
  • Your ID
  • Proof of residence
  • Two ID photographs
  • The appropriate fee

Once you receive your duplicate licence, you can proceed with the renewal process as usual.

10. How Long Does It Take to Receive My Renewed Licence?

The processing time for a renewed driver’s licence card can vary, but typically it takes about 4 to 6 weeks from the date of your application. During this period, you will be issued a temporary driving licence, which is valid for six months. 

This temporary licence will allow you to drive legally while you wait for your new card. If your card hasn’t arrived after six weeks, follow up with the licensing office where you applied.

student booking driver's licence renewal

Additional Tips for Students

In order to ensure that your driver’s licence renewal goes smoothly, be sure to follow these additional tips:

  • Plan ahead: University schedules can be hectic, especially during exam periods. Schedule your renewal appointment during a quieter period to avoid unnecessary stress.
  • Budget for fees: Include the renewal fees in your budget to avoid any financial surprises. Remember to account for possible additional costs like eye tests or photographs.
  • Stay informed: Regulations and fees can change, so stay updated by checking the official eNatis website or your local licensing office’s announcements.
  • Use online services: Whenever possible, use online services for booking appointments and checking requirements. This can save you significant time and streamline the renewal process.

By being well-prepared and informed, renewing your driver’s licence as a student in South Africa can be a smooth and straightforward process. Ensuring your licence is valid not only keeps you on the right side of the law but also ensures your mobility for academic, social and professional activities.

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