Is it possible to renew your South African drivers license from abroad?
My South African drivers license expired more than two years ago and I wanted to renew it from abroad. After a lot of investigation I found out that this was not possible. The following information appears on the South African Government Site:
It is currently not possible to apply for the Credit Card Format (CCF) licence from abroad. You must renew your licence at Driving Licence Testing Centres. However, the Department of Transport will not charge you a penalty fee if you have proof that you were abroad during the conversion period.
I was concerned that my actual drivers license expired but that is not the case. It is only the card that expires. Your license will remain valid until it is revoked by the Department of Transport.
How to renew your South African drivers license?
Luckily for me I had a trip planned to South Africa and decided to renew my South African drivers license in Vanderbijlpark. You are not required to take a driving test when renewing your drivers license. I arrived early at the Driving License Testing Centre because I was told there are long waiting queues. There were no clear instructions or signs telling me where to go to or what to do. I decided to go to the Information counter. After explaining that I don’t live in South Africa and that my license expired, I was handed the forms to complete.
I was handed a DL1 form: Application for renewal of driving licence card. The form has to be completed in black ink. To save time, the form can be printed from their website and completed at home. Also, take your own pen. They do not have pens available inside.
After I completed the form I was directed to another queue. There was only one person on duty. He tested my eyes and checked all the paperwork that I submitted.You can have your eyes tested by an optometrist and submit the form to the official. Please note that they only accept eye tests done in South Africa. They did not want to accept mine that was done in Argentina.I was asked to present my South African Identity Document, My expired Drivers license card and two passport photos. He also requested a copy of my I.D. document. Digital thumbprints were taken and the forms were then handed back to me for payment.
I applied for a Temporary driver’s license (R72-00) at the same time and needed two more photos. This was done at another counter after I have made payment. I cannot remember how much the renewal fee was but it was not more than R300-00.
The system is not user friendly and you basically feel your way in the dark. Staff were friendly and helpful especially when you spoke nicely to them. I was out of there in a record time.
When will the new drivers license be ready?
It takes between 4 and 6 weeks for the new card to be ready. If you are unable to collect your card then it is advisable to appoint somebody to collect the card on your behalf. There is a special form that needs to be completed and certified by the Police or a Commissioner of Oaths. The form is called a “Permission for the collection of a driving license card – Card Holder Regulation 112”. Also remember that you have to hand your old card in when collecting the new one.