Botswana Driving Licence or Driver Permit

Botswana Driving Licence : Obtaining a driving licence in Botswana allows you to legally operate motor vehicles on public roads. Here is an overview of driving licences in Botswana:

Types of Licences

There are different classes of driving licences issued in Botswana:

  • Class 1 – Motorcycles
  • Class 2 – Motor vehicles under 3,500 kg
  • Class 3 – Vehicles over 3,500 kg
  • Class 4 – Public service vehicles
  • Class 5 – Heavy articulated vehicles

Eligibility and Minimum Age

To qualify for a Botswana driving licence you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old (Class 1)
  • Be at least 18 years old (Class 2)
  • Be at least 21 years old (other classes)
  • Pass required theory and practical driving tests
  • Complete eye exam and traffic course

Licence Validity

Licence validity periods in Botswana:

  • Class 1 – 5 years
  • Class 2 – 10 years
  • Other classes – 5 years

Licences must be renewed before expiration.

New Residents and Tourists

Visitors can drive using foreign licences for up to 90 days in Botswana. New residents can drive for 3 months with a valid licence from their home country before obtaining a local one. An International Driving Permit is recommended.

Getting Your First Botswana Driving Licence

Here are the steps to obtaining your initial driving licence in Botswana:

1. Enroll in Driving School

  • Complete mandatory theory and practical driving lessons.
  • Training covers traffic laws, defensive skills, vehicle handling.
  • Obtain learner’s permit after completing instruction.

2. Pass Theory Test

  • Take multiple choice test on road signs, rules, markings.
  • Answer 28 out of 30 questions correctly to pass.

3. Pass Practical Driving Test

  • Take the practical test assessing driving skills and safety.
  • An examiner will evaluate you on control, judgement, maneuvering.
  • Achieve a minimum pass score of 70%.

4. Obtain Your Licence

  • Visit transport office with passed test certificates.
  • Submit application form, medical certificate, ID, photos.
  • Upon approval, your photo licence will be issued.

Renewing a Botswana Driving Licence

To continue driving legally, you must renew your licence before expiration:

  • Licences can be renewed up to 6 months before expiry.
  • Present current licence and undergo vision screening.
  • Get new photo taken and pay renewal fees.
  • Your updated licence card will be provided.

Replacing a Lost or Stolen Licence

If your Botswana driving licence is lost or stolen:

  • File a police report regarding the loss/theft.
  • Apply for replacement at transport office within 14 days.
  • Provide police report and old licence details.
  • Pay replacement fee.
  • You will be issued a duplicate licence.

Changing Your Address on Your Licence

When you change your permanent residence:

  • Notify transport office within 30 days of address change.
  • Provide proof of new address.
  • Pay change of address fee.
  • Your driving licence will be updated with new address.

Getting an International Driving Permit

To drive in other countries, you may need an IDP:

  • Apply for IDP at the Department of Road Transport and Safety.
  • Bring current licence, passport photos and photocopies.
  • Complete application and pay fee.
  • Carry both your licence and IDP when driving overseas.

Traffic Rules and Regulations in Botswana

When driving in Botswana, follow these main traffic laws:

General Driving

  • Drive on the left side of the road
  • Mandatory seat belt wearing
  • Require child restraints as appropriate
  • Obey speed limits

Speed Limits

  • 60 km/h in urban areas
  • 80 km/h on highways and open roads
  • 120 km/h on motorways


  • Driving licence must be carried at all times

Alcohol Limits

  • 0.05% maximum blood alcohol content
  • 0.00% alcohol limit for professional drivers


  • Speeding fines from P100
  • Driving unlicensed – fines up to P500

Resolving Traffic Violations and Fines in Botswana

If you commit a traffic offence in Botswana, here is how to deal with resulting fines:

Pay the Fine

  • Traffic fines can be paid at police stations, post offices or banks.
  • Pay within 14 days to avoid additional penalties.
  • Keep receipt as proof of payment.

Dispute the Fine

  • To contest, submit written representations within 14 days.
  • Provide evidence supporting your dispute.
  • Fine may be waived if dispute upheld.

Licence Suspension

  • Licence may be suspended for serious offences.
  • Accumulating 12+ demerit points also results in suspension.
  • Attend traffic school to reduce demerit points.

Failure to Pay

  • Unpaid fines referred for court enforcement after 28 days.
  • Additional late fees added.
  • Can result in driving privileges being revoked.

FAQ on Botswana Driving Licences

1. How much does it cost to get a Botswana driving licence?

Getting a new Botswana driving licence costs around P400-600. This covers mandatory lessons, theory/practical tests and licence issuance. Renewal every 5-10 years is about P100-200.

2. What is the minimum driving age in Botswana?

The minimum age is 16 years to hold a motorcycle licence and 18 years to hold a licence for motorcars and light vehicles in Botswana. For heavy vehicles and buses you must be at least 21 years old.

3. Can I drive in Botswana with my Zambian licence?

Yes, as a Zambian licence holder you can legally drive in Botswana using your current Zambian driving licence for up to 90 days as a visitor. Residents need to obtain a Botswana licence after 3 months.

4. How do I replace my lost Botswana driving licence?

Report the loss immediately to the police and apply for replacement at the transport office within 14 days. Provide the police report and details of your old licence. Pay the fee to obtain a duplicate licence.

5. Can I renew my Botswana licence from overseas?

No, Botswana driving licences cannot be renewed from overseas. You must be present in-person at the transport office to undergo vision screening and collect the renewed physical licence card.