South Africa Driving Licence or Driver Permit

South Africa Driving Licence : Obtaining a driving licence in South Africa allows you the freedom to legally drive on public roads. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to get a new driving licence or renew an existing one in South Africa.

Overview of South Africa Driving Licence

South Africa has the following main categories of driving licences:

  • Motor vehicle licences – To drive cars, motorcycles, trucks etc. Have classes for light and heavy vehicles.
  • Motor vehicle learner’s licences – Provisional licence to learn driving and take the driving test.
  • Motorcycle licences – To ride motorcycles, scooters, mopeds etc.
  • International driving permit – Allows driving in foreign countries along with local licence.

Getting a New Driving Licence in South Africa

Follow these key steps to apply and obtain a new driving licence in South Africa:

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be at least 17 years old for a learner’s licence and 18 years for a motor vehicle licence.
  • Should pass the theoretical learner’s test and practical driving test.
  • Must be declared medically fit to drive.
  • Should be a South African citizen or permanent resident.

Documents Required

  • Application form
  • ID document copy
  • Proof of residence
  • 2 passport photos
  • Eye test certificate
  • Medical report

Get a Learner’s Licence

  • Book test appointment online and pass learner’s theory test.
  • Use learner’s licence to learn driving and practice.

Pass Driving Test

  • Undergo driving test at licence testing centre. Must pass to get licence.
  • Testing includes yard test, road test and oral questions.

Apply for Driving Licence Card

  • Visit driving licence card issuing centre with required documents.
  • Submit fingerprints, photo and signature.
  • Pay licence card fee.
  • Collect new driving licence card.

Types of Driving Licences in South Africa

Code B Licence

  • To drive light motor vehicles like cars and light motorcycles.
  • Minimum age is 17 years with a learner’s permit and 18 years for the driving licence.

Code C Licence

  • For medium weight vehicles like vans, minibuses, trucks etc up to 3500kg.
  • Minimum age is 18 years.

Code E Licence

  • Allows you to tow light trailers. Can be obtained along with Code B or C licences.

Motorcycle Licence

  • To ride motorcycles with engine capacity over 125cc.
  • Minimum age is 17 years for learner’s permit and 18 years for full licence.

Renewing your Driving Licence

To renew your driving licence in South Africa:

  • Licences can be renewed from 3 months before expiry.
  • Visit driving licence testing centre. Fill application form.
  • Provide original licence and ID document copy.
  • Pay renewal fees.
  • New licence card will be issued on the spot.

Replacing a Lost or Stolen Licence

If your driving licence is stolen or lost, follow this procedure:

  • Report loss/theft to the police and obtain case number.
  • Visit driving licence centre and fill form for replacement licence.
  • Provide copy of police case, ID document copy and passport photo.
  • Pay fees for a replacement licence.
  • Temporary licence issued instantly while new card gets printed.

Changing Address on Driving Licence

To change the address on your driving licence:

  • Visit driving licence testing centre.
  • Submit completed notification of change of address form.
  • Provide ID document copy as proof of new address.
  • Pay prescribed fees.
  • New driving licence card with updated address will be issued.

Applying for an International Driving Permit

To drive in foreign countries with your South African licence, apply for an International Driving Permit:

  • Must hold valid South African driving licence.
  • Apply at designated issuing authority with form, photos and licence.
  • Pay International Driving Permit fees.
  • Carry both international and local driving licence when driving overseas.

Important Traffic Rules and Regulations in South Africa

Some key traffic rules to follow in South Africa:

  • Blood alcohol limit is ≤ 0.05% for regular drivers and 0.02% for professional drivers.
  • Speed limits – 60km/hr in urban areas, 100km/hr on highways, 120km/hr on national freeways.
  • Seat belts are compulsory for all occupants in a vehicle.
  • Cell phone usage while driving prohibited, only hands-free units allowed.
  • Motorcycle riders must wear helmets. Headlights must be on while riding.
  • Strict penalties like fines, imprisonment for traffic violations.

Traffic Offences and Fines in South Africa

Traffic OffenceFine Amount
Driving without licenceUp to R8000
Drunk drivingUp to R120000 and/or jail
Reckless/negligent drivingUp to R40000 and/or jail
Exceeding speed limitR1000 – R4000
Running red lightUp to R2000
Overtaking across barrier lineR1000
Failure to stop at stop signUp to R2000
Vehicle overloadingUp to R20000
Not wearing seat beltR250
Vehicle defects (bald tyres etc)Up to R2000
Using cellphone while drivingR1000

FAQs on South Africa Driving Licence

Q1. How do I schedule my learner’s licence test in South Africa?

You can book an appointment for the learner’s licence test online through the DriveCoz portal. Choose your nearest testing centre and preferred date and time for the test.

Q2. What is the maximum validity of a driving licence in South Africa?

The new credit card format licences issued from 2020 onwards have a validity period of 10 years. Older licences may have up to 20 years validity.

Q3. Is an International Driving Permit required for foreigners to drive in South Africa?

Foreign nationals can use their valid international licence from their home country for up to 12 months in South Africa, after which they must apply for a local licence.

Q4. How do I verify if my South African driving licence is valid?

You can check your licence status by sending an SMS with your ID number to 32893. It will provide details on licence class, endorsements, validity etc.

Q5. What is the minimum age to obtain a motorcycle licence in South Africa?

The minimum age to get a learner’s motorcycle permit is 17 years. You must be at least 18 years old to apply for the full motorcycle driving licence.


We have covered the complete procedure to obtain a new driving licence or renew your existing licence in South Africa. Make sure you have all necessary documents, follow the processes correctly and obey traffic rules for safe driving.