Driver’s License In South Africa; Requirements, Apply, Renew & Cost

In this article, you will be exposed to the authentic details on how to obtain your driver’s license in South Africa, the cost, requirements, how to renew, and other important information about Soth Africa driving license.

Driving in South Africa may appear challenging at first due to high vehicle crime rates and erratic driving, but knowing the South African traffic rules can help alleviate some of the tension.

One of these rules is to possess a driver’s license. A driver’s license is an official document that allows the holder to operate a motor vehicle on a public road.

Driver’s License In South Africa; Requirements, Apply, Renew & Cost

In South Africa, authorized driving license testing centers, which are managed by recognized bodies and overseen by the provincial and National Departments of Transportation, issue drivers’ licenses.

In South Africa, it is important that a road user, be it a motorcyclist or a driver, should be at least 18 years of age. Thus, it can be inferred that in South Africa, only those of ages 18 and above are liable to owning a driver’s license.

That being said, this article would discuss in detail, how to apply for a driver’s license in South Africa, the requirements for obtaining one, steps towards renewing an expired driver’s license, and of course, how much it costs to obtain a driver’s license.

Requirements for Obtaining a South-African Driver’s License

To obtain a driver’s license in South Africa, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. You must have spent at least one year in South Africa.
  1. You must be in possession of the following documents:
  • A valid form of identification: a legitimate Identification card, a temporary ID card, or a South African passport.
  • Four (4) passport photographs of yourself printed only in Black and White
  • A document showing a confirmation of your permanent residency in South Africa
  • The issuing authority’s confirmation that you hold a valid license.
  • Proof of residency e.g utility bill. Utility bills contain your residential address. However, if this is not written in your name, you must provide an affidavit showing that you live in the address attached to the utility bill you are presenting.
  1. You must attend a recognized driving school in South Africa if you do not have a driver’s license from your home country and otherwise if you have a driver’s license from your home country.

Procedures for Obtaining a South-African Driver’s License

To legally drive on South African roads, you must have a valid driver’s license. A learner’s permit is required before applying for a driver’s license.

Follow the procedures below to obtain your driver’s license in South Africa:

  • To schedule a test, visit the nearest driver’s license testing center (DLTC) to your location.
  • Ensure that you take the required documents mentioned above with you.
  • Complete the DL1 Application Form at the Driver’s License Testing Center.
  • Proceed to make payments.
  • Your schedule of your driving test would be given alongside the receipt of payment.
  • Whilst going for the test, take your receipt and learner’s permit along with you and ensure you arrive at the venue at the designated time.
  • A qualified officer or examiner would then assess your driving skills
  • Upon successfully passing your driving test, you’ll undergo a biometric scan and eye test. This eye test may be taken at the License Center or by any DLTC-approved optometrist. The form must however be submitted at the DLTC.
  • Then information regarding when the driver’s license would be ready for collection would be passed across to you. This can only be obtained at the License Center where you applied for the driver’s license.
  • However, on leaving the DLTC, a temporary driver’s license would be given to you, valid enough until your original Driver’s License is ready for collection. Collection is usually within four(4) to six(6) weeks after application.

How to Renew an Expired Driver’s License in South Africa

Upon expiry of your driver’s license, you may of course, opt-in for renewal. Also, people who get their drivers’ licenses stolen may also get another card after reporting this.

“How’s this done?” People often ask.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to renew your driver’s license in South Africa:

  • Visit the nearest DLTC to your location
  • Fill the DL1 Application Form for renewal of your driver’s license
  • Fill out the NCP form (notice of change of residence or particulars of person or organization).
  • Undergo eye test and biometric scan at the DLTC or contact any DLTC-approved optometrist for the eye test.


  • If you are applying for a renewal of your driver’s license, please note that this must be done, at least, four(4) weeks before expiry.
  • If you are applying after the license has expired, you’d need to apply for a temporary one first, pending the period when the original one would be ready.
  • You need to undergo another eye test and biometric scan at the DLTC
  • You do not need to take another driving test

To replace a lost driver’s license, follow the same procedures as renewing your driver’s license. The only difference is that while replacing your driver’s license, you’d firstly have to obtain a temporary one at an additional cost before the original is given out to you.

How to Take a Driving Test in South Africa

Generally, a lot of people ask questions regarding how the driving test is taken in South Africa. Here’s a guide on that.

First, it is important to know how the examination is. The driving test is divided into two(2) sections: the practical part and the written part.

When you apply for your learner’s license, you will take the written exam considerably earlier in the process. It considers theoretical topics such as road signs, vehicle controls, and traffic laws.

You can arrange for your practical test in advance at a local center by giving basic identification documents and your learner’s license, as well as paying a booking fee, which varies depending on your region, once you’ve trained to drive through a registered driving school.

It’s a good idea to arrive a few minutes early on the day of the test and carry your booking confirmation. Before you meet with the driving examiner, your receipt and learner’s license will be checked.

As earlier stated, if you pass this practical exam, you will be invited for a biometric scan and eye test after which a temporary driver’s license will be issued to you.

Cost of Obtaining a Driver’s License in South Africa

Depending on where you live, the manner in which driving tests and licenses are administered differs. This is also true in South Africa when it comes to the expense of obtaining a driver’s license.

You can inquire about regional driver’s license pricing and requirements by contacting your local driving authority.

Read Also: Driver’s License In Ghana; Requirements, Apply, Renew & Cost


At what minimum age can I get a driver’s license in South Africa?

In South Africa, it is unlawful to drive if one is below 18 years. Thus, obtaining a driver’s license is possible once you attain the age of 18 or above it.

Do I need to take a driving test to obtain a South African driver’s license?

This particularly depends on your status, if you are a foreigner or a citizen. If you are a foreigner that already has a driver’s license from your home country, you do not need to take the driving test again. All you need to do is use your driver’s license for a period of one year after which you may obtain a permanent residency permit. It is after this happens that you may then obtain a South African driver’s license. However, if you are a South African, you need to undergo a driving test before obtaining a driver’s license. It is mandatory.

Is it necessary to own a learner’s permit?

Yes, it is. Just as a driver’s license is important, a learner’s permit is. This is one of the required documents when applying for a driver’s license.

What happens if I fail my driving test?

You will not be issued a driver’s license if you fail your driving test. You’ll need to reapply for the test again.

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