Ever looked at your licence and wondered when it will get a makeover and go digital? You’re certainly not alone on that one.


The times they are a-changin’

What would you do if you discovered that that South African driver’s licence card machines have not been updated since 1998? If you’re the Department of Transport, you upgrade.

And while you’re at it, they’ll also improve:

• flexibility by introducing a platform for e-services;
• accessibility by offering an electronic/mobile driving licence;
• licence completion time from 12 days to 7 days;
• the DLCA process so that support services can be automated (we’re hoping for WhatsApp chats) and digital can replace manual.


The timeline so far…

The process that Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) – a branch of the Department of Transport that handles card production – began in 2015. It had some production hiccups when hardware was stolen and data on it was compromised, but its rollout is now reported to be completed by 2021.

This more “durable” licence will have improved security features.

Times Live reports that DLCA is projected to print about 3 million driving licence cards each year for the next five years and plans to link its network to drivers’ licence testing centres to make applications faster.


Where are we at right now?

The Department’s director-general Alec Moemi says that it has already submitted a request to the State Security Agency for the design of the new drivers’ licence card as required by law, and that they were also anticipating the required standardisation.


It’s going global

The new drivers licence card will be recognisable all over the world as it is “compliant with the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO)”.


Woohoo! When can I apply?

You can apply for yours once lockdown is lifted.

In the meantime, if your existing licence expired recently, News24 notes, you’ve got time. It reports that Road Traffic Management Corporation recently announced that “all learners licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits that expired from 26 March up to 31 Aug 2020 are extended to 31 Jan 2021.”

Once lockdown is lifted, delays to the new driver’s licence production are expected, however. Delivery may be slowed by the existing pandemic backlog, a sudden surge in demand as the country opens up more, and, like your car itself, the card production machines needing routine maintenance. Digital is coming but patience is still what’s going to get you there. #lockdownlife

Speaking of getting things done (more easily), if you’re tired of queues and forms for renewing your licence, our optional motor cover benefits will do it for you, door-to-door. Opt-in to first-class car insurance with perks you pick, at a price you choose, to save time and money!