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What to expect with the new driver’s licence card

by Salaamedia Intern
A new driver’s licence card is set to be produced in November 2023 which will be upto the international standard Photo BusinessTech

South Africa – A new driver’s licence card is set to be introduced in November 2023 as the current ones are slowly becoming obsolete. The current driver’s licence card features, and security measures are below international standards. The new cards will be compatible with the International Information Technology Personal Identification Compliant Driving Licence (ISO18013).

Most people might be sceptical about the need for a new driver’s licence card. Some might say it is a new way for the government to make money. However, Wayne Duvenage, CEO at OUTA, explained the country is long overdue for these new cards and it is a necessity.

“The country is in need of a new card. It needs to be conducive to international protocol from a security point of view so there’s less fraud and manufacture of illegal cards. It is also going to integrate with the Home Affairs system so that we are issuing licences to the right people. It’s got a lot of pros and I think it’s long overdue. This has been in and out of the tender process for the last three to four years. It’s necessary.” 

The validity period of the new driver’s licence card

The current driver’s licence expires after five years. Government is looking at extending the renewal period of licence cards to ten years. This is according to Duvenage whose firm put in the proposal to extend the renewal period.

“I think they’ve also done their research. They were appreciative of our work and all indications from the input provided by the transport minister last week is that they will be considering increasing it. Whether it’s the full ten years or whether it’s eight years. It remains to be seen.”

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What will happen to the current cards

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula specified that a five-year transition period would apply. While also saying the current driving licence card and the equipment used to produce it will be decommissioned on 1 April 2024. For those whose cards are expiring before November 2023, it remains to be seen what the minister will decide to do about that, said Duvenage.

“The question then would be to the minister is does that mean that all licences that are due to expire in the coming years they will add three years on to that? So it will still be valid for three years or as you renew your card after the expiry date would that become an eight-year card? It all remains to be seen as to what route the administrator is going to take on existing cards and the new card.”

According to Duvenage the proposal has been made to cabinet and the should be a statement made very soon.

Duvenage believes the new driver’s licence card will not come with an increase in renewal fees. The new licence card and the production equipment will also lay the foundation for South Africa’s e-driving licence plan. The new card is a step in the right direction for President Cyril Ramapohsa. He is looking to implement an all-in-one identity card system. While the president hopes this can be accomplished soon, Mbalula believes South Africa is at least ten years away from that dream.

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