I recently had to pay the Road Traffic Inspectorate the dreaded visit to renew my drivers licence and this is an (un)necessary evil that most South Africans have to endure every 5 years.
As there isn’t a lot of information available online I decided to compile this handy guide for anyone that has to go through the same ordeal soon so here it is – my handy guide to surviving a day at the Road Traffic Inspectorate.
What you need to take with you:
- Original ID document or Smart Card ID. (An A4 copy of ID is required in Edenvale, Johannesburg. Maybe their photocopiers are broken!).
- Proof of residence. This needs to be an official document not older than three (3) months that clearly states your address, for example, a bank statement, account or utility bill.
- Take a pen with you. They do not have pens there.
- Glasses or contact lenses if needed for driving.
- Your current or expired drivers licence. If your licence has already expired you can take out a temp licence for R90. This is not compulsory and you have to ask for the temporary licence at the cashier. A fee of R90 is payable in cash.
- 2 black and white ID photographs for the temporary licence (optional). You can bring these along. There is also a booth at most testing stations that will take the photographs for you. It is around R50 for a set of 4. In Johannesburg, only 1 photograph (colour or black & white) is required. The Randburg testing centre requires 2x black and white photos for renewal. In Vanderbijlpark, only 1 colour photograph is needed.
- DL1 (green) form. This form can be obtained at the testing centre or online from the eNatis website here. Fill out sections A, B and D. Andrea pointed out in the comments: “I had to use the department’s form because it needs to be in a double sided-A3 format (like a file) so their docs can be inserted in it.” Liam also pointed out that Marlboro does not accept the web form and you have to fill out theirs. One of our readers, Chanel has kindly edited an A3 version of the form here.
- Gauteng users new to book online in advance at https://online.natis.gov.za which will have a list of all Gauteng RTI’s only. The RTMC will pilot the project in Gauteng and will be rolled out to other provinces in future.
There are no fines or penalties for late renewals!
- as of 2017, the cost of renewal is R250 in cash.
- Temporary licence cost is R90 cash.
- The Mariannhill RTI in Pinetown, Durban has imposed a limit of ONLY 120 licence renewals per day. Thanks to Sandy for letting us know!
- Renewal costs in Bedfordview are R228.00 and payment is accepted either in cash or by credit card.
- Temporary licence cost is R72 cash.
- 2x black and white photos are required for renewal in Randburg.
- The Edenvale licensing department now asks for a copy of your license when going to renew.
- You have to pre-book at https://online.natis.gov.za which will have a list of all Gauteng RTI testing centres.
- There is a new online booking system in Gauteng. You can access the service at https://online.natis.gov.za which will have a list of all Gauteng offices.
- R185 and includes the temporary licence.
Lost or stolen licences
- If your licence has been lost or stolen you do not need to redo the driving test. The procedure is the same as described above but you will have to get a temporary licence. More information is available here: https://www.gov.za/services/driving-licence/replace-lost-driving-licence
- Reports in from Johannesburg and Bedfordview – If you have outstanding fines they have to be paid and they won’t complete the transaction. Please let us know if this is already implemented in your area in the comments section below. To read more about this, see this article on AARTO implementation to be rolled out nationwide.
Maiden name and surname changes
- If recently married your new married surname must reflect on your smart card ID. You also have to bring the marriage certificate along as proof that it is your correct surname.
- It is worth noting that you can save time by having the eye test done at an optometrist for an additional charge. Depending on the testing centre you might have to sit in the same queue so this will only save you a few minutes and probably not worth the effort.
- According to Margaret who went to the Bedfordview Testing Centre in Johannesburg: Don’t waste time/money on a pre-eye test at an optician – I still had to do “theirs”.
- For the hypochondriacs – take “wet wipes” to clean the bar on which you have to press your forehead for the eye test.
- You will spend about 3 – 4 hours. Take a bottle of water.
- A LOT of people have asked about this – there are NO fines for late renewals!
If you cannot fetch the licence yourself or have to fetch it for someone else:
You /they will need:
- their ID (of the person getting the new licence),
- a certified copy of your ID (as the person fetching the licence), and
- an affidavit stating why they cannot collect the licence themselves, including the name and ID number of the person who will be fetching it.
- In Cape Town, the renewal includes a temporary licence. Colour photos are also accepted here. Cape Town always seems to be ahead of the curve.
- The Akasia Testing Centre in Pretoria requires you to bring a photocopy of your ID document / Smart Card along.
The licence will be ready in 4 weeks from application. They do not send out a notice but should give you a contact number to phone to check if it’s ready for collection.
You can also check the status of your driving licence card status by sending your ID number via SMS to 33214.
Please leave us a comment below if this article helped you or we missed anything important.
Also published an older version of this on LinkedIn.