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What you need to know when renewing your driver's licence

Every five years, the thought of facing long queues to renew your driver's licence is enough to put anyone off, but it must be done.
You will often turn to family, friends and colleagues to ask about their experience – what day of the week is best to visit the licensing centre, what time should you go to miss the crowds and of course, what documentation will you need to take with you. You will usually get some sort of conflicting information, so it’s always best to be prepared, especially considering you should apply at least four weeks ahead of the date that your current licence is due to expire, else you will also require a temporary licence.

So, here's what you need to take with you.
  • Your identity document (ID) or South African passport and a certified copy
  • Your old driving licence
  • 4 x black and white ID photos – especially if you need a temporary licence
  • Proof of residential address (not older than 3-months)
  • Your eye test results from your optometrist (if you prefer not to do it at the licensing centre)
  • Renewal fees – make sure to have the necessary cash on hand

What is the new process?

The Department of Transport and the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) launched the NaTIS Online Booking Services in August last year – allowing motorists to now make pre-bookings online to ease the renewal process. As such, you can now apply online to renew your licence if you live in Gauteng.

Hopefully, this service will be extended and offered nationally in the not too distant future.

On the website, enter your details and complete the DL1 application for renewal of driving licence, along with any change to your personal particulars or residential address. Select your preferred licensing centre, and appointment date and time. If the date and time that you select is not available, it could be that it has already been allocated or it is fully booked. In which case, you can either wait until a new booking timeslots become available or try a different licensing centre.

Once you’ve selected a department, a date and time for your appointment - click on the purple “Make Booking” button, which takes you to a page that will allow you to download a copy of the form you need to submit when you arrive at the department, as well as provide you with a proof of booking confirmation.

On your selected booking date and time, you can head on over to the allocated licensing department where your fingerprints will be taken along with an eye test, if you don’t already have the results from your optometrist. You will also be required to make payment as currently, the online system does not allow for online payments – although hopefully this application will be added in the near future. Your new driving licence should then be ready in four to six weeks.
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