×

We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Motorists with expired licence cards may be given an 11th-hour reprieve

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula to give an update on Thursday on the deadline for the extension of licence validity

Fikile Mbalula has so far stood firm on the March 31 deadline to renew expired driving licence cards.
Fikile Mbalula has so far stood firm on the March 31 deadline to renew expired driving licence cards.
Image: Supplied

The deadline for expired driving licences may be extended beyond March 31, with  transport minister Fikile Mbalula to give a briefing on the issue on Thursday morning.

In August it was announced that all learner’s licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits that expired between March 26 2020 and August 31 2021 were deemed to be valid until the end of March.

Outa and the AA have lobbied to extend the deadline due to a backlog of motorists who were unable to renew their licence cards in time, but Mbalula has stood firm, saying the grace period would end on March 31.

However, on Wednesday afternoon he hinted that the grace period might be extended by tweeting: “Tomorrow, 31 March 2022, we will give an update on the deadline for the extension of licence validity. On August 2021, the department of transport announced the extension of a grace period ending on 31 March 2022, this approaches an end tomorrow.”

Mbalula has ignored previous calls to extend the deadline despite recent protests at driving licence testing centres causing delays. The department of transport last week said it was on track with the production of outstanding licence cards, and that the bottleneck experienced between November 2021 and January 2022 due to a broken printing machine would be cleared by April. 

Earlier this week Outa warned that the government should either extend the deadline or stop issuing fines to motorists with expired licences, lest it “start a war with citizens that it cannot win”. 

Outa estimated there would well over a million motorists with expired driving licence cards after March 31.

The civil action organisation said it would leave motorists “at the mercy of overzealous or corrupt law-enforcement officers who may use this as an opportunity to extort bribes from the motoring public”.

The AA added to the call for a deadline extension, saying a crisis was looming with hundreds of thousands of drivers who have still not applied for their new cards.


Would you like to comment on this article? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Commenting is subject to our house rules.