New smart driver’s licence card ‘imminent’

Transport department misses own deadlines

Transport minister Sindisiwe Chikunga missed the April 2024 deadline to introduce the new driver’s licence card.
NO DATE: Transport minister Sindisiwe Chikunga missed the April 2024 deadline to introduce the new driver’s licence card.
Image: SUPPLIED

The department of transport is on the brink of launching the delayed new smart card driver’s licence, it says, but has not provided a date.

The government missed a deadline to roll out the new cards and a printing machine at the end of April, blaming challenges in finding a suitable service provider.

In May, transport minister Sindisiwe Chikunga said the department was at the tail end of procuring a new machine from France which would release licence cards within five working days, compared with about 14 days for the current system

After the April cut-off date was missed she said by the end of May the department would be printing new licences, but that deadline was also missed.

Department spokesperson Collen Msibi said with the evaluation and adjudication of bids completed, the department was close to announcing a new dawn in the driving licence card environment, with the audit process the last hurdle.

The current licence card was introduced in 1998, but the printer has been prone to breakdowns, leading to countrywide backlogs for renewals.

The updated licences are said to have greater security features, including intricate watermarks and user biometrics to store data, which should make it harder to illegally modify or produce counterfeit cards.


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