New driving licence card planned for South Africa in 2022

The authorities is contemplating the adoption of a brand new driving licence in 2022, together with a redesign of the present licence card to a plastic one, from the present laminated model.

Speaking at a media briefing on the finish of December, transport minister Fikile Mbalula stated that plans for a brand new ‘smart card’ can be submitted to the cupboard for approval in early 2022. It would then be introduced to the general public, he stated.

Mbalula has beforehand stated that the Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) was in the ultimate section of designing a brand new driving licence card, with a proposal anticipated to be made earlier than the tip of the 2021/2022 monetary year.

The DLCA, the only real producer of licences in South Africa, has stated that the brand new licence shall be aligned nearer to worldwide practices, including {that a} new card permits for the incorporation of latest expertise and would come with a design change.

“The introduction of the new driving licence involves a new design of the driving licence card and the re-engineering of processes to allow for agility and focus on delivering services efficiently and quickly. The project will allow for the adoption of digital technologies such as blockchain and other related technologies which will form the platform an integrated transport system,” it stated.

Electronic driver’s licence

The DLCA has additionally indicated that it’s contemplating the implementation of a brand new digital driver’s licence – though this can doubtless solely be mooted as soon as the up to date bodily card has been launched.

“The changes to the card production environment will lay the foundation for the introduction of a mobile or e-driving licence (e-DL). With the introduction of the e-DL, the motorist will have an option to apply for a physical card and electronic driver’s licence,” the DLCA stated in its 2021/2022 annual efficiency plan.

The group added that introducing an digital licence is now potential on account of elevated cell broadband penetration throughout the nation.

“According to an Icasa report on the state of the ICT sector, the total number of 4G/LTE device subscribers in South Africa in 2018 was over 12.6 million. The report also found that South Africa has an 81.72% smartphone penetration.” Because of this, the DLCA stated it anticipates that the adoption and issuance of an e-licence would change into extra standard over time.

Ongoing chaos

While an up to date driver’s licence can be welcome information, the present system is at the moment in the highlight amid experiences of ongoing technical points.

A report by Afrikaans newspaper Rapport on Sunday (2 January) indicated that at the very least 383,000 pending licence playing cards had not been printed on account of a breakdown that started greater than a month in the past.

South Africa solely has one machine capable of print driving licence playing cards to keep away from giving corrupt officers the chance to flood the nation with fraudulent driver’s licences, stated Layton Beard, the spokesperson of the Automobile Association of South Africa.

Beard advised Newzroom Afrika that although the Department of Transport has been proactive in rooting out corruption at Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTCs), issues proceed.

“You don’t want to have a situation where the printing of licence cards is farmed out to the DLTCs,” said Beard. “You may find yourself in a worse position in terms of illegal driving licence cards that are in circulation.”

The Department of Transport requires motorists to pay R90 for a brief driving allow till their new licence is printed in response to the delay.

Robert Chandler, head of the Southern African Institute of Driving Instructors, stated at the very least half one million motorists can be impacted by the breakdown, that means the division stood to gather round R45 million from these non permanent permits.

The Covid-19 pandemic has additionally led to a big backlog in licences as testing centres have been pressured to shut for a number of months on account of restrictions.

As a end result, the division prolonged the validity interval of learner’s licences, driver’s licence playing cards, non permanent driving permits, {and professional} driving permits that expired between 26 March 2020 and 31 August 2021 to 31 March 2022.

10-year validity interval

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse agrees that South Africa’s archaic driver’s licensing system wants an overhaul.

In a latest 702/Cape Talk interview, Outa chief government Wayne Duvenage estimated there may very well be a backlog of 500,000 driver’s licence playing cards because of the machine’s breakdown.

Duvenage stated Outa has already instructed to the transport division that South Africa change from 5-year driving licences to licences legitimate for ten years.

“This would alleviate the current backlog overnight,” Duvenage stated.

Read: Call to scrap 5-year driving licence in South Africa

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