Sunday, 21 September 2008

How to get a South African drivers licence - ex pats

If you have read previous entries to this blog, you might have read how I battled for several weeks to get a South African drivers licence sorted out for myself. A seemingly easy process, which was so mired and fraught with red tape, that at one point I considered that returning to the UK would be easier.

However, after a struggle, I managed to find the correct methodology for this process, and am now awaiting delivery of my new South African credit card style drivers licence. That being the case, I wanted to share the methodology with others who might find themselves in a similar, unfortunate position. Perhaps you will have less trouble than I did.

First things first – the credit card style licence became compulsory on 30th April 2003. If, like me, you left South Africa PRIOR to this date, but had not converted your ID book licence, then you are in the same position I was in, and this is for you.

Before you can even APPLY for your credit card licence in South Africa, you need the Department of Public Works in Johannesburg to change your licence details on the computer system. This will allow the Traffic Department to make the appropriate application.

In order for the computer system to be changed, the following items must be submitted to the Department of Public Works:
* Certified copy of your ID book
* Certified copy of your drivers licence in your ID book
* Certified copy of your passport, clearly showing the departure stamp when you originally left South Africa
* Certified copy of a letter from your overseas employer stating that you were employed by them on the 30th April 2003.
* Supporting letter from yourself, motivating why you are now applying for the credit card licence.

Once the computer system is changed, THEN you can go to the Traffic Department in your area and apply for your new licence.

Just take a pair of scissors to slice through the red tape!


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