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The Easiest Ways to Renew Your South African Car License

Drivers in South Africa, there is no need to dread your approaching driver’s license renewal. We’ve got all the information you need to make it as quick and easy as possible. Check out all the facts and all the cheats to making the process faster and easier.

When should I renew my Driver’s License?

Your driver’s license needs to be renewed four weeks before its expiry date. You can see the expiry date on the license itself (see below image). A few factors determine how long your license remains valid for, but the standard is two to five years. If you’re not sure, check your license today and add a reminder to your calendar for two months before it expires. This should give you enough time to complete the process and plan for each step.

South African Driver's Licence

If you renew your license later than four weeks before it expires, you will need to apply for a temporary driver’s license too in addition to following the renewal process. This means spending extra money and effort. You can avoid the extra stress, costs, and admin by renewing your license with plenty of time to spare.

What will I need in order to Renew My Driver’s License?

You will need the following documents in order to renew your South African driver’s license without a fuss:

  • Your Identification Document (ID Book) or a valid passport.

Yes, we mean the actual document itself, not copies. It needs to be valid, of course, and readable.

  • Copies of your ID or Passport that have been certified.

These will be used by the license renewal staff in the process of renewing your license.

  • Your current driver’s license card.

The license renewal staff will take the card and give you a document to use until you can collect your new card.

  • Four ID photos.

The photo needs to be clear and include your head and shoulders, but nothing else. It should clearly show your face and eyes, but not your teeth. This means no smiling unless you’re smiling like the Mona Lisa. Face the camera straight-on and not from an angle. The background needs to be white with no shadows, people, or objects.

Don’t wear hats or glasses in your photo unless you wear glasses 24/7. Keep excess hair out of your face. The only hair on your face in the photo should be a beard or mustache. The photos must be printed on high-quality photo paper, and they should not be folded or damaged. The photos need to be identical, so four copies of the same photo, and they all need to measure 45mm (H) x 35mm (W).

It’s quite specific, but don’t worry. Many pharmacies can do this for you or otherwise places like FotoFirst or PostNet. Some Driver’s License Testing Centers also offer this service, although you will probably end up waiting in a row for these if you get them on the day. You can save time by getting your ID photos before the day you go to renew your license.

  • Proof of address. 

This could be a utility account with your legal name and address. Otherwise, the owner of the bill can make an affidavit that says you live at the address with the utility bill attached to the affidavit. If you stay in an informal settlement, you need to get a letter from the ward councillor with an official stamp that confirms your residential address.

Proof of address is considered a standard necessity in any process in South Africa where your identity needs to be verified, and the law is pretty specific about what form your proof of address needs to take. If you are unsure, you can speak to an attorney or someone at your local post office about getting a valid proof of address.

  • The application fees.

Find out what the latest applicable fees are by giving your local driver’s license testing centre a call. You can find their contact information on

  • An Eye Test.

If you want to, you can save some time by doing an eye test at an optometrist like Vision Worx beforehand and bring it along on the day. If you don’t get time to do an eye test before don’t stress. The license renewal team at the licensing centre will do an eye test on the day. Doing it beforehand just saves you some time and stress on the day.

  • Relevant Forms.

Gauteng residents can go to to book their driver’s license renewal. Everyone going to renew their license needs to fill in Form DL1. To save time, you can get this form at and fill it in beforehand. If your address has changed, you will also need to fill in the NCP form (Notice of Change of Address or Particulars).

How can I make Renewing My Driver’s License Easier?

Typically, you need to go to your local driver’s license testing centre on a weekday during working hours, wait in line, and go through the license renewal process with staff at the testing centre. Depending on how long the row is, this could take between 2 hours and a full day. After this part has been completed, you will need to go pick up your driver’s license at a later date. You will be informed of the date at the testing centre. This date is usually four to six weeks later.

For many people, staying at the testing centre for a day two times in a row in one month is not possible or practical. Luckily there are ways to make things easier. If you can gather all the above paperwork beforehand and you don’t mind paying a fee, companies like Qline can queue for you. That means you don’t need to wait in line to renew your license!

Keep your presence on South African roads legal to avoid penalties. This includes licensing your car, renewing your driver’s license, and ensuring your vehicle is adequately insured. You can get a quote to insure your car today.

Prices quoted are correct at the time this article was published. The information in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal, or medical advice.

Sources: fin24; 1Life; Times Live;


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