Last year, many South African motorists found themselves caught unaware by traffic policeman stopping and writing out fines for failing to renew their car licences. It wasn’t that motorists were trying to avoid paying, but rather that they were used to receiving the annual notification and had simply failed to check when their licences were due.
It’s not clear what the reason for the notification failure was – but it seemed as if the problem occurred during a handover from eNatis to the Department of Transport and the Road Traffic Management Corporation – with possible confusion around which party was now responsible for sending our renewal reminders. In another report, a reason was stated in that the Department of Transport had not paid their SA Post Office bill. Answers to what the situation is and will be in the future are currently unavailable from the relevant parties.
What is clear is that motorists must take responsibility into their own hands and monitor their licence expiry dates to ensure payment is made within the 21-day grace period. Both fines and renewals can be dealt with at the post offices.
Besides being penalised with a fine, failing to pay on time comes with it’s own set of complications, and is not a simple process of walking in with cash and walking out with a renewed licence. You first need to complete a renewal application form,and make sure you have the relevant documentation with you:
Green bar-coded identity document or smart card
Proof of address such as a utility bill
The old licence disc for details
Also make sure you have enough cash to pay for the fine,penalty, and new licence. Credit or debit cards are cannot be used.
There’s also the possibility of the post office running out of renewal forms, so it’s a good idea to download it and fill it in beforehand.
No doubt that lesson has been learnt. Late renewal penalties and arrears can amount to anything from R90 to R1000 and even more, depending on how many months you’ve been driving with an expired licence disc. With all the extra time and money spent dealing with the issue, it’s worth it to take it upon yourself to remember, rather than depend on a reminder that may or may not come.
Check your licence disc today. What date does it expire? Put a reminder on your phone, To-Do list, kitchen calendar, or anywhere you know you will be sure to see it in time. Ring the date and also give yourself a reminder a month in advance. This way you’ll save yourself not only money, but also the inconvenience.