Getting a South African driver's licence

Getting a South African driving licence

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If you're living in South, you may need to get a South African driving licence to legally drive in South Africa.

In order to drive in South Africa, you need to have a valid driving licence from your country of residence. If the language on your current driving licence is not English, you will need an International Driving Licence; otherwise you are subject to a fine if the authorities require your documents.

When your driving licence is about to expire and you want to replace it with a South African licence, you will need the following documents:

  • two black/white photographs,
  • a copy of your identity card/book, and
  • the actual identity card/book.


You will have to fill out a form and may be asked to pass an eye examination. Note that if you do not have a valid South African passport or ID card, you may be subject to different procedure. In that case, you can check for the correct procedure for your situation on the website of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation at

To obtain a driving licence in South Africa, you will need to pass a written exam, called a Learner's Licence and a practical exam -- the actual Driving Licence. When preparing for your practical driver's test, it is highly recommended that you go to a traffic or driving school, a list of which you can find at the following address:

Although South Africans are sceptical about the governmental system issuing driving licences – and even dare to call it corrupted – you should not try to obtain your licence illegally, as the measures are severe. When you successfully pass both parts of the driving licence test, you will be issued with a paper Temporary Driving Licence, which is replaced by the permanent card licence within six months.

Kirina Boykova / Expatica

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