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By Siyavuya Mbaduli

Journalist


Prices gazetted: How much vehicle registration now costs

In addition to the prices, the department has also set into motion its plan for digitalisation over the next three years.


In a significant development for car owners in South Africa, the Department of Transport has implemented a major overhaul of car registration and ownership fees.

This move comes as the department aims to streamline processes, embrace digitalisation, and improve efficiency in the country’s crucial transportation sector.

Improvements with a purpose

The changes, which have been gazetted by the Department of Transport, primarily focus on the service fees associated with licence applications.

Specifically, amendments have been made to the schedules outlined in the Road Traffic Management Corporation Regulations.

These revisions primarily affect fees related to online applications, issuance and delivery of registration certificates for motor vehicles, and online notifications of ownership changes.

How much exactly?

Previously, the service fees for these processes were set at R530 each in the January 2022 gazette. However, the department has now corrected this figure to R330, representing a substantial 38% reduction in price. It is important to note that the remaining service fees remain unchanged.

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This correction brings welcome relief to car owners as the revised fees significantly lower the costs compared to the previous year, where charges amounted to R700.

Additionally, the department has addressed another point of contention by rectifying the ‘online booking’ fee, which had caused confusion and dissatisfaction among applicants in previous iterations.

Online booking price reduction

In the past, the department included processing and issuing fees alongside the booking fee, leading to a perception that each booking incurred an additional cost of R250 before driving licences could even be processed.

However, this discrepancy has been rectified, and the standard R22 booking fee is now accurately reflected in the updated schedule.

Focus on digitalisation

Further changes are on the horizon for South Africa’s driving licence system. The department plans to introduce new digital driving licence cards in the near future, aligning with its broader vision of digitalisation and automation within the Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA).

These advancements aim to expedite and simplify the process of obtaining and renewing driving licences, potentially extending their validity periods.

According to the department’s annual performance plan for the upcoming financial year, the implementation of digital driving licences constitutes a crucial step towards optimising production and reducing the turnaround time for driving licenses processed and distributed by the DLCA.

No paper cards

Over the next three years, spanning from 2023 to 2025/2026, the department has prioritised the rollout of virtual cards, among other initiatives such as automating manual operations in the driving licence application process.

As part of this strategic vision, the department aspires to decrease the average processing time for issuing a driving licence from 26 days in 2022 to 14 days in 2023, ultimately aiming to achieve a remarkable processing time of 10 days by 2025.

The department expressed its commitment to enhancing service delivery, stating that the goal of producing a driving licence card within five days is an attainable objective that demands diligence and dedication to serving the needs of the people.

By embracing a departure from paper-based processes, the department envisions significantly reducing turnaround times not only for driving licence applications but also for processing applications related to operating licences, tourist accreditations, and similar procedures.

The recent changes in car registration and ownership fees, coupled with the upcoming implementation of digital driving licences, reflect the department’s proactive approach to modernising and improving efficiency in the transportation sector.

These developments hold the promise of a more streamlined and user-friendly experience for car owners and aspiring drivers alike in South Africa.

Article first appeared on carmag.co.za.

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