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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

It’s D-day for motorists with expired driver’s licences – no excuses will be entertained

Mbalula warns that those who have not applied for new driver's licences will be penalised

It’s D-day for motorists driving with expired driver’s licences, with harsh penalties in store for those who have not renewed their licences.

The grace period for motorists whose licences have expired during the Covid-19 lockdown ends on Thursday.

This applies to driver’s and learner’s licences, including professional and temporary driving permits that expired between March 2020 and August 2021.

Last week, during a media briefing at the Grasmere toll plaza, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said there would be no more extensions after the driving licence renewal grace period lapsed on 5 May.

Mbalula said the country had a backlog of 1.3 million expired driver’s licence cards that have yet to be renewed.

“Analysis of the backlog by age of drivers who have not renewed their driving licence cards show that motorists between the ages of 25 and 50 years constitute 68% of drivers who have yet to renew their licence cards,” he said.

ALSO READ: 15-day grace period for driving licences ‘not enough’

Mbalula said motorists who missed Thursday’s deadline were advised to obtain temporary licences, emphasising that a number of contingency plans were in place to deal with the backlog, including extended operating hours at driver’s licence testing centres (DLTC).

No further extension

He warned that motorists who have not yet applied for a new licence would be penalised.

“With only a week left to the final deadline for the extended grace period for renewal of driving licence cards that expired between 26 March 2020 and 31 August 2021, we encourage all those who have yet to come forward to renew their licences to do so without delay. There will be no further extension of the grace period beyond this period.”

Mbalula also said the department had overcome the capacity constraints that delayed the production of driver’s licence cards due to the machine breaking down last year.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said the deadline has been extended numerous times, and no excuses will be entertained.