What to expect from South Africa’s new driver’s licences

The Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) has published an expression of interest in partners who are willing to help it with the production of driver’s licences, and the design of a new driver’s licence card for South Africa.

The DLCA is the sole producer of driver’s licences in South Africa, and falls under the Department of Transport as a trading entity.

The authority said it has officially embarked on a project to introduce a new driving licence card which will involve the following:

  • A new card design with improved security features;
  • The card should be durable;
  • The card should be internationally recognised.

The DLCA has said that the new licence will be aligned closer to international practices, with the new card also allowing for the incorporation of new technologies.

The actual design of the card will also be changed.

“The introduction of the new driving licence involves a new design of the driving licence card, and the re-engineering of processes to allow for agility and focus on delivering services efficiently and quickly,” it said in its annual performance plan for 2021/2022

“The project will allow for the adoption of digital technologies such as blockchain and other related technologies which will form the platform an integrated transport system.”

Improved turnaround times

As part of its expression of interest, the DLCA also requested assistance with its production facilities, with the authority hoping to significantly improve licence issuing times in the coming years.

The DLCA said that it currently produces and delivers on average 2.5 million driving licence cards annually.

“Using a centralized production model, enrolment data is collected through enrollment units and produced in-house at the DLCA card production facility.

“The production process includes verification of data, personalization, quality control and packaging of the cards produced. The cards are then dispatched to the relevant centres.

“The current production environment is using old technology which is no longer efficient and must be overhauled.”

Complaints around licensing centres

In May, transport minister Fikile Mbalula announced a number of planned improvements for the renewal process in his department budget speech.

Mbalula said that his department has taken heed of a “plethora of complaints” from members of the public around driver and vehicle licencing.

“The end-game of our interventions is improved service delivery and enhanced efficiency in the functioning of DLTCs, free of corruption,” he said.

“We have engaged as the three spheres of government and have agreed on a range of measures that will address the most pressing challenges relating to driver and vehicle licensing.”

Mbalula said that this will include:

  • Longer operating hours at licensing centres;
  • The use of technology to eliminate queues;
  • The introduction of an online interface for optometrists and medical practitioners to upload eye test results on the eNatis.

Read: South Africa’s driving demerit system has been delayed – here are the new plans and start dates

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