The Arrive Alive website received the following request for assistance:
“l have had a nightmare experience ever since l settled in SA , please advise on the legislation governing converting drivers licence for temporary residence or permanant residence in SA. I lived with some RSA citizens in Zim and UK. They only needed to convert licences and they go about their professsions , but here in SA l have been sent from pillar to post no proper answer. Please assist, my job does not allow me to take off time to redo a drivers licence l did before all l want is to convert legally my Zim drivers licence…l dont want to buy one illegally. “
Herewith find a response from the Road Safety Experts:
Driver’s licences issued in other countries and acknowledged in South Africa will be converted to credit card format driver’s licences when the holders apply for a South African licence in terms of the National Road Traffic Act, 1996.
An application to exchange an international driver’s permit should be accompanied by the driver’s licence issued by foreign authority.
A foreign driver’s licence or international driver’s permit is only exchanged for a South African licence should one of the following apply:
• the applicant has resumed permanent residency if is a South African citizen
• the applicant has obtained permanent residence.
Please note that the requirement to obtain permanent residency does not apply to holders of diplomatic or treaty permits.
The foreign driver’s licence must be valid on the day of exchange and should be written in one of South Africa’s official languages. If this is not the case, the application must be accompanied by a translation issued by a competent authority.
Application must be made within 1 year of resuming or obtaining permanent residence. The foreign licence will become invalid 1 year after the person resumes permanent residency or obtains permission for permanent residence in South Africa.
Steps to follow
• Complete form DL1, Application for exchange of a driver’s licence at any driver’s licence testing centre.
• Produce the following documents:
– acceptable identification as required by South African legislation (e.g. identity document (ID), temporary ID, valid South African passport, or foreign passport with permanent residence permit)
– a letter from a competent authority confirming the validity of your foreign driver’s licence. The letter should also define the class of licence. (type of vehicle that can be driven)
– foreign driver’s licence
– four black-and-white ID photos.
• Pay the prescribed fee.
• An eye test will be conducted on site before the exchange is finalised.
Note: You will not do a driver’s licence examination. A temporary driver’s licence is valid for six months and is issued immediately, free of charge.
The time-frame for exchanging the licence varies from one testing centre to another due to internal auditing processes.
Province Issue fee
Eastern Cape R183
Free State R150
Northern Cape R120
North West R150
Western Cape R100
Forms to complete
DL1 (Application for exchange of driver’s licence) is available at any licence testing centre.
There are different options:
o Eastern Cape
o Free State
o North West
o Northern Cape
o Western Cape
Visit the eNaTIS website at www.enatis.co.za for the contact details.