Thanks to my reader Brenda I’m now able to share with you what precisely you need to carry with you in your car at all times while travelling on South Africa’s roads. It should save Noisette from being threatened to be arrested again for not carrying a passport when driving to the airport, and it should save my other reader Jozie Days from almost being arrested and having to pay a fine for not carrying a marriage certificate, her passport, AND a permission from her husband allowing her to drive the car (is this Saudi Arabia or what?).
What you need is to print out a section from the South African National Road Traffic Act, the full version of which you will find here. The section in question is 110, “Conditions for acknowledgement and exchange of driving licence not issued in terms of Act, and international driving permit.” I’ve pasted that section for you below. It clearly states the rules governing foreign licenses: They have to be in English (or another one of South Africa’s eleven official languages, but chances are you won’t be carrying around a license in Sotho or Xhosa), and they have to contain a picture of you and your signature. And, of course, they have to still be valid (i.e. you can’t carry around an expired license). That’s it. Nothing else. Should you become a permanent resident of South Africa, you have a year to apply for a South African license, but until that time, your foreign license is perfectly fine.
Print out the below, highlight the part about the international/foreign driver’s license being valid as long as it is in English and contains your photo, put it in your glove compartment or with your license, and shove it in the face of whoever stops you again and is trying to pull the wool over your eyes in hopes of a hefty bribe.
A big thanks again to Brenda for sharing exactly what I’d been looking for!
- (i) the licence has been issued in an official language of the Republic; or
- such licence contains or has attached to it, a photograph and the signature of the licence holder.
- returns to the Republic to resume permanent residence, such licence or permit shall no longer be deemed to be a valid licence for the purposes of Chapter IV of the Act, after one year from the date of return; or
- obtains permission in terms of any law for permanent residence in the Republic, such licence or permit shall no longer be deemed to be a valid licence for the purposes of Chapter IV of the Act, after one year from the date on which such person has taken up permanent residence.
- The Republic of Bophuthatswana;
- The Republic of Ciskei;
- The Republic of Transkei; or
- The Republic of Venda.
- In the case of an application referred to in paragraph (a) for the exchange of a driving licence referred to in subregulation (4), which driving licence is no longer in the possession of the applicant, such application shall be made in the manner contemplated in regulation 112(2) and issued in the manner contemplated in regulation 112(3).
- The driving licence testing centre concerned shall authorise the issue and issue the licence referred to in paragraph (a) in the manner referred to in regulation 108 if it is satisfied that–
- the applicant is the holder of the licence or permit, as the case may be, referred to in subregulation (1) and (2); and
- the licence or permit is still valid.
Other car-related posts:
Buying a Car in South Africa
Tips on Selling a Car in South Africa
Expat Tip: Always Keep Tire Lock Nut in your Car
Will I need a South African Driver’s License (or What to Do When the Cops Stop me)
Six Things to Know about Renewing your Vehicle License Disk