Big change for car registration and ownership fees in South Africa

Staff Writer29 May 2023SubscribeThe Department of Transport has gazetted a correction to the schedule of service fees for licence applications in the country that have been in effect since January 2022.The corrections impact the schedules laid out in the Road Traffic Management Corporation Regulations.The changes in question relate to the service fees for the online application, issuing and delivering a registration certificate for motor vehicles and the online notification of change of ownership.In the January 2022 gazette, these fees were set at R530.00 each. The department has now corrected this to R330.00.This represents a 38% reduction in price.The other service fees charged remain unchanged.The pricing for these two particular services has been vastly reduced from the R700.00 charged in 2021.The department has now also squarely corrected the ‘online booking’ fee which caused much confusion and upset in previous versions.In 2021 the department included the processing and issuing fees along with the booking fee in the schedule. This made it appear as if each booking would cost R250 before even having driving licences processed.However, this has since been corrected, and the standard R22 booking fee is now present in the schedule.Other changes comingThe Department of Transports aims to roll out new digital driving licence cards in South Africa this financial year as it pushes towards greater virtualisation and automation of the Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA).This, combined with previously announced plans, should make it quicker and easier to get and renew driving licences in the country – and they may also be valid for longer.According to the department’s annual performance plan for the 2023/24 financial year, the digital driving licence is part of the longer-term goals to optimise driving licence production and reduce the turnaround time of producing and distributing licences by the DLCA.Over the medium term – the next three years to 2025/2026 –  the department said it would prioritise the rollout of virtual cards among various other initiatives, like the automation of manual operations in the driving licence application environment.The department noted that in 2022, the average processing time to issue a driving licence was 26 days. For 2023, it aims to bring this down to 14 days. By 2025, it aims to have licences processed in 10 days.“Producing a driving licence card within five days is an achievable goal that requires us to work diligently in the service of our people,” the department said.“Moving away from paper-based processes in our service delivery environment would enable us to drastically cut the turnaround times. This should include processing of applications for operating licences, tourist accreditations and other similar processes.”