A local guide to understanding the process for exchanging a driving licence issued in another country, when you live in South Africa.
Not all foreign driver’s licences are recognised in South Africa. There are certain countries that need to convert their foreign driver’s licence into a South African one in order to be able to drive in South Africa. If you are on a tourist or a visitor visa you are allowed to use your foreign driver’s licence accompanied by an international driver’s permit, translated into one of the 11 official languages of South Africa, if you come from a country that speaks a different language from South Africa. The foreign driver’s licence is valid for a year in South Africa. If you plan to stay longer or have obtained South African permanent residency you’ll then have to convert your foreign driver’s licence into a South African driver’s licence. This article will detail the process of converting your foreign driver’s licence into a South African driver’s licence.
Process of converting your foreign driver’s licence to a South African driver’s licence
- Visit the driving licence testing centre (DLTC) in the province where you got your permit for permanent residence.
- Fully fill in the DL1 application form for exchange of a driving licence, this can be done at any driving licence testing centre.
- You must also completely fill out the notification of change of address or particulars of person or organisation form.
- The following are the documents which you need to submit:
- Identification such as your South African passport, ID card/book, temporary ID, or foreign passport with a permanent residence permit.
- ID-sized photographs in black and white.
- Your current foreign driver’s licence.
- Your proof of permanent residence in South Africa
- Proof that you obtained your foreign driver’s licence in another country before you gained permanent residence in South Africa.
- Translation of your driver’s licence if it’s not in any of the 11 official South African languages.
- A driver’s licence confirmation letter from your country, proving the validity of your driver’s licence, with the categories of cars that you are allowed to drive and your driver’s licence code.
- If you have an international driving permit (IDP), you must provide your driving licence to the issuing body.
- Proof of South African Residential address.
- If you reside in an informal settlement you must provide a letter from the ward councellor, with a date and official stamp, confirming your residential address.
5. You’ll be offered a new driver’s licence once the driving licence centre:
- Is satisfied that you own a foreign driver’s licence.
- And once you hand over your foreign driver’s licence to be replaced with a South African driver’s licence.
The only test that you would have to take is an eye test, which will be done at the driving licence centre before they can exchange your foreign driver’s licence for a South African one.
Requirements for converting your foreign driver’s licence for a South African driver’s licence
- Your driver’s licence should be valid.
- It should be translated into any of the 11 official South African languages.
- It should come together with a driver’s licence confirmation letter from your country’s embassy and also be accompanied by a translation if it isn’t in any of the official South African languages.
- It should include your signature and photo.
- There isn’t an exact time frame for when you’ll receive your new South African driver’s licence, the time frame varies from testing centre to testing centre.
- The cost also depends on which testing centre you went to convert your driver’s licence. But the standard price is R140 and R45 extra for a temporary driver’s licence.
- Your foreign driver’s licence should be converted within a year, after a year it will be considered invalid.
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