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Getting a Driving Licence in South Africa

Information on applying for a South African learner's permit; find out how to register for the theory and practical road test in South Africa…

Learner Licences

It is necessary to obtain a learner's licence before applying for a full driving licence. Learner licences are issued by the provincial Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTC).

To obtain a learner's licence go to the nearest DLTC with:

  • Valid proof of identity
  • Two black and white ID photographs
  • Booking fee
  • Completed application form LL1 (available from the DLTC)

It is also necessary to:

  • Complete an eye test
  • Prepare for the theory exam

A learner's driving licence is issued on passing a multiple-choice theory test about vehicle controls, rules of the road and traffic signs. Valid ID and the booking fee receipt should be taken to the examination.

It is not a legal obligation to display L-plates on the vehicle.

  • For more information about how to get a learner's permit and up to date booking fees: Click here

Types of learner licences

Learner licences are issued for different types of vehicles:

  • Code 1: motorcycles
  • Code 2: vehicles (except motorcycles), including minibuses, buses and goods vehicles, weighing less than 3,500 Kg
  • Code 3: all vehicles (except motorcycles) weighing more than 3,500 Kg

Applicants must be at least 17 years of age for a Code 1 or Code 2 licence and at least 18 years of age for Code 3 learner's licence. It is possible to apply for a Code 1 learner's licence to drive a motorcycle at 16 years as long as the motorcycle is 125 cc or less.

Learner licences are valid for 24 months. Code 2 and Code 3 learner drivers must be accompanied by a fully licenced driver at all times.

Driving Schools and Instructors

All driving schools and instructors must be registered and approved and must hold a driving instructor's or driving school certificate.

The Driving Test

After passing the theory exam and obtaining a learner's driving licence, the learner driver can then use their learner's permit to obtain a full driving licence. This involves taking a driving test which has two components:

  1. The yard test, where manoeuvres such as parking and turning must be demonstrated in a parking lot.
  2. A road test, where the learner driver must follow instructions from an examiner on public roads.

The test is marked on a point system, where the loss of too many points results in a fail. If the driver is successful they are issued with a Temporary Driving Licence, which is replaced by a Permanent Driving Licence within six months.

Waiting times

There is big demand for driving tests and, due to the time it takes to process applications and take the actual examination, waiting times can be up to four months or even longer in more populous areas. Smaller towns may not have any waiting periods.

  • For more information about applying for a driving licence: Click here
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