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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.

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 16 years of age for a Code 1 (18 if the motorcycle engine exceeds 125 cc), 17 for Code 2 licence and at least 18 years of age for Code 3 learner's licence.

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.

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