Vehicle licensing problems need urgent attention

Chaotic scenes may result in thousands of unlicensed vehicles

As we enter March, there is still no clear explanation of the ongoing delays regarding the issuing of vehicle license discs. This is a problem associated with the non-issuance of vehicle license renewal letters to motorists. The Automobile Association (AA) continues to receive numerous queries daily regarding this problem, and the steps motorists must take to resolve the issue.

It is our understanding that the issuing of the vehicle license renewal letters relates to the control of the electronic National Traffic Information System (eNaTIS). The system is currently managed by a company called Tasima. In December 2015 the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) overturned an earlier High Court ruling that Tasima hand over the system to the Department of Transport and the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).

While the authorities are silent on the numbers, our experience is that the bulk of motorists who should be receiving license renewal letters, are not. This complicates the issuing of new license discs, and is resulting in unnecessary delays at licensing authorities, as motorists must now complete a renewal document before having their applications dealt with; a process that was previously streamlined by issuing the renewal form with all the relevant detail attached.

Despite these issues, the AA has been assured by the South African Post Office (SAPO) that they are processing applications. In a written reply to our queries, the SAPO noted:

“We have experienced occasional isolated incidences where the eNaTIS network has been temporarily offline, and on each occasion Tasima is notified to address the technical glitch as the vehicle renewal processes operate on a separate IT platform to the SA Post Office.

“Motorists that are not in possession of renewal notices are furnished with a renewal form to complete onsite at the SA Post Office branches, and this form can be fully completed within a short period of time.

“As the SA Post Office did not anticipate the volumes of motorists seeking to renew their vehicle licenses while not in possession of renewal notices, we have experienced some incidents in other SA Post Office branches where the demand for the renewal forms surpassed our supply. This situation is currently being addressed to speed up the vehicle renewal processes in each outlet.”

While the AA is pleased that the SAPO is attempting to assist motorists as far as it can, we believe the root cause of the issues needs to be proactively addressed to avoid the potential risks associated with non-renewals.

“All efforts by the Department of Transport, both nationally and locally, need to be intensified to unblock this problem. Motorists who experience excessive delays in renewing their vehicle license discs may, at some point, procrastinate in renewing their licenses and inadvertently create a situation that may result in many unlicensed cars on our roads,” the AA warned.

The AA has also advised motorists to check their license discs themselves to ascertain when they expire. This will also avoid you having to be reminded of your disc expiring by traffic police who clearly seem to be focussing their efforts on checking for expired license discs.

“A good idea is to put a reminder on your cellphone to remind you when the license disc is up for renewal. Whether your get a reminder in the mail or not, renewing your license is still your responsibility, one you should take very seriously,” the AA said.

To ensure a smoother experience when renewing your license disc, remember to take identification with you, along with a proof of residence. According to SAPO this proof of residence can include a utility, clothing or telephone (landline or cellphone) account. If the account is not in your name, the person in whose name it is, must provide an affidavit or affirmation that you live there.

Forms to complete can be collected from SAPO branches beforehand to complete before going in.

Renewal forms can also be downloaded from To complete the information on this form, refer to your previous license renewal form which will have all the details you require.

Contact AASA Public Affairs
Telephone 011 799 1126

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