Converting your foreign driving licence in South Africa is a process that needs to be done once you become a permanent resident. Failure to do so could result in negative consequences when it comes time to claim from your Motor Insurance. Read on as RBS explains everything you need to know about converting your foreign driving licence.
Who needs to convert their foreign driving licence?
If you’re a foreigner travelling to South Africa for a holiday, you won’t need to convert your foreign driving licence. If, however, you’re a permanent resident, you need to have a South African driving licence.
You can also convert your foreign driving licence if you hold a diplomatic permit, but don’t have a permanent residence permit.
When should you convert your foreign driving licence?
Converting your foreign driving licence to a South African one is a time sensitive matter. You must convert your foreign driving licence within one year of obtaining permanent residence. Should you fail to convert your foreign driving licence within one year, your foreign licence will be regarded as invalid.
What are the requirements?
Before you can convert your foreign driving licence in South Africa, there are various requirements that need to be met. Your foreign driving licence will be converted if:
- The licence is valid.
- The licence is in one of the official South African languages.
- The licence is accompanied by a letter of validity obtained from the relevant embassy and a translation if the licence is not in an official South African language.
- The licence has your photo and signature.
How does the application process work?
If you want to apply for the conversion of your foreign driving licence, you will need to do so at a Drivers Licence Testing Centre (DLTC) in the province where you obtained your permanent residency. Here, you will need to complete an application for a driving licence (DL1 form) and a notification of change of address of particulars of person or organisation (NCP) form.
Together with your application, you will need to submit various documents, including:
- Identity Document (ID), temporary ID, valid South African passport, or foreign passport with permanent residence permit.
- Proof of residential address. If you stay at an informal settlement, you must bring a letter with an official date stamp from the ward councillor confirming your residential address.
- 4 black-and-white ID sized photographs.
- Current foreign driving licence. If your licence isn’t in one of the official languages of South Africa, you will need to submit a letter of translation from a competent authority.
- Proof of permanent residency in the Republic of South Africa.
- Proof that you were not a permanent resident of South Africa at the time the foreign licence was issued (for example, you can produce a passport, permanent residence permit or visa).
- Confirmation from a driving licence issuing authority that you have a valid driving licence (stating the codes and relevant categories of vehicle that the person is permitted to drive) that has not been cancelled or suspended.
- In case of an International Driving Permit (IDP), you must submit the driving licence on the authority of which the permit was issued.
You can speak to the DLTC you’re applying at for a full list of documents.
If you don’t convert your foreign driving licence within one year after becoming a permanent resident, your licence will be regarded as invalid. This essentially means that you don’t have a driving licence required to drive on South African roads. Not having a driving licence could have negative consequences for your Motor Insurance.
While an expired driving licence is not a sufficient reason for an insurer to repudiate a claim, failing to convert a foreign driving licence may be the equivalent of driving without a licence.
We urge you to convert your foreign driving licence to a South African driving licence as soon as possible after becoming a permanent resident. When it comes time to claim, you don’t want to run the risk of your claim being rejected. Chat to your private broker today if you have any questions.