Driving with J9 | Don't wait too late - Extended hours for Gauteng driver licence renewals

• DLTC have extended operating hours in a bid to prioritise motorists with expired lockdown licences.

• Motorists over the age of 60 can walk-in at DLTCs only on Wednesdays without an appointment.

• Don't wait until January 2021 to renew your expired driver's licence.

• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za

Vehicle licence renewals were extended several times until the final deadline was reached on 22 September, and yet many people have still not been able to get to these renewals.

The same is evident with driver licences which presumably is a more significant challenge since those motorists in Gauteng have been battling for months to get an appointment on the online Natis system. 

Many motorists have been writing in, worried about not being able to get appointments due to various reasons. These are mainly due to comorbidities, closure of driving licence testing centres around the country due to positive Covid-19 cases, and no available online appointments for Gauteng motorists. 

I am concerned that those with expired lockdown driver's licences are going to wait until January to try and renew their licences and systems and queues will once more reach its capacity. 

While I am aware that Covid-19 numbers have increased significantly since lockdown level restrictions have been lifted, I urge our readers and motorists to try and get your driver's licence renewed as soon as possible. Just be sure to keep physical distances where possible, and encourage others to do the same, as well as wear their masks at all times. Carry some hand or surface sanitiser with you, especially when venturing out. 

Licence disc queues Somerset West

A snaking queue at the Somerset West municipality offices earlier in August 2020. Image: Murray Williams/News24

For those who have licences expiring within the next month or two, please try and renew sooner than you usually would as well, this will also prevent having to pay additional costs for a temporary driver's licence. 

UPDATE | Gauteng motorists older than 60 don't need online renewal bookings on Wednesdays

Senior motorists over the age of 60 years need to remember they are exempt from using the online booking system and can

only visit DLTC on Wednesdays to be assisted without an appointment.

The Department of Transport and the Road Traffic Management Corporation has been trying to find ways to ease the congestion and the current problems and have released the following information:

"Following the publication of the gazette, the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport, the RTMC and municipalities have, in order to assist driving licence holders, taken the following actions: 

1. Developed a driver licencing services recovery plan.

2. Enhanced the NaTIS to allow people whose driving licences are expiring or have expired to be given priority in the booking system. Access to the slots will be unlocked through an applicant's ID number.

3. Every Tuesday from 6 October 2020 until 31 January 2021 is set aside to assist people whose licences are expiring or whose validity has been extended to 31 January 2021.

4. Wednesdays are set aside to assist pensioners with their renewals.

5. Ringfenced equipment for use by people whose driving licence card validity has been extended to 31 January 2021.

To ensure that the system is not clogged during January 2021, driving licence holders are urged to make arrangements to visit a driving licence testing centre (DLTC) of their choice to renew their driving licence cards. They should do so by booking on the online booking platform at online.natis.gov.za

A driver's licence. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Image: News24/Duncan Alfreds

Applicants should take note of the following information regarding the availability of bookings:

Mondays: All DLTCs will avail slots for renewal of DL Cards and PrDP Applications. 

These are slots which will be available to people whose driving licence cards have not yet expired. All DLTCs will avail slots for renewal based on available resource and their operational plan.

Tuesdays: All DLTCs Slots for Driving Licence and Learner's Licence test applications. 

When slots are released on this day, applicants successfully secure an appointment must confirm their bookings. Bookings must be confirmed by making a payment any day from Wednesday to Friday. Failure to make a payment on any day from Wednesday to Friday will result in the cancellation of the secured booking. Such a slot will be made available on the system. 

Wednesdays: Wednesdays are dedicated to pensioners and have been declared "Pensioner's walk-in day". 

Every Wednesday all DLTCs which are authorised to perform renewals, will make resources to assist pensioners with their driving licence card renewals. Pensioners are not compelled to make an online booking to access a DLTC. Other services will also continue.

Thursdays: All DLTCs which are authorised and capacitated to renew driving licence cards and process PrDP applications, will avail slots for PRIORITY renewal of DL Cards and PrDP Applications. These slots will be available only to people whose driving licence cards have expired.

All DLTCs will avail slots for priority renewal of DL Cards and PrDP applications based on the principle that at least one (1) LEU is availed daily and 70% - 85% of LEUs are availed on Tuesdays. 

These slots will be released as soon as they are made available by the DLTC.

The following DLTCs will be operating on extended hours, 08:00 to 18:00 on weekdays:

Akasia

Bronkhorstspruit/Kungwini

Centurion

Waltloo

The following DLTCs are operating from 08:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays:

Akasia

Alberton

Bedfordview

Benoni

Boksburg

Brakpan

Bronkhorstspruit/Kungwini

Centurion

Civic Centre

Randburg

Edenvale

Etwatwa

Germiston

Kempton Park

Langlaagte

Midrand

Nigel

Randburg

Sandton

Springs

Waltloo

To assist the process and enhance their experience at the DLTC, applicants are encouraged to visit an optometrist or ophthalmologist for an eye test and take such eye test report to the DLTC. Ensure that the eye test report is signed and stamped at the practice. - Please note eye test reports are only valid for Gauteng motorists.

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Janine Van der Post is the editor at Wheels24. You can email her here with any queries.