Millions of people will be driving illegally through no fault of their own - AA
The Transport Department must ditch its entire archaic system and replace it with something that works
The grace period for expired licenses comes to an end on 31 March – millions of people will be left with no choice but to drive illegally
The AA wants licenses to be valid for 10 years – and the whole process to move online
The issuing of drivers’ licenses over the past two years have been migraine-inducing.
The backlog is getting worse, as the single printing machine that creates our licence cards has been out of service since late last year. It has apparently been sent to Germany for repairs
Some reports have it that there are 400 000 licence cards waiting to be printed.
The current printing system dates to the 1990s.
At least 1.2 million out of 2.8 million licenses have not been renewed since March 2021, according to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.
Pippa Hudson interviewed Layton Beard, a spokesperson at the Automobile Association (scroll up to listen).
Hudson asked Beard where all this leaves honest people who applied for renewal on time but are now left driving with an expired licence.
The AA wants the government to extend the validity of licences from five to 10 years – will this not make our roads even less safe, asked Hudson.
It’s painting a tapestry of problems within that department… This issue with the printing machine couldn’t have come at a worse time… This system is around 50 or 60 years old!Layton Beard, spokesperson - Automobile Association
The grace period is until the end of March. It obviously needs to be extended… The problem was not brought on by Covid… Rip out what we have and replace it with something that works!Layton Beard, spokesperson - Automobile Association
Come the end of March, we’re going to be stuck with… millions of people driving illegally because they don’t have any choice…Layton Beard, spokesperson - Automobile Association
The only caveat to extending it to 10 years is that you need to provide an eye test, every five years… something that can be uploaded online… It’s a very simple solution. We don’t see why the whole thing can’t be done online from beginning to end…Layton Beard, spokesperson - Automobile Association
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