How to renew your driver’s licence online
At first glance it seems a pedestrian and predictable procedure ‒ cue hollow laughter ‒ but first you’ll need to outwit the dystopian forces that test your patience and perseverance to the limit
My own Homeric quest to renew my driver’s licence in Johannesburg knocked me down, but I got up again. Yes! I prevailed through Level One, aka the booking process, thanks to social media and Herculian efforts with the helpline number. (It’s 0861 400 800. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, and try again applies here. Good luck!)
Here’s what you need to know about the driver’s licence renewal website
For fellow first-rounders attempting to enter the ‘renew your drivers licence’ competition, I bring you ‒ drumroll ‒ all the stuff they DON’T tell you on their website.
- No hyphens allowed. Use a space instead. So if your surname is Dlamini-Zuma, you type it in as Dlamini Zuma.
- People wanting a Johannesburg slot can only book on a Tuesday. Who knew? Yup, that’s why I’m telling you.
- Specific time? Well, like playing a one-armed bandit, it’s the luck of the draw. Hey, I tried mornings. I tried afternoons. I tried every 10 minutes on two consecutive Tuesdays. Like a gambler on the skids, I kept hitting the zero score. The website helpfully (not) suggests punters keep trying.
- The Renew Driver’s Licence option? That’s not what you choose for Randburg. This nugget of info is gold. You have to fill in the slot that says Learner’s Licence and NOT Driver’s Licence Renewal. Will you find this information on the website? Hell, no. Remember, you read it here first.
After a week of teeth gnashing, I went in person to the Randburg depot, waving away hordes of ‘helpers’ en route, having read Ockie Fourie’s cautionary tale of woe during his attempt to renew same.
Alone, I embarked on a circuitous journey through dingy labyrinthine corridors and clanging gates, seeking, searching, making enquiries left and right. Eventually my attention was drawn to a grubby notice pinned to a wall that read: ‘Search for DLTC leaners’. Now, who might have guessed that one?
Some learned scribe in this forsaken place had been moved to maintain grammatical standards by adding an ‘r’ to the word leaners. So, armed with that most vital clue, I was able to book a slot for next week!
What are the driver’s licence renewal requirements?
- An eye test from a registered optometrist
- Proof of residential address; ergo, a utility account.
- Two black and white ID pics
- Your original ID, plus a copy of your ID and current drivers licence
- The 2019 driver’s licence renewal fee of R228, in cash
Watch this space.