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DLCA Advances Towards Online Driving Licence Renewals Latest News

DLCA Advances Towards Online Driving Licence Renewals

The Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) is in the midst of innovating the way South Africans renew and apply for their driving licenses. A “smart enrolment” system is in the pipeline, aiming to streamline the process through online self-service.

A Glimpse into the Future

The DLCA’s annual report for 2022/23 shed light on the ongoing developments. While the system’s blueprint is ready, the DLCA is in the process of securing a new printing machine essential for the issuance of new driving licenses.

“The public entity has put plans in place to acquire a new card production machine. The entity also finalised the procurement process of smart enrolment units during the period under review,” remarked Tsholofelo Lejaka, the DLCA head.

This digital leap is a part of South Africa’s broader IT Digital Transformation Strategy. Historically, the enrolment data collection was reliant on devices such as the Live Scanner Unit (LSU), Live Capture Unit (LCU), and Live Enrolment Unit (LEU). The DLCA acknowledged the need to address the limitations of the LCU and LEU, leading to the procurement of Smart Enrolment Units.

Benefits on the Horizon

The smart enrolment system promises a slew of advantages over the conventional methods:

  • Diversifying the channels to gather enrolment data, eliminating the sole dependence on specific equipment.
  • Alleviating congestion at Driving Licence Testing Centres.
  • Facilitating seamless integration with other transport or state entities.


South Africans will have the flexibility to complete the enrolment through online self-service, assisted self-service, or the conventional route.

A Look at the New Licence System

Despite the enthusiasm, there’s a hiccup. The DLCA is yet to secure the pivotal driving licence printing machine. This delay is noteworthy, especially since the then-transport minister, Fikile Mbulala, had projected the procurement to commence in October 2022.

Queries have been raised regarding the potential impact of this delay on the new driving licence trial, slated for November 2023.

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Earlier in January 2022, Mbalula had confirmed the introduction of new driving licence cards. The DLCA’s annual performance plan for 2022/23 provided insights into the card’s design, tentative manufacturing dates, and the launch phase.

The revamped licence cards will be in sync with global standards, infused with cutting-edge technology, and will sport a fresh design.

“The introduction of the new driving licence involves a new design of the driving licence card and the re-engineering of processes to allow for agility and focus on delivering services efficiently and quickly,” the DLCA stated.

The card will be crafted from 100% polycarbonate material, tailored for specific security elements. It will also feature a pre-printed serial number for inventory management. Notably, the card will have an engraved secondary image of the licence holder, complemented by security features like micro text and tactile attributes. This necessitates the new printing machine’s capability to laser engrave a colour or greyscale image of the licence holder.

In May 2022, there were indications that the new driving licence system might see the light of day by March 2023, a shift from the initial October projection. However, this timeline wasn’t met.

On 1 September 2022, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet gave the nod to the new driver’s licence card.

“The new proposed card will make the country’s driving licence compatible with the International Information Technology Personal Identification Compliant Driving Licence (ISO18013),” the cabinet announced.

Mbalula had then outlined plans to test the new card from 1 November 2023 to 31 March 2024, post the procurement of the required infrastructure. He further mentioned that the existing driving licence card and its production equipment would be phased out by 1 April 2024.

With the new machine still not procured as of the end of August, there are lingering questions about whether these ambitious timelines will hold.


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