With a generally slow turn around time and several delays in recent months, renewing your driver’s licence in South Africa can give anyone a feeling of hopelessness as you wait months on end to hear back from your licencing department.

Luckily there’s an SMS service for you to check on the progress of your renewal. Simply SMS your ID number to 33214, wait a short while, and you should receive a message about where in the process your licence is.

We recently went through the process of renewing a South African driver’s licence, and we gave this SMS service a try. It’s important to note here that this is not a free service the government is offering and you will need airtime to do this. Free messages and other such bundles on phone contracts will not help you here and the SMS will fail to send to this number.

We received this message in reply:

For those following along, the black bar above should show your initials and surname.

This seems to imply that our new licence has been created but has not been delivered or processed by the licencing department – again, waiting is key here and we should be contacted at some point on the number we used to fill out the application form.

If you’re in need of renewing your licence, make sure you check out our guide for booking an appointment to do so online. This, however, is just the first step in the process.

This article is part of a series for renewing your licence. Please see our full step by step guide for more.