During the earlier stages of lockdown, July to be more precise, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula confirmed that the validity of your driver’s licence would be extended as a result of people not being able to move as freely as they could.

As South Africa has now entered alert level 1 lockdown, that grace period is set to end, with licences that expired between March and May this year, soon incurring penalties for drivers.

By COB today (22nd September) more specifically, the licence disc renewal grace period ends, moving back to normal from there on.

As SA News reports, “The validity period was extended to 31 August 2020. Beyond this period, motorists were given a 21-day grace period in which to renew the vehicle discs without incurring late payment costs.”

“By end of business tomorrow, (motorists) will incur additional costs for late renewal,” the The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) added in a press statement (PDF) yesterday.

Given the time of writing, the chances of any motorists reading this story in time to renew their licence are quite slim. As such, it is worthwhile knowing what kind of fine you’re in for.

To that end, penalties will be calculated at 10 percent of the annual licencing fees per month.

Added to this, the RTMC notes that affected motorists who do not take advantage of the amnesty, also run the risk of receiving traffic fines of up to R1 000 if stopped by traffic officers while operating an unlicensed motor vehicle on a public road.

The RTMC further notes that the extension affected more than 2.4 million motorists, and at the time of writing, a reported 1.7 million (69 percent) had taken advantage of the extension and renewed their licences by the end of last week.

If you are indeed planning to renew your licence, we’ve got a handy guide here.

[Image – Photo by Matthieu Joannon on Unsplash]