If you have been granted South African permanent residence, you must convert your foreign driving licence to a South African one within a year of receiving your permanent residence permit.
If you fail to convert your licence within one year, it will be regarded as invalid.
You can also apply to convert your driving licence to a South African one if you hold a diplomatic permit but don’t have a permanent residence permit.
If your licence is not in one of the official languages of South Africa, you must get a letter of translation of the licence by a competent authority.
Your foreign driving licence will be converted if the licence:
- is valid
- translated into one of the official South African languages
- is accompanied by a letter of validity obtained from the relevant embassy and a translation if the licence is not in an official language of South Africa
- has your photo and signature.
- Go to the driving licence testing centre (DLTC) in the province where you obtained your permanent residence.
- Complete the Application for exchange of a driving licence form (DL1) at any driving licence testing centre.
- Complete the notification of change of address or particulars of person or organisation (NCP) form.
- You must submit the following:
- An acceptable identification as required by South African legislation (e.g. identity document (ID), temporary ID, valid South African passport, or foreign passport with permanent residence permit)
- Four black-and-white ID sized photographs
- Current foreign driving licence
- Proof of permanent residency in the Republic of South Africa
- Proof that you were not a permanent resident of South Africa at the time the foreign licence was issued (for example, you can produce a passport, permanent residence permit or visa)
- A letter of translation of the licence by a competent authority if the licence is not in one of the official languages of South Africa
- Confirmation from a driving licence issuing authority that you have a valid driving licence (stating the codes and relevant categories of vehicle that the person is permitted to drive) that has not been cancelled or suspended
- In case of an International Driving Permit (IDP), you must submit the driving licence on the authority of which the permit was issued
- Proof of residential address e.g. utility account. If the utility bill is not in your name, the owner of the bill must make an affidavit declaring that you live at the address and the utility bill must be attached to the affidavit.
- If you stay at an informal settlement, you must bring a letter with an official date stamp from the ward councillor confirming your residential address
- The driving licence testing centre will issue the driving licence if it is satisfied that:
- you are the owner of the foreign driving licence
- you hand over your foreign driving licence or driving permit when you receive your South African licence.
You will not be required to undergo a driving licence examination but an eye test will be conducted on site before the exchange is finalised.
The time-frame for exchanging the licence varies from one testing centre to another due to internal auditing processes.
Contact your local licensing office for the cost.
The Application for driving licence (DL1) form is available at any driving licence testing centre and on eNatis.