New South African driving licence card details

The Department of Transport says it has not yet adjudicated a tender for a new driver’s licence printing machine, although it is in the final steps of doing so.

It named five shortlisted bidders and revealed that it is going through the final probity assessment.

Cabinet approved the department’s proposal to create a new driver’s licence card for South Africa in August 2022.

The bid for a service provider opened in November of that same year.

This proved unsuccessful, and the department re-advertised the tender in April 2023, closing the process after a month.

The bidders are still being assessed as the final auditing processes are underway.

The five companies in the running for the tender are:

  1. Ren-Form Corporate Print Media
  2. NEC XON Systems
  3. Muehlbauer ID Services
  4. Gemalto Altron Fintech Southern Africa
  5. Idemia Identity and Security — South Africa

Transport minister Sindisiwe Chikunga announced in April, “before the end of April, we will be printing new driving licence cards and will launch at least the first 100 per province, as we have said.”

This was after she assured her audience during a press briefing that her department was at the tail-end of procuring the machine to print the cards.

This timeline for an end-of-April launch was already much later than promised by Chikunga’s predecessor — Fikile Mbalula — who announced the new cards would be piloted from November 2023 to March 2024.

Under that plan, the old printer and licence card would have been decommissioned by 31 March 2024, while the last expiry date for the old cards would have been 31 March 2029.

The current cards have been used for 26 years, and their printer has recently become prone to breakdowns.

A two-month outage in late 2022 and early 2023 exacerbated a Covid-19-driven renewal backlog, resulting in 1.3 million outstanding renewals at one point.

The new printer is supposedly able to produce more licence cards per day, and the cards themselves will support newer technologies and improve security.

They will incorporate biometric data, watermarks, and holograms, in alignment with the International Information Technology Personal Identification Compliant Driving Licence standard.

This will ensure that the cards are better protected against counterfeiting and modification and can be used more seamlessly for driving outside South Africa.

New driver’s licence card design (front)
New driver’s licence card design (back)

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments


Share this article
New South African driving licence card details