South Africa is set to introduce a new mobile or e-driving licence which will give motorists the option to apply for a physical card and electronic driver’s licence.
This was revealed in the Driving Licence Card Account’s (DLCA’s) annual performance plan for 2021/2022.
The DLCA was established in 1997 in terms of the Public Finance Management Act under the Department of Transport to produce and deliver driving licence cards.
The service was originally outsourced to Prodipa until May 2015 after which the DLCA took over the card production facility.
In recent years there has been a strong focus on increasing efficiency and reducing waiting times for applications.
In the DLCA’s strategic plan three years ago, for example, the transport minister said waiting times at centres should be reduced to 30 minutes.
The transport ministry also wanted to reduce delivery times in major centres to 5 days and in rural areas to 7 days.
A project was also launched to produce a more secure license card with advanced technology features.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has now announced that South Africa is set to get new driver’s licences in the next year.
“The DLCA is in the final phase of designing the new driving license card design that is expected to be introduced in mid-2021/2022 financial year,” Mbalula said.
South Africa’s new driver’s licence cards will be closer aligned to international practices and incorporate new technologies.
The actual design of the licence card will also be changed and promises to be a “secure, high quality, and durable licence card”.
The DLCA will also modernise the ‘driving licence production environment’, which includes a new production machine that is capable of printing more modern licences.
This modern production environment will pave the way for the introduction of a mobile or e-driving licence (e-DL), the DLCA said.
“With the introduction of the e-DL, the motorist will have an option to apply for a physical card and electronic driver’s licence,” it said.
The group said the introduction of an electronic driver’s licence is now possible thanks to increased mobile broadband penetration across the country.
The DLCA anticipates that the adoption and issuance of e-DL will grow more popular in years to come.