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Driving with J9 | Vehicle licence renewals extended to September, but don't wait too late!

2020-08-29 21:46

Janine Van der Post

vehicle licence disc

Image: Wheels24/Janine Van der Post

• Lockdown expired vehicle licences have been given another extension to 22 September.

• It's important to note the extension does not apply to all expired vehicle licences.

• Please try to renew your vehicle licence before the new deadline.

• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za


On Sunday I would have called for expired vehicle licences to be given an extension as thousands of motorists have been battling to get their licences renewed in time, before the 31 August deadline.

However, great news was revealed on Saturday, 29 August, when the City of Cape Town revealed in a press statement that a further vehicle licence renewal extension has been given for some motorists which means the new renewal date will be: 22 September 2020.

The RTMC has also confirmed that the extension will be nationwide, but it is incredibly important to note that this extra grace period does NOT apply to all motorists, more details are below.

The City says motorists who are due to renew their motor vehicle licences by 31 August 2020, including those who were given a three-month grace period because of the Covid-19 lockdown, are advised that they now have until 22 September 2020 to renew their licence discs. 

I urge those who need to renew their vehicle licences, even those who are granted the few weeks extra, should try and have these renewed as soon as possible. While we are thankful for the extra bit of grace, I doubt three more weeks will be the answer to clear the backlog. 

I also know it is easier said than done as those who have comorbidities are still fearful to head out and be exposed to the coronavirus by standing in long queues for several hours. Please note, you can try to contact smaller third-party private companies who offer these services and will queue on your behalf for an extra fee. or, you could ask a relative or friend to attend on your behalf and provide a copy of your ID, proof of address and a letter of permission.

There have also been numerous of queries from readers asking about penalties and why they are paying extra. If your vehicle licence expired AFTER 31 May, you could incur costs or penalties if your disc expired after these dates.

If your vehicle licence expired BEFORE the national lockdown, none of the extensions would apply to you, and motorists can expect to pay about 22% per month in arrears fees added to their usual vehicle licence fees, and the admin cost. 

Queues have been incredibly long during August, worse than previous weeks as thousands of motorists tried in vain to renew their licences. The City also advises that high volumes are being experienced at customer offices and online. 

The City says: "If visiting an office, do so early in the morning and remember to keep your distance. 

"The City of Cape Town advises motorists who were given a three-month Covid-19 licence renewal extension to 31 August 2020, this includes licences that expired on 31 March 2020, 30 April 2020 and 31 May 2020, and those whose licences will expire on 31 August, now have the chance to renew by 22 September 2020.

"The City has confirmed this extension with officials from the Western Cape Government and the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC). No interest or penalties will be charged if motor vehicle licences are renewed on or before 22 September 2020.

"The City first needed to confirm that traffic officials would not fine motorists from 1 September to 22 September for licences that have expired on 31 March 2020, 30 April and 31 May 2020, part of the original three-month lockdown grace period.

"RTMC officials have confirmed this applies across the country. The extension aims to help alleviate the pressure at customer offices across the metro and in South Africa and to assist more motorists with their renewals.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE THE FOLLOWING:

- Licence discs that expired on 31 March 2020, on 30 April 2020, and on 31 May 2020, should now be renewed by 22 September 2020

- Discs that expired on 30 June 2020: payment and renewal had to be renewed by 21 July 2020 

- Discs that expired on 31 July 2020: payment and renewal had to be renewed by 21 August 2020

- Discs that will expire on 31 August 2020: renew by 22 September 2020

- Motor trade vehicle numbers/trade plate for motor vehicle dealers: renew by 31 November 2020

- Driver licences, learner's licences, and roadworthy certificates: renew by 31 January 2021

The City also advises the following:

- Renew your licence online if possible and note there may be a delay due to backlogs and high volumes. If you need to visit a customer office, go early in the day and note the City is only able to operate with reduced staff due to the Covid-19 regulations that must be adhered to.

- The City's cash and motor vehicle licensing offices have allocated more dedicated staff to assist customers with motor vehicle registration and licensing (MVRL) enquiries and City staff are assisting with online motor licensing enquiries and technical difficulties.

We remind customers that as a result of the influx of online MVRL renewal applications, postal service delays may occur. The South African Post Office (SAPO) has however assured the City that it will deliver to customers as soon as possible.

According to the City, customers who could not renew their licences due to lockdown, but who needed to renew their licences before 26 March when the lockdown was implemented but failed to do so, will unfortunately have to pay penalties. 

Why penalties can't be written off, according to the City:

The City claims that online applications over the March, April and May months needed to be redone because of the passage of time. Fines cannot be written off as it is not a decision the City can make. This falls within the ambit of the National Department of Transport and the City follows the prescripts of the applicable regulations and legislation. The City continues to engage the Western Cape Government , the National Department of Transport and the RTMC on this issue. The City is only an agent of the other government spheres when it comes to vehicle licensing, they hold the authority. The Ministry did not include this scenario for penalties to be written off for vehicle licences that have expired before the lockdown.

To check customer office operating hours, please visit the Operations and Service Notifications document on the City's website or the City's social media pages ahead of time if unsure.

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Janine Van der Post is the editor at Wheels24. If you have any queries, you can email her here.

The City of Cape Town shares the following:

What to expect when visiting an office:

- Covid-19 screening at the entrances
- Limited number of customers allowed in at a time
- Social distancing is required and must be adhered to
- Visit early in the day. There are longer queues due to reduced staff at some offices as required by Covid-19 regulations and high volumes of transactions are being experienced.
- You only need your ID for motor vehicle licensing and registration renewals

Register on e-Services - note this is only for motorists who fall under the City of Cape Town municipality:
- Renew vehicle licences
- Submit water/electricity readings
- Pay accounts online· View current account and account history
- Apply to receive accounts via email
- Log service requests

To register for e-Services visit: online e-services portal

For motor vehicle registration and licensing assistance in the Western Cape, please email Vehicle.Licence@capetown.gov.za

For customers who have experienced difficulties with the MVRL online transactions, please email Help.Uces@capetown.gov.za

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