The mobile driver’s license solution will increase licensed vehicles and safety on South African roads.

In South Africa, a driver’s license is the official document which authorizes the holder to drive a motor vehicle. Obtaining a driver’s license is a big step towards independence. Unfortunately, it must also be renewed every five years, which can be a frustrating process due to long queues and current backlogs where drivers are likely to experience delays.

As of January 2022, the Department of Transport has confirmed a backlog of almost 2.1 million licenses which have been affecting motorists and the number is increasing. Currently, motorists are frustrated by the long wait for their driver’s license renewals and have been dealing with a yearlong wait for their renewed licenses. This has forced most of them to apply for temporary licenses, a cheaper alternative that is only valid for 6 months.

Mobile license renewal offices could be one of the solutions for reducing long queues in the Traffic Department offices. Several Government institutions have been making use of mobile offices to take services directly to communities and fight the war against queues at their offices. These include the Department of Labour, Gauteng Department of Economic Development, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform as well as the National Home Builders Registration Council, amongst others.

How would the mobile office work? 

The mobile office is a technologically developed ‘bus’ that allows the community to do photocopies of their I.D, take the required amount of black-and-white ID photographs, complete eye tests and the option of receiving prescription glasses if needed, as well as receiving assistance with the application form for a new driver’s license. These offices also give motorists the opportunity to pay for their outstanding traffic fines. 

It is to be made a priority that the community receives their renewed licenses within the four to six weeks timeframe stipulated.

Currently, people travel long distances to get to town for renewing their driver’s license with little resources, this is because most traffic departments are in urban areas and even these are not able to deal with the current demand. Mobile units are the solution, and they will have the following benefits:

  • The service will benefit the elderly, people living with disabilities.  
  • It will save people time and money spent on going to the Traffic Department for driver’s license renewal. 
  • It will save the Department of Transport money, as they will not have to invest in expensive brick-and-mortar facilities.  
  • It will offer flexibility to the Department of Transport, in a way that mobiles can quickly and easily be deployed to areas where demand is high.  
  • This service will relieve the overworked staff and reduce the backlog in issuing the renewed licenses. 

The mobile driver’s license solution will increase licensed vehicles and safety on South African roads. Investment in mobile units is the way to go if we want to improve service delivery in the country.