Driving license for non-resident?

Could someone living in South Africa help me to find out how can I get driving license here. I don't have green ID book as home affairs tells me I must be married for 5 years before I can get it, so in the meantime i would like to learn to drive and get my licenses! Does anyone know what I must do? Help will be very appreciated!

Hi Inna,

Here the information giving by a driving school, Centurion was the closest Licensing dpt, check where is yours:
Your foreign identity is not a real problem.  You will have to go to the Centurion Licensing Department situated in Nelmapius avenue between John Voster and Old Johannesburg Road.  You need to apply for a Traffic Registration Certificate.  It is free and done within a few minutes.  You will need your passport with copies and a letter from your employer reflecting the job title, all your details as well as you residential address.  Once you have this certificate it will be used as your Traffic Identity for all your appointments and bookings.

Hope this help.

Thank you Cedric, its very nice of you! God bless!

Hi There,

I'm a Canadian in SA and I'm in the same boat.  Yes, it's true you can get the Traffic Certificate, but you cannot get a license until you are a permanent resident.  My Canadian license expires in March and I have to go back to get one in Canada.  I contacted the Canadian Embassy here and they said that there is nothing we can do - they have tried to help people in this situation before, but the SA govt. is very firm.  If you do find some other info, please let me know!



Thank you Dianne, I will definitely find out more about this but you know how it is here when you phone somewhere - you have to call same place 3 or 4 times to speak with 3 or 4 different people to make sure that the info they give you is correct. As soon as I have some news will post.

Hi Inna,

Ten years ago I came to SA to work and ended up marrying and living here.
Based on my experience, I can say the following:
First, for a permanent resident with no SA Id to be able to drive, the first option is an international driving license issued in his or her country of origin or a translation from their embassy in SA stating that the person has a valid driving license in his or her country of origin and that the document issued by the embassy is a direct translation of this driving licence. The embassy stamps the letter and the copy of the original driving licence. I had this letter for a long time and got stopped few times by the metro police and it was not an issue,  as long as you have a copy of your foreign passport and the permanent residency.
After acquiring the SA ID, first one is a non-citizenship ID, you can go to the traffic department in Langlaagte to do a conversion of your local driving licence to an SA licence. It means you lose your original one.  Langlaagte is the only traffic center in Johannesburg to do the driving licence conversion. The conversion has to be done within 12 months of acquiring the SA ID. For it you need the embassy translation letter not older than 3 months and 4 photos and your original driving licence.
Second, contrary to what you have been told , if you marry a SA citizen you can immediately apply for an SA permanent resident status and straight after aquiring the permant residency you apply for the green non-citizen ID book. The permanent resident permit can be withdrawn if you break up with your SA husband in less than 2 years.
After 2 years from acquiring the first ID book, you can apply for citizenship . For citizenship,  I have been told 3 years and then 5 years from the date of issue of the permanent residency. I waited 5 years and then found out that it was actually 2 years only. It is stated clear on the Home Affairs website, under SA citizenship act, certificate of naturalisation.
The website is the best source of information. Whenever you need to make any Home affairs procedure make sure you research it in advance and better take copies of the acts stated on the website as a proof.

Hope I was able to help.

Thank you Fabienne,
Just want to clear out, I have been married to South African for 4 years now. And we did call home affairs several times asking about how many years-the answer was 5! I know someone told me also it must be just 2 years but home affairs answer is 5! That is what I mean by saying you have to call 3 or 4 times same place to find out the truth and as I see they don't follow their own rules. Anyway, will have to check again with them, maybe something has changed....

Dear Inna,
Fabienne and you are both right. The South African law says that as soon as one marries a South African she is entitled to get permanent residence. However home affairs follow its own rules and so we have to wait 5 years no matter what the law says... I am in the same situation and believe me, I went many time to home affairs to get the permit but without any success...

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yaqoob jooste wrote:


:offtopic: The subject is driving licence for non-resident. Do you have some information about this that you can share with members.

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