South African Driver’s License

September 2, 2023 | By admin | Filed in: Car Facts.

Obtaining a driver’s license is a significant milestone in a person’s life, marking the beginning of a journey filled with mobility and independence.

In South Africa, the process of obtaining a driver’s license is well-regulated and comprises several essential steps to ensure road safety.

This article will guide you through the South African driver’s license system, explaining the requirements, stages, and some useful tips for aspiring drivers.

Types of South African Driver’s Licenses

In South Africa, there are various categories of driver’s licenses, each corresponding to the type of vehicle you intend to operate.

The most common categories or driver’s license codes include:

  1. Code A1:
    For motorcycles with a cylinder capacity of up to 125 cc.
  2. Code A:
    For motorcycles with a cylinder capacity exceeding 125 cc.
  3. Code B:
    For light motor vehicles, including cars, bakkies (pickup trucks), and small vans.
  4. Code EB:
    For vehicles where the combination of the towing vehicle and trailer exceeds 3,500 kg.
  5. Code C1:
    For vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) between 3,501 kg and 16,000 kg.
  6. Code C:
    For heavy trucks, typically with a GVM exceeding 16,000 kg.
  7. Code EC1:
    For articulated vehicles with a GVM between 3,501 kg and 16,000 kg.
  8. Code EC:
    For articulated vehicles with a GVM exceeding 16,000 kg.

The Licensing Process

Learner’s License

Before applying for a driver’s license, you must obtain a learner’s license by passing a written test on road signs, rules, and basic driving skills. Learner’s licenses are valid for 24 months and are obtainable at a local testing center.

Practical Driving Test

After gaining sufficient experience with your learner’s license, you can schedule a practical driving test at a designated testing center. During the test, you will be assessed on your ability to operate a vehicle safely, obey traffic rules, and demonstrate good driving practices.

Provisional License

Once you pass the practical driving test, you will be issued a provisional driver’s license. This allows you to drive independently, but with certain restrictions, such as a blood alcohol limit of zero and the inability to carry passengers for reward.

Full Driver’s License

After holding a provisional license for a specific period (usually two years), you can apply for a full driver’s license. This involves a further test and serves as the final step in the process.

Tips for Success in Getting your Drivers License

  1. Study the Rules: Thoroughly study the South African Road Traffic Signs Manual and the rules of the road. Many aspiring drivers fail the written learner’s license test due to inadequate preparation.
  2. Practice, Practice, Practice: Spend ample time practicing your driving skills with a licensed driver to build confidence and experience.
  3. Professional Driving Schools: Enrolling in a reputable driving school can be beneficial for both learner’s license test preparation and practical driving skills development.
  4. Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with the latest traffic rules and regulations to ensure you remain a safe and responsible driver.

Getting Car Insurance when Buying a Vehicle

Once you receive your drivers license and you are now in the market to buy a car. Remember, when you buy a car by through a financial service provider, like ABSA, you must get car insurance. No fsp will provide you with a loan to purchase a car, if you do not get insurance from your choice car insurance company.

Even if you buy a car cash, you still want to get cover for your vehicle. The reason is simple, South African roads is dangerous and if you are in an accident. You atleast will get the finances to repair your car as well as more.

Car insurance is essential for any person owning a drivers license in South Africa.


Obtaining a South African driver’s license is a well-structured process that ensures individuals have the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate the country’s roads safely.

Whether you’re interested in driving a motorcycle, a car, or a heavy-duty truck, the South African driver’s license system provides the necessary framework to prepare you for a lifetime of responsible and confident driving.

Always remember that safety should be your top priority on the road, not only for your benefit but also for the well-being of others sharing the streets and highways of South Africa.

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