Professional Driving Permit (PrDP)/PDP Licence In South Africa

A professional driving permit (PrDP) is needed to drive public transport and heavy-duty vehicles, for example, taxis, buses and breakdown vehicles. There are some exceptions though, as you won’t need a PrDP to drive a hearse or a tractor.

Before it was called a PrDP, a professional driving permit was originally called a public drivers permit (PDP) which was issued to drivers before 1998.

The permit is issued in addition to an ordinary driving licence.

Vehicles That Require Professional Driving Permits

If you drive any of these vehicles, you’ll need a valid professional driving permit:

  • Goods vehicles, (more than 3 500 kg). 
  • Breakdown vehicles.
  • Buses (any bus).
  • Minibus taxis (more than 3 500 kg), transporting 12 or more people, including the driver.
  • Vehicles used to transport people for payment.
  • Goods vehicle carrying dangerous goods (more than 3 500 kg).
  • Road tank vehicles for petroleum-based flammable liquids.
  • Motor vehicles transporting 12 or more people, including the driver.

If you own the motor vehicle for which a professional driving permit is required, you may not let another person drive that vehicle on a public road. But if the other person has a professional driving permit of the appropriate category, you can let them drive.

Requirements For Professional Driving Permit

You can only get a professional driving permit if:

  • you  have a valid driver’s licence for the type of vehicle you’re applying for,
  • you’re over the required age limit (this depends on the type of vehicle in question),
  • you’re certified by a doctor to be medically fit,
  • certified by an approved training body (only required for certain types of vehicles),
  • you haven’t been convicted of driving under the influence;  reckless driving or of any crime, and
  • your driver’s licence isn’t suspended or cancelled.

Your professional driving permit may be suspended or cancelled if you become medically unfit or if you’re convicted of driving under the influence, of reckless or negligent driving, or of a criminal offence.

How To Apply For Professional Driving Permit

You’ll need the following to apply for a PrDP:

  • your ID,
  • 2 photographs (ID size),
  • your driver’s licence, and
  • criminal record police clearance certificate. 

In order to apply for a PrDP you’ll need to go to a  driving licence testing centre and:

  • complete form PD1 (obtainable at a driving testing centre),
  • pay the required fee,
  • produce your ID,
  • provide 2 photographs (ID size),
  • show your driving licence,
  • produce your training certificate (if applicable),
  • produce your medical certificate (to show that you’re medically fit),
  • produce your police clearance certificate, or if any offenses have been recorded against you, then produce your criminal record (for every applicant, 5 years prior to application), and
  • show any other professional driving permit(s) or public driving permit(s) that you already hold.

Once the application has been processed, your fingerprints will be taken and your driver’s licence card showing the professional driving permit will be ordered.

You’ll be informed once the card is ready for collection. You must have identification on you to collect the card. Any cards not collected within 120 days are destroyed.

You can apply for a PrDP at a driving licence testing centre near you.

The expiry date of the permit will be printed on the front part of the card, and when it expires you’ll need to apply for a new one in the same way that you applied for your first rPDP.  

Age restrictions for the motor vehicle categories are as follows:

  • you should be 18 years or older to hold a PrDP for a goods vehicle
  • you should be 21 years or older to hold a PrDP for a passenger vehicle
  • you should be 25 years or older to hold a PrDP for a dangerous goods vehicle.

How long does it take

Your permit may be ready within a maximum of 12 weeks.

How much does it cost

Contact your local licensing office to find out the cost.

Forms to complete

  • Application for professional driving permit form (PD1)
  • Medical certificate application form (MC)

These forms are available at your nearest driving licence testing centre and on the eNatis website.

How Long Is A PDP Licence Valid For?

A professional driving permit is valid for 24 months.

Cost To Renew A PDP Licence

In terms of the cost, the issuance of a PrDP involves the application fee (R96.00) and the Issue fee (R204.00).