What is the charge for driving without a license In South Africa

According to the National Road Traffic Act, driving without a licence can result in a penalty of between R1,000 and R2,000 depending on the vehicle class.

Hence, not carrying a licence does not fit the bill for arrest – however the associated fine (R1,000) is more accurate.

“Upon their conviction, their driving licence must be suspended for a minimum period of 6 months upon first conviction, 5 years upon second conviction, and 10 years upon third and subsequent convictions,” said Dembovsky.

Under the 2008 AARTO Regulations, drivers can only be arrested on the spot for:

  1. Driving under the influence alcohol or drugs. This also applies if you occupy the driver’s seat while under the influence, and the engine is running.
  2. Operating a vehicle recklessly.
  3. Exceeding the speed limit by 40km/h or more. This applies to the general speed limit, and speed limits prescribed by signs.

The cellphone fine is a more contentious point. The Western Cape has been proactively policing the use of phones while driving, including the confiscation and release method. The fines in that case are set at R1,000.

Other provinces, including the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal have not jumped on that particular bandwagon, and have kept the issue at the simple fine of R500 – though officials have said they would welcome stricter measures.

Other road laws you need to know about

While the social media post itself contains erroneous information, it is attached to a picture listing true traffic offences and the penalties motorists face for violating the rules of the road.

These penalties, which have been published in terms of the NRTA, are accurate and are outlined below.

Driving without a licenceR1 000+
Failing to produce a driver’s licenceR500
Owner failed to licence a motor vehicleR500
Failed to display licence diskR500
Failed to wear safety beltR500
Disregard a stop signR1 500
Disregard traffic lightR2 000
Disregard u-turnR1 000
Use of cellphone while drivingR1 000
Causing obstruction / double parkingR1 000
Parking in a loading zoneR800
Disregarding a yellow/red lineR500
Following too closelyR1 500
Only one/ No number plateR500+
Overtaking on a solid lineR2 500
Unauthorised racing on a public roadR3 000
Pass a vehicle in an unsafe placeR3 500

Traffic violations are not well-policed in South Africa, and unbeknownst to most motorists (and pedestrians), they could, in theory, be racking up thousands of rands in fines every single time they hit the road.

From ignoring road signs to simply crossing the street, there is a fine associated with every rule we have. Aside from speeding violations, here are some of the more common traffic violations we see daily, that go unpunished:

  • Ignoring pedestrian priority signs and not yielding – R500 to R2,000
  • Failing to yield at a circle – R1,000
  • Ignoring ‘keep left/right’ and other directive signs – R500
  • Failing to vacate right lane of freeway upon signal of other vehicle wanting to pass – R500
  • Failing to indicate – R300
  • More than one motor cycle overtaking a vehicle at the same time – R500
  • Doing a ‘wheelie’ on a motorcycle – R700
  • Making excessive noise due to methods of handling a vehicle (revving, etc) – R500
  • Hooting unnecessarily – R300
  • Causing wheel of vehicle to drag/spin on surface of roadway – R1,500
  • Pedestrians not crossing the road when it’s safe – R300
  • Pedestrians loitering on crossing – R300
  • Pedestrians who do not walk in the road facing oncoming traffic when there are no sidewalks – R200.

It must be noted that the fines above are as published by the Western Cape government. each province and jurisdiction sets its own penalties, in terms of the offences laid out in the NRTA.

Is driving without a license a crime in South Africa?

The National Road Travel Act 1996 states that it is against the law to drive a motor vehicle without a valid licence. Driving without a licence in South Africa isn’t usually an arrestable offence and most cases are settled with an on the spot fine unless a road incident has occurred.

Can you drive alone with a learners Licence in South Africa?

Once you have a learner’s licence, you may drive the type of vehicle for which the learner’s licence is valid. However, a licensed driver must accompany you at all times (except on a motorcycle). A learner driver may not carry another person on a motorcycle.