Getting a South African Driver’s Licence

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SA Drivers Licence

I finally got my driver’s licence on the fifth attempt! I was determined to do it without paying anyone and I only got to 5 attempts because I didn’t apply myself to the task at hand diligently from the start! 

Provisional test

In Zimbabwe I passed my provisional on the 5th attempt! First time I failed at VID in Eastlea. The second time I went and I wrote twice on the same day! Attempted at VID Eastlea, then I joined the queue again on the same day and attempted again and I failed!

The fourth time came back again to Eastlea and flunked, but then travelled to Chitungwiza and that’s where I eventually got my provisional Licence! Each attempt was a young $20USD. I booked for 5 lessons in Mutare but only managed to do 2 and fell ill and gave the other lessons to my wife. We both couldn’t drive though my wife had had more lessons than me. She got hers at first go, we wrote together. My Zim provisional expired without ever doing a road test. I wasn’t ready for it!

I then put the wheels in motion to get a traffic register, which is the main identification number accepted for road traffic transactions on the National Traffic Information System (eNaTIS) for foreigners. My ordeal on getting this document can be found here: http://thesovereignstate.org/the-joys-of-getting-a-traffic-register/

I got my SA provisional with my first attempt, it was a computerised test which I did at Sandton Testing station, this was my first time in Alexander! I passed, my wife failed, so we came back again and she passed and she went on to get her driver’s licence that same year.

The learners licence valid for 2 years, my first expired without even doing a single lesson  2 years just went by.  For my first two provisionals, I used the K53 books to study. The last one I used the app which had a test at the end.

The second Prov I got it at my first attempt, but at a different station. About 15 people left the room like 8 mins after the start of the test, and I thought well, that many peeps giving up!! Only to find those cats in front of me at the cashiers counter. They had all passed. They paid for their provisionals!

The third provisional, I got it first attempt. At this station I went to one of the notoriously corrupt stations and once again I got it first attempt. This time it was the old book method and I was using the app, and the tests were a duplicate of the books. I made a vow not to let this provisional lapse without my drivers.

Driver’s Licence Test

We basically taught each other how to drive after she got her license. We would go out at night around 9pm and drive around the neighbourhood, and then early in the morning just before the traffic started. I would practice in the basement parking after all the cars had left. For an hour each day, I would wing it.

For the last three years with my provisionals, I have been driving with my wife as a prerequisite by the law. This meant that she had to come to my meetings and sit through them, while in the car! She was so patient with me, God bless her soul! From today she gets a much-needed break!

I realised it was not a good idea to going for a driving test after driving your car. Topo much unlearning of bad habits and incorrect methods. If I could do it again I would do the lessons first and go to the test immediately. My children will have the benefit of this hindsight knowledge.

The first time I attempted the driver’s licence test, was a quick in and out. I arrived 30mins early and when my name was called the guy came over and said your test was yesterday! Handed me back my papers and that was that! Durrr.

The second attempt I hit the pole I was nervous and hadn’t done enough lessons. I used the parallel parking method for the alley docking on the very first task! That was that!

The third attempt I rolled back ever so slightly during parallel parking. There was a very slight incline on the Parallel parking! Once again I headed back to the drawing board! 

The fourth attempt I cleared the yard, albeit very slowly, and with many errors and the instructor said I didn’t make it out the yard because made too many errors. He helped on some of the stuff that I did wrong. I was determined to come back again. Hit the iron while it’s hot

The fifth attempt I came through and aced the yard went out for the drive for about 10mins and we came back and I passed! 

Applications for booking are now done online which helps a lot. I would wait like 3 months after applying. But with the online system, you can get a week away. You can only book one test at a time. Apply here https://online.natis.gov.za/#/

With the test, I was determined to get it straight! At no point did I feel cheated. My diving instructors confirmed that at Krugersdorp testing station you will get a fair chance. Not so other stations. One station he said if you are lucky to get one lady she will give you a fair chance. Otherwise, they all want to be paid.

Requirements 

Learners

Traffic register  

Proof of ID

Valid passport and permit

Two Passport sized photos

You will do an eye test on the day

R160

Drivers  

Traffic register 

Valid passport and permit

Two Passport sized photos

You will do an eye test when you submit application

R228