The Department of Transport has reminded motorists to convert to the credit-card licence before the February 28 deadline to avoid fines up to R1 000.

The Department of Transport has reminded motorists to convert to the credit-card licence before the February 28 deadline to avoid fines up to R1 000.

Transport minister Dullah Omar said motorists should not wait until the last minute to change their licences. “The money that drivers and licence holders are going to pay for fines and penalties can be better spent to buy new school uniforms and books for schoolchildren,” Omar said.

A motorist stopped by a traffic law enforcement officer and found not to have a valid credit card licence will be fined. Penalties for not converting will differ per province and motorists can be fined up to R1 000 if found without a card licence.

"In the event of an accident, driving with the old licence would also affect insurance coverage, and the Road Accident Fund would take licence status into consideration," John Schnell, director of the Kwazulu-Natal road traffic inspectorate told .

The deadline was extended in July 2002 as about two million people were still using the old-format licence. The original deadline was August 31.

Motorists had to convert according to their month of birth. Those who missed the deadline for their conversion period will be charged a fee for every month that they are late. For example, a KwaZulu-Natal motorist born in June who has not yet converted will be paying a late fee of about R550 plus the conversion cost of R105. Motorists born in June had to convert in June 1998.

About 80 per cent of motorists have converted to the new licence.

The conversion cost per province (including late fee):

Western Cape R100 (increased by R5 per late month to a maximum of R60)

KwaZulu-Natal R105 (R10 per late month)

Free State R100 (R8 per late month)

Gauteng R115 (no fee)

Northern Cape R106,50 (R5 per late month)

Eastern Cape R100 (R5 per late month)

Mpumalanga R127 (R5 per late month)

Northern Province R168 (R5 per late month)

North West R110 (R5 per late month).

Original article from Car