Queues at traffic departments are likely to get worse in March when the first batch of motorists who are renewing their licences join those who are still applying for the new permit.

Queues at traffic departments are likely to get worse in March when the first batch of motorists who are renewing their licences join those who are still applying for the new permit.

The first group of motorists, with birth dates in June, were required to change over to the new credit-card style licence in March 1998. Their licences now expire at the end of March. However, the Department of Transport says it has asked traffic departments to have separate queues for those renewing their licences.

“We realise it would be unfair on these people who obeyed the law to now be stuck in a long queue with those still applying, so we have proposed that traffic departments have a separate queue for renewals,” Lisa Mangcu, director of road traffic operations for the Department of Transport, told CARtoday.com.

Mangcu said motorists renewing their licences would have to have their eyes tested and fingerprints taken again.

He said the department was advising people to renew their licences before they expired at the end of March. “We did not anticipate such a huge rush of people applying for their licences so late, and as a result there is a backlog in the production of the new permits. The manufacturer has been working 24 hours, seven days a week to work through the backlog, but there is still a waiting period of about six weeks,” he said.

Mangcu said this would unfortunately also affect those renewing their licences. “That is why we have to ask them to apply early to ensure they have their new licence before the existing one expires at the end of March.

“It will be on unfair on these people, but they may need to apply for temporary licences to ensure they still have a valid permit when their licences expire. This is done at a cost of R22 to R35,” he said.

Original article from Car