Car / Motor Vehicle Registration In South Africa

About Registering Your Motor Vehicle

If you are a title holder of a new, pre-owned, built or re-built motor vehicle, you must register it at your relevant registering authority to get a registration certificate. If the vehicle is financed, the title holder will be the financing institution. When it has been registered and licenced, you will get a motor vehicle licence disc.

You must register and license your motor vehicle within 21 days after a change of ownership. If you do not register it, you will have to pay arrears and penalties. The motor vehicle registration is recorded on the national traffic information system (eNaTIS).

Your vehicle’s registration becomes null and void if:

  • the vehicle licence disc has not been renewed for more than four years
  • the vehicle was involved in an accident and has been declared permanently unfit for use
  • you sold the vehicle (changed ownership)
  • your vehicle has been repossessed for more than 31 days
  • a deregistration certificate has been issued.

What you should do To Register Your Car

Register a new vehicle:

To register a new vehicle, go to your appropriate registering authority and submit the following:

  • Your identity document (ID)
  • Proof of postal and residential address e.g. utility account. If the utility bill is not in your name, the owner of the bill must make an affidavit declaring that you live at the address and the utility bill must be attached to the affidavit.
  • If you stay at an informal settlement, you must bring a letter with an official date stamp from the ward councillor confirming your postal and residential address
  • The manufacturer’s certificate containing all the relevant details of the vehicle
  • a roadworthy certificate, if the vehicle is a heavy load [or Road Transport Quality System (RTQS)] vehicle.

Complete the Application for Registration and Licensing of Motor Vehicle (RLV) form.

Register a used vehicle:

To register a pre-owned (used) vehicle, the seller must first complete and submit a Notification of change of ownership (NCO) form, which gives notification of change of ownership

Go to your relevant motor vehicle registration authority and submit the following:

  • your identity document (ID)
  • Proof of postal and residential address e.g. utility account. If the utility bill is not in your name, the owner of the bill must make an affidavit declaring that you live at the address and the utility bill must be attached to the affidavit.
  • If you stay at an informal settlement, you must bring a letter with an official date stamp from the ward councillor confirming your postal and residential address
  • the vehicle registration certificate (in the seller’s name)
  • the certificate of roadworthiness if the current certificate is older than 60 days
  • proof of purchase of the vehicle
  • a valid motor vehicle licence (ensure that the licence fees for the vehicle are up to date).

Complete the Application for registration and licensing of motor vehicle (RLV) form.

Register a vehicle built up from parts:

To register a vehicle built up from parts, go to your nearest motor vehicle registration authority and submit the following:

  • your identity document (ID)
  • Proof of postal and residential address e.g. utility account. If the utility bill is not in your name, the owner of the bill must make an affidavit declaring that you live at the address and the utility bill must be attached to the affidavit.
  • If you stay at an informal settlement, you must bring a letter with an official date stamp from the ward councillor confirming your postal and residential address
  • an affidavit confirming where the parts came from and what was done to the car (form SOA)
  • request for police clearance (form RPC)
  • request for police identification (form RPI)
  • de-registration certificate (if the vehicle was deregistered)
  • a weighbridge (mass measuring) certificate
  • proof of title ownership
  • letter of authority (if applicable)

The provincial help desk will then introduce the vehicle record on eNaTIS

  • request for police clearance (form RPC) must then be submitted
  • a roadworthy test must be performed on the vehicle

Complete the Application for Registration and Licensing of Motor Vehicle form (RLV).

Register a modified vehicle:

To register a modified vehicle, go to your nearest motor vehicle registration authority and submit:

  • your identity document (ID)
  • Proof of postal and residential address e.g. utility account. If the utility bill is not in your name, the owner of the bill must make an affidavit declaring that you live at the address and the utility bill must be attached to the affidavit.
  • If you stay at an informal settlement, you must bring a letter with an official date stamp from the ward councillor confirming your postal and residential address
  • an affidavit confirming where the parts came from and what was done to the car (form SOA)
  • request for police clearance (form RPC)
  • request for police identification (form RPI)
  • de-registration certificate (if the vehicle was deregistered)
  • a weighbridge (mass measuring) certificate
  • proof of title of ownership
  • roadworthy certificate
  • letter of authority (if applicable).

Manufacturer’s certificate or previous registration certificate or affidavit if the registration certificate cannot be provided. Complete the Application for Registration and Licensing of Motor Vehicle form (RLV).

FAQs

Why do I Need to Register My Car?

When you buy a vehicle, you will need to register and license it in your name within 21 days. If you don’t meet the 21-day limit, you will face penalties.

All vehicle buyers are required by law to register their vehicles when purchasing a vehicle without external financing like bank loans.

Who is a Title Holder?

The title holder is the owner of the vehicle.  If you paid for your vehicle in cash (without vehicle financing), then you are the title holder. However, if a financial institution has assisted you with the purchase of your vehicle, then they will hold the title to the vehicle until all repayments have been made.

The person who will license the vehicle is the person who has the right to use the vehicle in terms of the contractual agreement with the title holder. If the title holder is an institution, then they  must register the vehicle before you, as the  user, may license it.

The details of the vehicle registration and licensing are recorded on the National Traffic Information System (eNaTIS) –which acts as a law enforcement tool. eNaTIS is used to ensure that the details of stolen vehicles are circulated to prevent irregular and fraudulent reregistration of such vehicles.

How long does it take To Register A Vehicle

The application will be forwarded to the provincial help desk.

The introduction of the motor vehicle record can take up to a few days. The applicant will be contacted when the record is on the system.

How much does it cost To Register A Vehicle

Contact your local licensing office for the cost.

Forms to complete

Forms are obtainable at the motor vehicle registering authority.

How to Import A Vehicle/Car Into South Africa

How To Register An Imported Car In South Africa

What Is The New Car License Fee In South Africa

How To Change owner or title holder particulars for a vehicle in South Africa

How To Get Letter of Authority In South Africa

How To Change Ownership Of A Vehicle / Car In South Africa

How to obtain a Roadworthy Certificate In South Africa

How To Register A Vehicle Built Up From Parts In South Africa

How To Register A Modified Vehicle In South Africa

How To Register A Used Vehicle In South Africa

How To Register A New Vehicle In South Africa

Right And Left Hand Drive Cars In South Africa

Register And Licence Your Vehicle In Western Cape

Vehicle Licence And Registration In City Of Cape Town

Vehicle Registration Forms In South Africa

Personalized Number Plate In South Africa

How To Deregister A Motor Vehicle In South Africa

How To Renew Motor Vehicle Licence In South Africa

Temporary or Special Motor vehicle permit In South Africa

How To Get A Post Office Box In South Africa

How To Apply for A Traffic Register Number In South Africa

How To Register A Vehicle Of Deceased Person or Repossessed vehicle In South Africa

Duplicate Registration/Deregistration Certificate In South Africa

How To Change owner or title holder particulars for a vehicle in South Africa

How To Apply Refund Of Motor Vehicle Licence Fees

Motor Vehicles Exempted From Licensing Fees In South Africa

How To Apply For A Motor Trade Number And Permit In South Africa

Who is a Title Holder Of A Vehicle/Car?

The title holder is the owner of the vehicle.  If you paid for your vehicle in cash (without vehicle financing), then you are the title holder. However, if a finacial institution has assisted you with the purchase of your vehicle, then they will hold the title to the vehicle until all repayments have been made.

The person who will license the vehicle is the person who has the right to use the vehicle in terms of the contractual agreement with the title holder. If the title holder is an institution, then they must register the vehicle before you, as the  user, may license it.

The details of the vehicle registration and licensing are recorded on the National Traffic Information System (eNaTIS) –which acts as a law enforcement tool. eNaTIS is used to ensure that the details of stolen vehicles are circulated to prevent irregular and fraudulent reregistration of such vehicles.

Online Vehicle Licencing for City of Cape Town Residents

You can pay vehicle licence fees online through electronic funds transfers (EFTs). Follow these three easy steps:

  1. Complete the City of Cape Town’s individual or business online forms, then click submit.
  2. You will receive an e-mail with a unique number confirming the amount due, followed by a reference number and the banking details for payment.
  3. Once you have this, pay your licence fees electronically from your banking website.

Note: This online payment facility is for vehicle licences only and should not be used for the payment of rates, traffic fines and other municipal accounts.

Remember to use the reference number listed on the e-mail and not the unique number to complete the payment.

For more information, contact the City of Cape Town Call Centre on 0860 103 089.

What You Need to Know About Driving in South Africa

driving in south africa

Like anywhere in the world, driving is one of the most convenient ways to get around in South Africa.

Thankfully most of the general duties of drivers on public roads will be more or less the same as in your country of origin.

For example, it’s also illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol in South Africa, and wearing a seat belt should still be your number one priority.

However, getting behind the wheel in South Africa will still be a whole new ballgame if you’re an expat or holidaymaker.

We’ve compiled a quick guide on how to succeed when driving in this unfamiliar territory in collaboration with Hippo.co.za, a car insurance comparison site:

Yes, you are allowed to drive with your foreign driving license

The National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 validates a foreign driving license on South African roads if the license has been issued in English and is accompanied by your photograph and signature. If the license is not in English or lacks a photograph, an International Driving Permit is needed. Many car rental companies also require that you apply for an international driving permit.

Keep to the left

Traffic flows on the left side of the road in South Africa and vehicles are passed on the right. In most cars, the steering wheel will be located on the right of the car. If you’re from a country where right-hand traffic is the norm, you might be scared about driving in the wrong lane. There’s no need to panic though; other vehicles will mostly show you what to do and road signs are structured in a way that will help you not to make the wrong moves.

South Africa’s speed limits

Distances are measured in kilometres. Traditionally, the maximum speed at which road vehicles are allowed to travel on particular stretches of road in South Africa is:

  • 60 km/h in urban areas;
  • 100 km/h on roads in rural areas which are not freeways;
  • and 120 km/h on freeways.

There has been mentions of adjusting the speed limits to 40km/h in urban areas, 80km/h in rural areas, and 100km/h on freeways running through residential areas. Nothing has yet come of this though.

No doubt the supporters of this motion are motivated by South Africa’s high road accident rate. South Africans are unfortunately known to speed. Keep yourself and your family safe with these defensive driving tips.

When it’s time to refuel

The various types of fuel available in South Africa are Leaded and Lead Replacement, and Unleaded. When stopping for gas/petrol, you are not allowed to help yourself. An employee of the petrol station (or garage) will fill you up and take your payment. They will also make sure the oil level, water and tyre pressure is okay if you give them permission to do so. It is recommended that you provide the attendants with a small tip after you have refuelled.

There are toll roads in South Africa

Depending on where you are, some roads in South Africa may require payment before access. This is known as the toll road system.

Local phrases

Depending on your country of origin, you may find the following phrases related to driving, unfamiliar.

  • Robot – traffic light
  • Petrol – gas
  • Garage – gas station
  • Gearbox – transmission
  • Boot – trunk
  • Bonnet – hood
  • Pavement – kerb
  • Bumper – fender