A professional driving permit (PDP) grants people the ability to drive public transport and heavy-duty vehicles on public roads. In South Africa, you are expected to pay a fee, fill out an application form and book a driving test to pass and be issued a PDP license.
All learner’s licenses, driver’s license cards, temporary driving licenses, and professional driving permits that expire between March 26, 2020, and December 31, 2020, are considered valid, and their validity periods are extended for a further grace period ending on August 31, 2023.
The permit is offered in coalition with an ordinary driving license. The following vehicles require a PDP license:
- A goods vehicle with a gross vehicle mass exceeding 3 500kg (codes C1, C, EC1 and EC),
- A breakdown vehicle or a bus,
- A minibus with a weight exceeding 3500kg or that can withstand 12 or more people (the driver included) (codes C1, C, EC1 and EC)) ,
- The economic sector accommodating light motor vehicles for passengers for reward (e.g. a taxi),
- A motor vehicle intended to hold 12 or more people,
- Any vehicle that needs an operating license and hazardous goods vehicles (e.g, liquefied petroleum gas tankers).
There are certain vehicles and people that are exempt from applying for a PDP license; these are as follows:
- Special vehicles such as for road building and agricultural machinery,
- A hearse,
- Fire-fighting vehicles,
- A tractor,
- A learner driver assisted by the holder of a valid PDP and a traffic officer or vehicle examiner doing their work.
PDP requirements And Age Limit
The government has also placed age restrictions on certain motor vehicles; these rules stipulate that to gain a goods vehicle PDP license, you have to be 18 years old and above, a PDP license for a passenger vehicle requires you to be 21 years old and above, and PDP license for a dangerous goods vehicle (category D) expects the holder to be 25 years or older. Another person is not permitted to drive a vehicle that requires a PDP license unless they have one themselves. Many insurance schemes do not cover loss or damage to your vehicles, as well as any liability sustained if they are driven without a valid driver’s license.
Additionally, there are other requirements to be granted a PDP license, which is: a valid driving license for the motor vehicle in question, if you have been examined by a doctor who deems you medically fit, an approved training body has verified you (required for dangerous goods vehicles), in the last 5 years you have no traces of a criminal record (which among them involves driving under the influence of narcotics or alcohol, or whereby physical abuse has been involved), have never had your driver’s license suspended and have never been convicted of a criminal offence or paid an admission-of-guilt fine.
PDP application form
You should fill out the PDP form at your nearest Driving Licence Testing Centre (DLTC). The form will most likely be titled, “Application for Professional Driving Permit” (PD1). You should bring the following documents with you when filling out the physical application: Your identification card (ID), A valid driver’s license with the same vehicle code as the one you’re applying for, A PDP medical form or certificate that must be less than two months old to be valid, a service account may be used as proof of postal and residential address. An affidavit is needed if the utility bill is not in your name and the owner of the bill declares that you currently reside at the given premises/address. Make sure this utility bill is attached to the signed affidavit; you will be asked to produce a letter from the ward councillor, with an official stamp and date, verifying your postal address and residential address if you live in an informal settlement, you have an additional specialist driver’s license or a public driver’s license, a training certificate, Four black-and-white portraits that are identical and it is important to double-check with the DLTC to see how many photos are needed beforehand and the stated fee (to find out how much it costs, contact your nearest licensing office). Before you submit the application, there will be an eye test, and if you believe you will not pass the test, it is suggested that you go to an optometrist to get glasses before arriving at the DLTC.
Residents in Gauteng and Eastern Cape can apply for a PDP on the National traffic and Information System website. Keep the following in mind when booking for a PDP license: A list of the booking information will be sent to you, select “Next” if you agree and the information is right, The booking confirmation page will appear after you click “next”, you have the option of clicking “Finish” or downloading your booking confirmation from your email address and finally, go to “My Booking” to confirm your reservation. A One Time Pin (OTP) will be sent to view “My Bookings”.
The application process can commence once the fee has been paid to the following bank details, Account name:
Ideco AFISwitch (Pty) Ltd, Bank: ABSA, Branch: Business Banking Johannesburg North, Account Type: Cheque, Account number: 4074078548, Branch code: 630256, Reference: insert your ID number.
After you’ve made your payment, you’ll be directed to your local police department to receive a conviction report. There will be no need to physically go where the DLTC has a live capturing device (LCU) because the data will be sent electronically to the station. When the PDP card is ready to be picked up, you will be notified. It is imperative to have your ID with you when you collect your permit. After a satisfactory submission, all permits will be available in 12 weeks. However, uncollected cards will be discarded after 120 days.
The permit’s expiration date will be written on the front of the card, and you’ll need to apply for a new one in the same way you did for your first PDP when it expires. Contact a vehicle testing centre near you for more information on PDP licenses. The phone number for their Helpdesk is, 021 483 6401/ 0520/ 2078/ 2080/ 2469.