We have a scenario when a client was reversing his vehicle out of the garage and the gate sensor malfunctioned and damaged the vehicle. The client does hold a valid license but same has expired. The client cannot go for a renewal license as yet as they are going through a name change – Traffic Department wants a Bar Coded Id – but the client is awaiting the new ID with the new name?
Our Policy says the driver should be licensed to drive on public roads
A few questions arise:
- Definition of private property in terms of National Roads Traffic Act?
- Is a driveway deemed as private property in terms of the National Roads Traffic Act?
- Is a person required by law when driving a vehicle to hold a valid drivers license?
Please urgently advise and assist and I would appreciate receiving as much information from you with regards to changes, laws etc.
Firstly, a driveway is considered a private area as the public does not have a right of access or common usage of the area so it does not fit into the definition of a public road.
“public road” means any road, street or thoroughfare or any other place (whether a thoroughfare or not) which is commonly used by the public or any section thereof or to which the public or any section thereof has a right of access, and includes—
(a) the verge of any such road, street or thoroughfare;
(b) any bridge, ferry or drift traversed by any such road, street or thoroughfare; and
(c) any other work or object forming part of or connected with or belonging to such road, street or thoroughfare;
Secondly, a person whose driving licence card does not constitute his actual driving licence as it expires every 5 years, it is just proof that he has a licence. The actual licence is the record at the DLTC. See regulation 101 that states a licence is valid indefinitely. I copy the relevant bits and pieces from the National Road Traffic Act and Regulations
Sec 12. Driver of motor vehicle to be licensed
No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a public road—
(a) except under the authority and in accordance with the conditions of a licence issued to him or her in terms of this Chapter or of any document deemed to be a licence for the purposes of this Chapter; and
(b) unless he or she keeps such licence or document or any other prescribed authorisation with him or her in the vehicle.
A person whose driving licence card has expired still has a driving licence, he may just not drive on a public road as he is not complying with the provisions of section 12(b). If your insurance contract does not cover the actual carrying of valid proof as a reason for refusing a claim, it cannot be a reason to refuse and the person was not on a public road at the time.
Reg 100. Authorisation which serves as licence in terms of section 12 of the Act
(a) a person’s driving licence card has been stolen, lost, destroyed or defaced; or
(b) a driving licence testing centre has authorised that a driving licence be issued to a person, and the driving licence card is being processed by the Card Production Facility,
a duly completed form TDL as shown in Schedule 2, issued by an examiner for driving licences or a person duly authorised to do so, shall be an authorisation in terms of section 12 of the Act, for a period of six months from its date of issue, or until the date on which the person to whom it was issued, receives his or her original or duplicate driving licence card, whichever date is the earlier.
(5) (a) Subject to paragraphs (b) and (c), a copy of an affidavit regarding the theft, loss, destruction or defacement of a licence made at a driving licence testing centre or police station and which—
(i) contains the official date stamp of the authority concerned;
(ii) contains the—
(aa) full names;
(bb) identity number or date of birth;
(cc) full address; and
(dd) code of licence with all endorsements and restrictions applicable thereto,
of the deponent; and
(iii) describes the circumstances under which the licence was stolen, lost, destroyed or defaced,
shall be an authorisation in terms of section 12 of the Act, for a period of three days after the date on which it was issued.
(b) If the affidavit referred to in paragraph (a) is made at a police station, such affidavit shall also contain the crime administration number (CAS) or the occurrence book number (OB), as the case may be.
(c) The driving licence testing centre or police station at which an affidavit is made shall retain the original affidavit for record purposes.
Reg 101. Period of validity of learner’s and driving licences
(1) The period of validity of a learner’s licence issued or deemed to be issued in terms of section 17 of the Act shall be 18 months from the date of examination and test referred to in section 17(2) of the Act.
(2) (a) The period of validity of a driving licence issued or deemed to be issued in terms of section 18 of the Act shall be indefinite, unless such licence has been suspended or cancelled in terms of the Act.
(b) (i) The holder of a driving licence that was issued before 1 March 1998, who wishes to substitute such licence as contemplated in section 19 of the Act, shall apply for such substitution before or within the period determined by the Minister by notice in the Gazette.
(ii) Different periods may be determined under subparagraph (i) in respect of licence holders whose surnames start with different letters of the alphabet, or whose dates of birth fall in different months.
Reg 108. Manner of issue of driving licence
(5) (a) Subject to regulation 101 (2) (a), a driving licence card shall expire five years from the date on which it has been ordered from the Card Production Facility. Provided that where a person has applied for a new driving licence card in the manner contemplated in paragraph (b) on or before the expiry date of the driving licence card held by such person, the new driving licence card shall expire five years from the date after the expiry date of the driving licence card held by such person.
(b) The holder of a driving licence card may apply for a new card in the manner contemplated in regulation 109 and the new card shall be authorised and issued in the manner contemplated in regulation 109 (3).
(6) (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subregulation (5) (a), where a person has applied for a new driving licence card in the manner contemplated in subregulation (5) (b) on or before the expiry date of the driving licence card held by such person and a driving licence of the person concerned has not been suspended or cancelled, that card shall remain valid until the new driving licence card has been issued in terms of subregulation (3) but not for more than three months after the expiry date of such driving licence card.
(b) The provisions of paragraph (a) shall only apply if the holder of the driving licence card is in possession of the driving licence card previously issued to him or her and proof of the fees paid in terms of Regulation 109 (2) (c) for a new driving licence card as contemplated in Regulation 108 (1).
Alta Swanepoel and Associates CC