We are all aware that a vehicle will only be insured if the driver is licensed to drive that vehicle. In some instances the driver needs more that the usual license - he needs a professional driving permit or PrDP.
This often results in debates and uncertainty as many believe that they only need the PrDP if they transport people for reward. It is important to focus not only on the size of the vehicle - but also on how the vehicle is to be used:
Professional Driving Permit [PrDP]
We would like to share an explanation on the need for the PrDP:
"The definition of a professional driver in the Act refers to the driver of a vehicle referred to in section 32 of the Act. The section then refers to the prescribed class of vehicle. In this instance they are prescribed in terms of regulation 115.
The Minister may in terms of section 68 of the National Land Transport Act prescribe the circumstances in which a operating licence is required for staff services. I cannot find any regulations in this regard perhaps the Department of Transport’s public transport directorate can provide guidance in this regard.
In terms of regulation 115 if the vehicle is designed to carry more than 12 persons (including the driver) then a Professional Driving Permit (PrDP) is required.
Regulation 115 also refers to the gross vehicle mass (GVM) therefore if the vehicle’s GVM exceeds 3 500kg a PrDP will be required.
Note that the above applies to the large family as well. If the ‘taxi’ is designed to carry 12 or more persons including the driver or has a GVM exceeding 3 500kg then the driver will require a PrDP.
Kevin J. Kara-Vala"
We would also like to share some insight on this by referring to a question asked earlier:
Ambulances and the need for a PrDP
Please could you inform me whether it is a legal requirement for ambulance drivers to have a PDP, when transporting a patient to hospital. I am referring to our situation at our company where we have our own ambulance in cases of someone being injured on site and needs to be transported to an off-site medical facility. We do not respond to public calls, or transport members of the public. Only people that are injured or fall ill on premises are transported in our ambulance. Once again, if you could please inform me if it is necessary for the driver of the company ambulance to have a PDP. And please could you also refer me to the Act where the above matter is concerned. Much appreciated.
The National Road Traffic Act states that the driver of vehicle that transports persons for reward shall have a PrDP for category P-Passengers.
115. Certain drivers of certain vehicles to hold professional driving permit
115. (1) Subject to the provisions of subregulation (2), a professional driving permit shall be held by the driver of-
(a) a goods vehicle, the gross vehicle mass of which exceeds 3 500 kilograms;
(b) a breakdown vehicle;
(c) a bus;
(d) a minibus- (i) the gross vehicle mass of which exceeds 3 500 kilograms; or (ii) which is designed or adapted for the conveyance of 12 or more persons, including the driver;
(e) a motor vehicle used for the conveyance of persons for reward or is operated in terms of a operating licence issued in accordance with the NLTTA; [Subreg. (e) replaced by R.4, G.N. R.871 w.e.f. 1 January 2006 enforceable from 1 July 2006]
(f) a motor vehicle the gross vehicle mass of which exceeds 3 500 kilograms to which regulations 273 to 283 apply as contemplated in regulation 274; and [G.N. G.N. R.727 has put subreg (1)(f) into operation on 3 August 2001] [Subreg. (1)(f) substituted by R.25, G.N. R.881 w.e.f. 23 July 2004]
(g) a motor vehicle conveying 12 or more persons including the driver.
Other operators of ambulances do so at fee (Netcare, ER24, etc). It is therefore a requirement for them to have a PrDP. It may be possible that your vehicle has a GVM that exceeds 3 500 kilograms. If this is the case then a PrDP will be required or it is designed to carry 12 or more person's including the driver. I hope this sheds some light.
It is very important to ensure that the insured vehicle is operated by a driver licensed to drive that vehicle!!