What are the penalties for late vehicle license renewal?


I need to know,what are the penalties of being late for Vehicle License Renewal and can one be arrested and fined upto R1500.00 please assist?


Your question may seem like one which should have a simple answer associated with it, but unfortunately it is not as simple as it seems.

At best, it can be seen as failing to renew one’s license disc for which a fine can be issued in the quantum of R500 may be issued under AARTO – or the amount as specified by a Magistrate in areas where AARTO is not in force.

At worst, failing to renew one’s license disc is a serious offence in that a vehicle that does not display a valid license disc is considered to be unlicensed and therefore unroadworthy and many traffic authorities view this as a reason to impound the said vehicle.

The National Road Traffic Regulations makes provision for late licensing penalty fees which can and do severely impact on the amount of money one has to part with in order to licence a vehicle that has an expired licence disc and it is here that things get “tricky” as the combined late licensing and penalty fees increase the amount payable by huge quantum’s and do allow licensing authorities to refuse to process any transaction until such time as the penalties and fees are paid. This is often confused with them being allowed to take the motorist’s money and then refuse to issue the licence disc but the National Road Traffic Regulations are quite clear on this.

The following provisions of the regulations have reference:

Howard Dembovsky
National Chairman – Justice Project South Africa (NPC)
Association Not For Gain | Incorporated as a non-profit company under the Companies Act, 2008 | Registration Number 2010/019972/08

25 thoughts on “What are the penalties for late vehicle license renewal?

  • November 9, 2012 at 6:42 am

    I had a motor vehicle that was written off in an accident in January 2009. The vehicle was taken by the insurance since then and sold as scrap in 2010. I have since discovered that I owe penalties of R4051.75 for not renewing the license of this vehicle and can therefore not get a disc for my current vehicle. I have just discovered that I was supposed to deregister the vehecle which I did not know until now. I was under the impression that the insurer and their salvage are responsible for all that since the vehicle was no longer mine.

    Please advise as to the legality of this and steps going forward.


    • October 9, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      Hi Larry

      Did you get a solution on this? I am in exactly the same boat, dont know what to do. Please let me know how you resolved this issue?

      Thank you


    • September 3, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      Hi would like to know if you found a solution to the problem of deregistering vehicle and the outstanding licence?

  • March 4, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    I have just attempted to renew several of my vehicles licenses. The Licensing Department took the money printed a forms without discs, but refused to print discs for these vehicles. I am in business and have since been issued a fine for not displaying the disc. This is the first time that I was made aware of a vehicle (Mercedes outstanding since 2002) that may or may not have belonged to me. My husband has previously had arrears on motorbikes which we have never owned. This has been so long ago that I certainly do not recognize the registration number. One thing I do remember is that my daughter wrote off a Mercedes in and about that time and I had to get the local Police out to ascertain that the vehicle was a wright off. This document was, as you can imagine duly delivered to the Licensing Department. Should I have been made aware of this matter previously, I could have taken measures to rectify same, but after 10 years I just do not know what to do. Legally they say that records must be kept for 5 years. I have no records and the amount of the fine now is far more than I could afford. Am I now forced to close my business and leave 46 people without jobs?

  • January 5, 2014 at 6:42 am

    The licence of my vehicel expired 31 December 2013…I believe there is a “period of grace”? How much is that time and where can I find the official document referring to it?



  • July 2, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I purchased a vehicle of which the previous owner is deceased. i have the papers but no disk. how do i go about getting vehicle on my name. cant track down previous owner(deceased) or relatives of which the papers is still on his name.

  • July 8, 2014 at 6:04 am

    What is the penality for a expired drivers licence – 12 day overdue?
    Can I apply at any licencing department?

  • August 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    just a car with an expired licence disc,march 2014 any idea how much will be looking to pay in total including penalties,thank you.

  • September 4, 2014 at 11:48 am

    i had my licence disc removed from my car 27 july 2013 they told me my car is unroadworthy and i need to take to testing station

    i took it to testing station about 2/3 time keep come back with problems then on forth time it pass but when i had to pay fot my disc i was told to pay penalties and this was only a month later my disc expire in august and i had to pay?

  • October 1, 2014 at 10:29 am

    My last license payment was more than a year ago. I was retrenched and just didn’t have the means to do so. What will the penalty be to renew my license and what will be the amount added per month that the payment is outstanding?
    Will I be able to renew my license disc if there are fines outstanding on my name?


  • November 5, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Hi guys my cars is behind for 2 years I couldn’t renew the licence I wasn’t working and the car was broken how much can they charge me I’m scared real

  • May 7, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Help- if you ordinary light vehicle licence is 33 months overdue- what will your penalties be/ the total amount outstanding?
    It expired August 2012. We live on a farm – and she has never since then driven on any public road.
    We want to give het to my son – that is at varsity.
    Thank you.

  • May 23, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    I bought ia car from someone with a licence that expired in 2013. He cant get me the papers of the car. I still owe him som money, but i need advice. Can i renew the licence without the papers?

  • August 15, 2015 at 6:48 am


    I have an old opel and it has not been licensed in 5yrs. The car has a GP registration and I now live in Durban. the car is on my name, but i have lost the log book(papers) for the car. The car is finally running great and i would like to get the licensed sort.

    Does anyone have any idea of what the cost and process will be?

    thank you.

  • August 27, 2015 at 8:53 am

    My husband sold a vehicle to his friend in 2007. They new owner had arranged to sort out the necessary paperwork but needed some time and my hubby agreed to it. He had even given the new owner the vehicle logbook. Last year (2014), my husband tried to renew his drivers licence but was refused due to outstanding fees. The vehicle licence had not been renewed since 2010 and there are traffic fines amounting to R1500. We went to the “new owner” and he says that he sold the vehicle. How can he sell a vehicle that was never transferred onto his name in the first place? We have been struggling to get any money from this guy. He doesn’t answer any of our calls and when he does, he’s rude (uses vulgar language) and cuts the call. What can we do?

  • August 31, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    People took over two vehicles from us a while ago, but faied to pay any of the two up to date.
    We can not get our licence reniewed, for they never did a change of ownership and we are now liable to
    pay the HUGE outstanding amounts. What can we do in this regard?

    • April 9, 2016 at 4:13 am

      Hello did you manage to sort out your motor car issues

  • October 2, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    My car disk is 1 month overdue so how much is the penalty?

  • November 12, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    hi i purchased a vehicle which was a deceased estate vehicle .i bought the car from the benificary .when we got to licence office and transfered car from deceased to his name we where told we need to pay R9000 for licence fees outstanding.now i have a huge problem the guy whom i bought it from is broke thats why he sold the car .he told me licence was behind 3 years which comes to R2300 ,what can i do cause they wont transfer to me unless he pays and i cant pay that amount anyway.is there any way of leaving the penalities on his name .and trans fering the car to mine

  • December 4, 2015 at 6:52 am

    If i want to register a vehicle in my name but the license fees are in arrears for 5 years who are responsible for those fees, trying to find the law that said the previous owner is,??

  • April 1, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Good Day. What would the consequences be if someone is found to be driving a vehicle that has been scrapped?

  • April 11, 2016 at 6:04 am

    my car disc expired for 2 months. what will be my penalty.

  • April 13, 2016 at 8:41 am

    I have a vehicle that waz sold 13 years ago. This vehicle had outstanding licence amount. This vehicle is not on my name since i sold it, ive been stoped by traffic officer and when they checked my licence details they wanted to lock me up because they said i am owing 180 k outstanding licence on that vehicle, they did eventualy take me to police station as there waz a warrent of arrest to my name for outstanding licence fee. 180k is a insane for outstanding licence fee.I have been dismissed from work because of this, so how do i pay this amount.

  • May 26, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    If your car is parked and a traffic officer issues a penalty ticket after 1 day of the 21 days period date, can this be done without your presence?

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