When do you need a Professional Driving Permit?

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!!

16 thoughts on “When do you need a Professional Driving Permit?

  • Nov 17, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Thus it seems as if I wish to arrange transport for my employees to and from work, I just have to ensure that there’s less than 11 passengers each time, or I use a vehicle designed to carry no more than 11 passengers, even if they decide to “overload” it with more..

    And whether they contribute financially to the cost of running the vehicle apparently makes no difference to the legal situation.. would it make a difference to the insurance?

  • Jul 31, 2012 at 7:46 am

    do i need a pdp if i dont have any passengers on board

  • Sep 21, 2012 at 5:32 am

    Does a church bus that transports people to and from worship site for free, need a PDP driver and operating disc?

  • Dec 5, 2012 at 8:50 am


    We are a C ash in transit company and i would like to know if we need a pdp?

    We have 3 people in a 3 ton armored truck and a driver and a crew in a escort vehicle!

    Do we need to get a pdp for the drivers?

  • Feb 11, 2013 at 8:01 am

    I hired a limo just over a week ago and would like to know if you could you please tell me if a Limo driver of an E class Limo is required by South African law to have a PDP?

  • Mar 16, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    According to your PDP license website, PDP license is for drivers with goods vehicle with gross mass exceeding 3500kg.

    In my condition I have an ordinary EC1 license and drive a Hyundia one tone goods vehicle, which does not exceed 3500kg in gross

    Taking the above into consideration, driving with an EC1 license, is good enough for South African roads without PDP, as the
    vehicle does not exceed 3500kg in gross mass.

  • Jul 23, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Do I need a PDP to transport animals for my company (animal transporters and relocators)?

  • Aug 27, 2013 at 7:30 am

    I am a school nurse and need from time to time to take a learner either to the doctor that is about a kilometre from the school or to the hospital that is about 40 kilometres from the school. Do I need a PDP?

  • Jan 6, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    if i have to tow a broken taxi.does my tow driver have to have a pdp.

  • Oct 21, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Public servants who transport patients do not get any payment from the patient as apposed to private Ambulance services. Fire-engines are way over 3500kg’s in weight, Firemen are exempted from having PrDP’s. ??? SAPS members transport more than 12 detainees and/or members in code 10 vehicles, but they don’t need PrDP’s ! Is it fair then for a Provincial Emergency Care Officer to have one??v

  • Apr 19, 2015 at 10:17 am

    I am a taxi driver with a cat G prdp is it possible that I maybe arrested?Im 20years old will be turning 21years in december so I cant do cat P.

  • May 19, 2015 at 8:07 am

    do i neeed to have a PDP when driving a new quantum that inteded to be a family car

  • May 21, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Can I travel with 9 people In a toyota quantim with a code 08 licence

  • Sep 3, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Do I need a PDP for transporting school children to sports events?

  • Oct 21, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    When delivering Trucks that have been bought do I need a PDP. The trucks are links in other words they are huge 30 tonne trucks?.

  • Mar 16, 2016 at 9:02 am

    please can you tell me if we need a pdp
    we have a second hand shop and transport funeture every day some small some big loads and are not shore
    if we must sent our driver for pdp

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