When do you require a PDP / PrDP licence?

I was recently in a discussion with friends over when one actually needs a PDP licence? One of them is a missionary who often transports people around in one of the church’s Quantums. Investigating the situation it all comes down to how you want to define certain things. The following is the simplest breakdown to determine if you need one or not:

Click for full size modified from: foresightpublications.co.za

Click for full size
modified from: foresightpublications.co.za

The biggest thing to decide is on the concept of paying customers. Certain websites state it as “a motor vehicle used for the conveyance of persons for reward” and others as “other vehicle carrying paying passengers”. These are two very different topics. In my friend’s case, the passengers aren’t paying, but she may be receiving remuneration for her work at the church and such as is required to drive the mini-bus as part of her duties, thus she would fall in this category.

If we look at the regulation itself:

National Road Traffic Act, 1996 – National Road Traffic Regulations, 1999 – Chapter V: Fitenss of Drivers – Part IV: Professional Driving Permit – 115: Certain drivers of certain vehicles to hold professional driving permit

1) Subject to the provisions of subregulation (2), a professional driving permit shall be held by the driver of –

… e) a motor vehicle used for the conveyance of persons for  reward …

Thus if she is being remunerated for her work she would probably require one. It also explains why on sports tours at university we didn’t require one, as we were not being paid for driving.

Other things to note:

  • The currently used Professional Driving Permit (PrDP) is the continuation of the old Public Driving Permit (PDP) which was used pre 1998 and excluded certain provisions which are now included under the PrDP.
  • Price will vary with time.
  • A D (dangerous goods) licence includes a G (goods) licence.
  • One can hold both a P (people) and G, or P and D PrDP licence at the same time.
  • The minimum age for a PrDP licence is 18 for a G licence, 21 for a P licence, and 25 for a D licence.
  • If it’s a goods vehicle under 3.5 tons, it does not require a PrDP.
  • If it’s a vehicle of any size used to carry passengers for reward, or has 12 or more seats, a PrDP is required.
  • Almost all vehicles over 3.5 tons will require a PrDP, either for carrying passengers or as a goods vehicle. This is irrelevant of whether you are transporting goods or passengers at the time or not.
  • A vehicle over 3.5 tons, but is not a goods vehicle, does not require a PrDP. I’ve seen several people make mention of the Ford F250 and how traffic officer’s have demanded a PrDP. According to the law it is not required unless it can be defined as a goods vehicle. It does however require a C1 (old code 10) or higher licence.

This opens another discussion on the definition of goods vehicle. The RTA defines goods as

any movable property

and a goods vehicle as

a motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, motor tricycle, motor quadrucycle, motorcar, minibus or bus, designed or adapted for the conveyance of goods on a public road and includes a truck-tractor, adaptor dolly, converter dolly and breakdown vehicle

Which is very vague, so people who get fines for their F250 should probably just right a nice letter trying to explain how their vehicle is a private vehicle and should not fall under the definition of a goods vehicle.

To get a PrDP you must also not have been convicted of certain crimes within the space of 5 years (NRTA):

if the applicant has, within a period of five years prior to the date of the application, been convicted of or has paid an admission of guilt on –
i)    driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a drug having a narcotic effect;
ii)    driving a motor vehicle while the concentration of alcohol in his or her blood exceeded a statutory limitation;
iii)    reckless driving; or
iv)    in the case of an application for a category “P” and “D” permit, an offence of which violence was an element;

With regards to foreign/international/overseas driver’s licences, the exact law is unclear and interpreted differently. My interpretation of the NRTA (specific section) matches Fleetwatch here. If you wish to drive a vehicle that requires a PrDP, you either need a South African licence with a PrDP, or you need a licence from a prescribed country with their equivalent of the PrDP (for example Zimbabwe’s Defensive Driving Licence). If you have a licence from any other country you are not permitted to drive such a vehicle.

This is however countered by the AA in this response of their’s in which they essentially state that if you are allowed to drive a PrDP vehicle in your country, you can drive it in SA.

Please note, I am in no way an expert with regards to traffic laws or any related topic, I am merely laying out the information as I’ve found it, all comments below are also given with a view from the facts I know, always enquire at your local traffic department when uncertain.


Comment Note: Over the next few months I will have minimal access to the blog, as such comments are being locked until further notice.

592 thoughts on “When do you require a PDP / PrDP licence?

  1. I m currently working for big security company and i m on daily basis transporting security guards from thier location to the work place using quantum

    My employer is forcing me to do prdp at my own cost,is it legal?

    I had already done the prdp at my own cost but i see it as unfair,please help

    • I think that’s more an ethical question than a legal question.
      You do have to have a PrDP to do the job they’re asking you to do. I know very little about employment law though, only the traffic laws.
      A good company would cover your costs to do your PrDP.

  2. On the gov.za site it further states you can only obtain a prdp if you
    have never been convicted of a criminal
    offence or paid an admission-of-guilt fine. Is this accurate in your experience?

  3. i apply the prdp last year december 24 2015 till now didnt get it,whats the way forward because when i go to where i applied it ,they say still theres no result.

    • Hi Raymond, sorry I’m not sure. Are traffic department saying it’s still being processed? Do you have a reference number?

      • Hi Raymond, I had the same problem with two of our employees. Call Pretoria at : 012-679 2900, they might be able to assist you.

  4. I just received a no pdp fine in jhb for driving a Hyundai H100 transporting my household furniture. GVM is 3000kg. They even stated on the fine that it’s a truck. I argued that its not. But jmpd knows best, or maybe I’m wrong?

  5. Hi ,

    In September 2016, I am transporting 12 people including myself from C/TOWN INTERNATIONAL Tto Clanwilliam to start our hike.
    The Vehicle is a 14 seat Quantum inder 3500KG, and the passengers are non – paying.
    Do I need a PDP?

  6. Good day : TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.

    I am a little confused at this moment with PDP and PrDP permits. A vehicle under 3.5tons or if it is not a goods vehicle or if you are not transport passengers around, no permit will be required. So, what will be the minimum requirements when you have a code 08 (EB) licence and a PDP permit is also required ? What is the steps for a PDP or PrDP permit ?

    Many thanks.

    • Hi Frans, I don’t really understand your question. Do you want a PrDP?
      If you have an EB licence, you’ll only need a PrDP if you are driving passengers for reward.
      You apply for a PrDP at your local traffic department, you require a police clearance and medical signoff.

  7. Do I need PrDP if I drive vehicle registered to transport people for reward even if no passengers in the vehiclear?

  8. how can i follow up on My PDP i applied last year took the photo police clearance was sorted but i never got anything to collect , and infect teh place i applied for me is out of reach for now

    • what do you mean out of reach. You should follow up with the traffic department where you applied.

      • I am no longer in the same area … I need to book a weekend to go back there I followed my work … its in Jhb and im no longer living there …

  9. Hi Gareth I had a problem about to Apply 4 PrDP they said I must come after 2 weeks 4 fingerprint if I there aftr that they say no fingerprint for me I must phone them in Pretoria 2 email it 4me so I call this No.0126792900 more than 20 times nobody pickup my calls is any thing I can do in order 2 get mya fingerprint

  10. Can you found out how to get my fingerprints so easily or can i get a contact no

  11. I was caught in possession of dagga five years back.do i deserve prdp

  12. I have code 8 drivers license and now I want PDP get I get it without code C1?

    • If you haven’t been convicted of a crime in 5 recent years you should not have a problem with PrDP

  13. Im working as Ambulance driver bt i only transport 1 patient inside Ambulance as we are not allowed to transport 2 people inside Ambulance i have code C1, i want to understand do i really need Pdp to transport 1 patient?

  14. I have been found guilty of reckless driving this month for 8 months. I paid a fine for 4 months then 4 month I must not have relevant case. Can I apply a pdp now or after 4 months.carse

  15. hi there,

    i am opening a BnB, and would like to offer transport/lifts to guests who are patients needing to visit hospitals close-by……do i need a PrDP? Will i be safeguarded should we be involved in any accident?

    • If you are doing this as part of your job, or charging for this service, you will require a PrDP. You are then able to apply for insurance.

  16. Good day i was sentence to three months outside of prison and convicted for five year,then i reach five years now but when i try to clearish my finger prints they said i must wait for ten years and i don’t understand why because i did’nt do any crime since and its confusing me because i am not sure that i can apply for pdp or not help please

    • Hi Thembinkosi, I’m afraid I’m not sure about your problem. You should be able to get a PrDP as long as you were convicted over 5 years ago.

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