SA Driver’s Licence codes, old vs new

It constantly frustrates me how although since 1998 (16 years ago) the official licence system has made use of a system of letters to distinguish between different licence codes, to this day, people still, on a regular basis, refer to licence codes by the old number system.

To make things easier for people who are getting confused, I’ve pulled the data from the Road Traffic Act and put it together here, first the learner’s licence, then driver’s licence info. The system has undergone several changes over the decades and the time frame that each refers to is specified at the top of each column

I’ve also added a copy of a current driver’s licence to show what the current codes refer to.

Learner’s Licence system

learner’s licence issued before 1 March 1998 New/Current Learner’s Licence What this currently entails
Code 01, 02, 03, 04 and 15 Code 1 Motorbike / trike
Code 05, 06, 07, 08 Code 2 LMV
code 10, 11, 13 and 14 Code 3 HMV or LMV

Driver’s Licence

Current [1995 – 1998] [01.06.1990 – 1995) [31.12.1985 – 01.06.1990) [01.02.1972 – 31.12.1985) [01.01.1967 – 01.02.1972) [… – 01.01.1967)
A1 Code 01 Code 01 Code 01 Code 01 Code 01 Code 01
A Code 15 Code 02
Code 15
Code 03
Code 04
Code 02
Code 03
Code 04
Code 02
Code 03
Code 04
Code 02
Code 03
Code 02
Code 03
B Code 05
Code 07
Code 05
Code 07
Code 05
Code 07
Code 05
Code 07
agricultural / industrial vehicles
EB Code 08 Code 08 Code 08 Code 08 Code 08 Code 08
EC1 Code 10 Code 10 Code 10 Code 9
EC Code 11
Code 13
Code 14
Code 11
Code 13
Code 14
Code 11
Code 13
Code 14
Code 10
Code 11
Code 10
Code 11
Code 10
SA Driver's Licence

Current SA driver’s licence codes

A code 6 licence could be given for any category licence referring to an electrically powered vehicle.
A code 12 licence could be given for any category licence referring to a vehicle that is specially adapted for use by a physically disabled person.

All info is from the Road Traffic Act, Regulations, Chapter V: Fitness of Drivers, Part ll: Learner’s and driving licences and it goes into a lot more detail than I’ve displayed here. You can click the following terms if you would like more info on the SA Driver’s licence system or the Professional Driver’s Permit.

119 thoughts on “SA Driver’s Licence codes, old vs new

  1. good day, i passed my learner licence for code 3, saying it is for HMV only, so i cannot do a driving test with a LMV? And i cannot do my learner licence over until this one expires. this was not intentional, i applied for a LMV Learner licence but was issued a code 3. so dissapointed. What i want to know do i realy have to pass with a HVM Can i not do a test with a LMV And be issued with a C1 Or B

    • A c1 is a heavy motor vehicle, so the code 3 licence is valid for it.
      In any case, you should be able to pass out with a LMV, code B, with a code 3 learner’s licence – source

  2. GOOD DAY

    WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF A DRIVERS LIC HAS A NO 2 NEXT TO LICENSES NUMBER.

    ALL THE OTHERS IVE SEEN HAS A NUMBER 1

    • Hi Saffiyya, I’m not 100% sure, I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. It may just be used to differentiate if someone gets two driver’s licences issued at the same time.

        • Even though EC1 and code 14 are different vehicle types, they are both Heavy Motor Vehicles and as such are covered by the same learner’s licence, which is a Code 3.

          Code 2 learner’s licences cover light motor vehicles, more info here.

    • According to the RTA, they are not equivalent.
      With an EC1, you are not allowed to drive vehicles/vehicle combinations with a GMV over 16 tons.

    • The 0,1 appears to allow you to drive a bus with a GVM over 16 tons, which would normally fall into the EC category. However, you can’t drive other vehicle combinations (eg. truck and trailer) over 16 tons. So it’s not completely equivalent to an EC.

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