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.

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

  1. Hi I hv a c1 I would like to know my category since I don’t see it on the codes? I need to know if i can drive a code 14 vehicle having a leaners licence with someone with a code 14 licence present ?

    • Hi Mazibuko, the reason C1 isn’t in this table, is because no previous licence was transitioned to a C1.
      C1 allows you to drive a vehicle up to 16 tons with a small trailer. A code 14 allows you to drive vehicles above 16 tons, so your C1 does not necessarily permit you to drive a code 14 vehicle.

      However this doesn’t matter at all, if you have a code 3 learner’s licence, and are driving with a licenced code 14 driver (with PrDP), then you may drive the code 14 vehicle.

      • Thanks a lot. One more thing I applied for a renewal of my prdp it’s now ten weeks I never got any feedback. Can you maybe help or advice?

        • Sorry Mazibuko, beyond contacting the traffic department directly for a response, I can’t help.

          Good luck

  2. Hi, I have a C1 class drivers licence for up to 16000kg. I am a turn out driver in the Fire Department and we are going to acquire a Metz turntable ladder in the near future, that weighs a total 13 tons, what Class of licence would I require to drive this vehicle. Its not a “Horse and Trailer” vehicle, I think its the old code 11, if so, what Class would that fall under the new system?
    Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanking you in advance,
    Paul

    • Hey Paul,
      Is the ladder itself 13 tons, or will the vehicle that it’s on weigh 13 tons?
      If the total vehicle GVM is less than 16 tons, you can still get away with your C1. If the vehicle and ladder is going to weigh more than 16 tons, then you will need a C licence.
      Gareth

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