Renewing a vehicle licence disc has traditionally been considered one of those daunting tasks that are part and parcel of owning a vehicle. However, the government’s National Traffic Information System (NaTIS) is gradually changing that through a hassle-free, online vehicle licence disc renewal service.
A member of our staff recently had to renew his expired vehicle licence disc in Durban. Knowing from a previous experience how inefficient the traffic department closest to him was, the thought of standing in the queue for hours, only to be told to come back the following day, made him explore alternative ways one can renew their vehicle licence. He tried the Rossburgh Post Office in Southway Mall, one of the few branches of the Post Office that offer the licence disc renewal service in KwaZulu-Natal. Unfortunately, the service had been temporarily suspended at that branch. He then went to the Mobeni branch, where he joined a relatively short and fast-moving queue. Sadly, after waiting for a few minutes, the Post Office said it had taken the maximum number of people for the day. Everyone in the queue had to leave and come back another day.
At this point, our staff member decided to try renewing his vehicle licence online. After doing some research, comparing prices and reading reviews, he was not sure which service provider to choose among the twelve listed on Business Tech. The Post Office, with a service fee of R147 (including a delivery fee of R75), is the cheapest of the twelve. However, although the PO claims to deliver the licence disc within three days, our staff member was skeptical about this after his fast-mailed parcel was significantly delayed a few weeks earlier. So, he decided to renew the disc through NaTIS, which charges a fee of R171 (including R99 for delivery), and he was pleasantly surprised. Only a few details needed to be entered on the website for identification and communication purposes. There were no forms and documents to upload.
After payment was made with a debit card, a receipt was generated and our staff member downloaded it. Oddly, there was no immediate communication after that e.g. an SMS with details on what was to come next. That was the only minus about the NaTIS system. About 35 hours later, just before 23:00, an SMS came from a courier, saying a parcel from RTMC (Road Traffic Management Corporation) was on its way. The following day, approximately 52 hours after payment, the disc arrived in Durban (from Pretoria). This was quite impressive for a government service.
However, it is unclear how the demand for this relatively new service is. Its efficiency may be due to low demand as many people are still hesitant about performing such transactions on the internet. Hopefully it will remain efficient in the foreseeable future. If you have used this service, tell us about your experience in the comments below.