You might have heard it said that you need a PDP License to work and earn your living as a driver. You must have been told that you cannot work as a driver without it. So what is a PDP license? PDP stands for Professional Driving Permit, and yes, you absolutely need it to drive certain types of vehicles, and to work as a driver in South Africa.
A PDP license is a professional license that enables you to get a job with a transport company, or operate heavy machinery, or drive heavy-duty trucks. The acquisition of PDPs is now much more straightforward. All you have to do is meet the necessary requirements and pay the necessary fees. Once your application is correctly filled you will get the license.
How is this different from the regular driving license? How can you get it? What are the things you require to get a PDP License? These are the questions that will be answered in this post.
The first step in getting a PDP license is ensuring that you have all the things that you will need to get the certification. Please make sure to have the following:
How to get a PDP license
- Go to the nearest Driving License Testing Centre (DLTC)
- You will fill the PDP form. Please ensure that you are given the correct form; it will be clearly marked ‘Application for professional driving permit’ (PD1).
- Present your Identity document (ID)
- A PDP Medical form or certificate (less than 2 months old)
- Proof of postal and residential address such as a utility account.
- letter from the ward councilor, with an official stamp and date, confirming your postal address and residential address. (Informal Settlement)
- Present any additional professional driving permits or training certificates
- 4 identical black and white photographs.
- Pay the application fees
- Present proof of payment
- Undergo an eye test at the testing center.
After the completion of payment, you will be sent to the DLTC live capturing unit (LCU) to obtain a conviction report. Alternatively, you may be sent to the nearest police station to acquire a conviction report. Mostly, there will be no need to physically go to the police station because the DLTC should send your data electronically to the station, but just be prepared for anything.
After that you just need to wait while your PDP license is processed.
Your National Identification
A valid driver’s license
Police clearance certificate and criminal record
You need to have a PDP medical form or certificate that must be less than two months old
How to get a PDP license Online
All Gauteng residents should apply online for a professional driving permit. Please go to: https://online.natis.gov.za/#/ to apply online.
When you have all the above requirements, the next step is for you to go to the nearest Driving License Testing Centre (DLTC), where you will fill the PDP form. Please ensure that you are given the correct form; it will be clearly marked ‘Application for professional driving permit’ (PD1).
After filling the PD1 form you are required to present the documentation as mentioned above. Please present your Identity document (ID) or valid South African passport, valid driving license (having the same code as the vehicle you are applying for), A PDP Medical form or certificate (less than 2 months old), and Proof of postal and residential address such as a utility account.
If the utility bill is not made in your name, you need to present an affidavit where the owner of the bill declares that you currently reside at the stated premises/address. Please ensure that you attach this utility bill to the signed affidavit.
If the applicant lives in an informal settlement, it is necessary to provide a letter from the ward councilor, with an official stamp and date, confirming your postal address and residential address. This letter should not be more than 3 months old.
You will also be required to present any additional professional driving permits or training certificates that you have.
You need to present 4 identical black and white photographs.
The next step is to pay the application fees: you must pay the money and present proof before your application can be processed. PDP involves the application fee (R96. 00) and the Issue fee (R204. 00) details of how to pay are provided below:
Account name: Ideco AFI Switch (Pty) Ltd. Bank: ABSA. Branch: Business Banking Johannesburg North. Account Type: Cheque. Account number: 4074078548. Branch code: 630256. Reference: Applicant’s ID number.
Furthermore, you will be made to undergo an eye test at the testing center. Alternatively, you are allowed to have your eyes tested by a qualified optician, and then present your medical papers during the application.
After the completion of payment, you will be sent to the DLTC live capturing unit (LCU) to obtain a conviction report. Alternatively, you may be sent to the nearest police station to acquire a conviction report. Mostly, there will be no need to physically go to the police station because the DLTC should send your data electronically to the station but just be prepared for anything.
After that, you just need to wait while your PDP license is processed.
How long does it take to get a PDP license?
Typically, you only need to wait for about 12 weeks after a successful application. You will then be notified via SMS that your PDP license is ready for collection. Please go to the DLTC office to collect your PDP license. Make sure you carry with you your ID when going to collect your permit. Please also keep in mind that any cards still left uncollected after 120 days will be destroyed.
How long is a PDP license take to Expire?
The PDP license is only valid for two years or 24 months. The expiration date is indicated on the front of the card. After the expiration of the license, you will need to renew it with the same process as the one that got you the license in the first place.
When do you need a PDP license?
If you are on the verge of taking up employment driving any commercial vehicles, you need to have a PDP license. But then there are so many categories of commercial vehicles so let us be a little more specific; have a look at the list of vehicles covered by the PDP:
If you are driving a breakdown vehicle or a bus.
If you are driving a light motor vehicle that is indicated in the economic sector for carrying passengers for a fee. This includes taxi cabs and cars that drop passengers for a fee.
If you are driving any vehicle for which an operating license is issued; special industry vehicles.
If you are driving a goods vehicle with a gross vehicle mass exceeding 3,500 kg
If you are driving a minibus weighing more than 3,500 kg or designed to carry twelve or more people, including the driver.
If you are driving a motor vehicle designed to hold twelve or more people with the inclusion of the driver.
If you are driving dangerous goods vehicles, such as fuel tankers and LPG tankers.
If you are driving any motor vehicle used to transport people for payments.
What are the exceptions to having the PDP license?
Legally, however, not every commercial vehicle or heavy vehicle requires you to have a PDP license. Yes, there are exceptions. The exemptions are only given to drivers of specific vehicles such as Special vehicles for road buildings, and agricultural machinery, Firefighting vehicles, Tractors.
Other Important Information
In order to get a PDP license, you must first have a valid driving license for the type of vehicle you are applying for. If you are applying for a category D (dangerous goods) vehicle PDP license, you must have been certified by an approved training body.
Furthermore, you must have never had your driving license suspended, and you must have never been convicted of a criminal offense, nor have you been arrested for driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating substances.
You must not have been lawfully required to pay an admission-of-guilt fine. You must not have a criminal record for (in the past five years), you must not have been found to have driven a motor vehicle while the concentration of alcohol in your blood or breath exceeded a lawful limitation.
You must have been certified by a medical physician to be medically fit.
If you fail to meet any one of the stipulations above, or if you become medically unfit or have any convictions under your name, you will not be issued with a PDP license. If you already have one, you will not be issued with a renewal once the existing one becomes invalid. You may even face cancellation or suspension of your PDP.
Age limits for PDP application
As is usually the case with legal licenses and certifications, you are required to attain a minimum age. This is also true with the PDP licenses. However, even after one has reached the minimum legal age, which is 18 years of age, the PDP licenses also progressively increase in responsibility with the age, maturity, and experience of the applicant.
This is what we mean:
You need to be 21 years of age or older to hold a PDP for a passenger vehicle.
You need to be 25 years of age or older to hold a PDP for dangerous goods vehicles.
There is everything you need to know about getting a PDP license in South Africa. please remember that this is a very important document and it puts a weight of responsibility on the bearer. A lot of caution is put towards ensuring that only the best candidates get these licenses; therefore it is important to ensure that you have a clean criminal record so as not to jeopardize your chances of getting a PDP license.