Professional Driving Permit (PrDP) Requirements in SA

A Professional Driving Permit (PrDP) is essential for individuals operating public transport and heavy-duty vehicles, including lorries, buses, and breakdown vehicles in South Africa. However, certain exceptions exist, such as for driving hearses or tractors.

Historical Context:

Previously known as a Public Drivers’ Permit (PDP), the PrDP was originally issued to drivers of these vehicles before 1998.

Vehicles Requiring a PrDP:

The scope of vehicles necessitating a PrDP encompasses a diverse array of transportation entities:

  • Goods vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) exceeding 3,500 kg.
  • Breakdown vehicles, essential for providing roadside assistance and recovery services.
  • Buses of any nature, serving as vital conduits for public transportation.
  • Minibuses with a GVM surpassing 3,500 kg or designed to accommodate 12 or more individuals, including the driver.
  • Vehicles utilized for remunerative passenger transportation, ensuring the safety and integrity of paid transportation services.
  • Goods vehicles transporting dangerous materials, comprising road tankers laden with volatile petroleum-based substances.
  • Motor vehicles transporting 12 or more individuals, inclusive of the driver, emphasizing the necessity for specialized certification in managing larger passenger capacities.
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Requirements for PrDP Applicants:

To apply for a PrDP, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Possess a valid driving license appropriate for the vehicle type.
  • Be of the required age limit for the vehicle category.
  • Be medically certified as fit by a doctor.
  • Obtain certification from an approved training body (only for dangerous goods vehicles).
  • Have no convictions or admission of guilt fines for specific offenses.

Possess a Valid Driving License Appropriate for the Vehicle Type

It’s important to have the right driver’s license for the type of vehicle you want to drive. This means if you want to drive a big truck, you need a license for that kind of vehicle. Having the right license shows that you know how to drive that specific type of vehicle safely.

Be of the Required Age Limit for the Vehicle Category

You also need to be the right age to drive certain types of vehicles. Different vehicles have different age limits because they can be more difficult to drive or need more experience. Being the right age ensures that you’re mature enough to handle the responsibilities of driving that specific vehicle.

Be Medically Certified as Fit by a Doctor

Before you can get a professional driving permit, you have to get a medical check-up from a doctor. This is to make sure you’re healthy enough to drive safely. The doctor will check things like your eyesight, hearing, and overall health to make sure you’re fit to drive.

Obtain Certification from an Approved Training Body (Only for Dangerous Goods Vehicles)

If you want to drive a vehicle that carries dangerous goods, like chemicals or gas, you have to get special training. This training teaches you how to handle these materials safely. It’s important because these goods can be harmful if not handled properly.

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Have No Convictions or Admission of Guilt Fines for Specific Offenses

You can’t have a record of certain crimes if you want to get a professional driving permit. This includes things like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving recklessly, or being violent. Having a clean record shows that you’re responsible and can be trusted to drive safely.

Application Process:

To apply for a PrDP, visit a Driving Licence Testing Centre and:

  • Complete form PD1.
  • Pay the required fee.
  • Present your ID, driving license, and medical fitness certificate.
  • Provide two ID-sized photographs.
  • Pass a police criminal clearance check.
  • Show any existing professional driving permits.

Card Collection and Renewal:

Once approved, your new driving license card with the PrDP will be ordered. You’ll be notified when it’s ready for collection. Ensure you collect it within 120 days; otherwise, it will be destroyed. The PrDP’s expiry date will be printed on the card, and renewal follows the same process as the initial application.

For more information, contact the Transport Administration and Licensing helpdesk at Western Cape Mobility Department.

Remember, adhering to these requirements ensures safe and lawful driving practices, promoting road safety for all.


Difference Between PDP and PrDP

A Public Drivers’ Permit (PDP) is the older term used for the permit required by drivers of public transport and heavy-duty vehicles before 1998, while a Professional Driving Permit (PrDP) is the current term for the same permit issued after 1998. Both serve the same purpose, but the terminology has been updated over time.

How Much Does a PrDP Cost

The cost of a Professional Driving Permit (PrDP) varies depending on factors such as location and administrative fees. It’s best to check with your local Driving Licence Testing Centre or transport authority for the most accurate pricing information.

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How Long Does Fingerprint Clearance Take for PrDP

Fingerprint clearance for a Professional Driving Permit (PrDP) typically takes 48 hours. This process involves verifying the applicant’s criminal record through fingerprints to ensure eligibility for the permit.

PrDP Renewal Requirements

To renew a Professional Driving Permit (PrDP), applicants must typically follow the same process as the initial application. This may include:

  • Completing any required forms.
  • Paying the renewal fee.
  • Providing updated identification and documentation.
  • Undergoing a medical fitness assessment.
  • Passing a police criminal clearance check.
  • Meeting any additional requirements specified by local regulations.

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