Incredibly bad service at licence department

Last year I did not receive a renewal notice for my car’s license. I managed to renew it by showing the old license as well as my ID book.

This year I again did not receive a renewal notice. Armed with the old license and my ID book I arrived at the local licensing department. After standing in a long queue for more than an hour, I arrive at the front to notice something posted on the window. Firstly a notice saying something about the Post Office no longer sending out renewal notices – how convenient to be able to blame it on someone else! Just below that notice is another one saying that if you did not receive a notice (how would you if they are no longer sent out?) you need to complete an ALV form.

I left the queue to go and complete the ALV form. Back in the queue … another 45 minutes later I get to the front: “Sorry sir, we need proof of residence”.

Back home I go to dig one up, could not find it, so I printed the last one I received via email. Back in an even longer queue. Almost two hours later I get to the front. The person serving me refuses to accept my printed copy because she could not know if it was “genuine”.

Off to the municipality where they print me a copy – looks much like the one I handed in. Too late to go back to licensing department so I decided to get up early the next morning. Still I stood in the queue for 30 minutes. This time the gentleman asks if my proof of address is a copy, because if not, he would make a copy and give the “original” back to me! For crying out loud! Who trains these people on the rules (which they chop and change without notice anyway)?

All in all it cost me some 65 km of driving around to renew my license. Who pays for that? And what about the wasted time? Most certainly not the incompetent licensing department.

Please tell me now what should I take with me next year so that I can start preparing?

Willem Swanepoel

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