Licensing renewal incompetence!

I am no longer surprised at the number of unlicensed vehicles on Gauteng roads, just like I am no longer convinced that those unregistered or cloned vehicles belong to a “criminal element”, rather an unfortunate number of law abiding citizens who have tried to do the right thing but have been met with the same amount of stupidity/incompetence/laziness (whatever you want to call it) as I have and have quite literally decided “f&ck you” – that’s where I am!

At the end of April this year, my car license was up for renewal and since, in that period, I had relocated from the Western Cape it meant change of address, etc. A process I have been through before in the Western Cape, without any hassles. How hard could it be?

Five months later and I am still nowhere near renewing my license. Repeated trips to the licensing department (on work time – since they aren't open on Saturdays) have proved futile – apparently because I don’t own property…

The first time I went in, I had with me a copy of my lease agreement. Was told that wouldn’t work as I had to have a utility bill (have no idea what part of renting these people don’t understand). While I pay for my electricity consumption – I don’t receive a bill. The rates account, even if it was sent to my address, is obviously not in my name and according to Telkom there is absolutely no infrastructure in my area for them to provide me with a landline. Add to the fact that I live in an area that has little to no postal services, meaning a PO box is required.

So I try again, this time with a copy of my lease agreement (again) as well as a bank printed and stamped statement showing ID number AND address – still not good enough.

Third attempt, all of the above AND a clothing store account statement (the only account I have) and my rental invoices for the past few months. No guessing how far that got me! Deciding that maybe I just had the unfortunate experience of dealing with someone suffering an “off” day I repeated the exact same as above a few days later. This time told that I would have to come in with a police affidavit as I had no other acceptable means of proving my residential address.

So, taking more time off work, I head off to the police station. Filling in the affidavit was a pleasure and I’m glad I had all the above documentation proving my address as they would not have signed and stamped without proof of their own. Why one law enforcement agency has no issue accepting those documents but the other one does is an enigma I will never understand.

Today, I head off to Midrand Licensing Department absolutely convinced that this time all will be well… I couldn’t be more wrong. Having been repeatedly told that my lease agreement, bank statements and various other invoices were useless I didn’t bring them with me. Armed with my affidavit (which I had to provide proof of residential address to have signed), the four pages of forms I had been told by Midrand licensing department to fill out, my ID book and previous registration paperwork I was turned away because I have “no proof of residential address”.

For someone who is capable of running faster than Usain Bolt when it comes to avoiding confrontation, I lost it! I don’t even feel sorry for the person on the receiving end. Not one of my questions regarding why I was turned away so often after providing numerous sources proving my residential address were answered. This guy asks me why I didn't bring my lease agreement in with me and while my blood pressure raised to dangerous levels this very tiny, meek voice (I think he was petrified of me) interrupts asking why he was just told (by the woman standing next to guy I was yelling at) that his lease agreement would not be accepted as proof of residential address, even though it reflects his full name and ID number (just like mine). While six other people standing in the queues all start, rather loudly, relating their exact same stories. It did make me feel a bit better that I wasn’t the only one experiencing this problem.

As I stormed out of there, with a newfound understanding of why some people enter into government offices and shoot or hold hostage the occupants and a few customers asking me to please wait to see the manager someone else had been waiting to see since 09:00 (it was now 14:30) I now realise that the number of “illegal” vehicles probably have absolutely nothing to do with criminals and everything to do with a system that no one seems to know how it works.

Now, could someone in the no please let me know what it is I’m dealing with here? It is honestly starting to feel as though what I actually need to do is go in there with a handful of cash to be handed, sneakily under the counter. I will not stoop to that level! Is this downright incompetence or is THIS the “good story” the ANC run province has to tell?  

James Smythe 2014/09/02 04:09:08 PM
I drove a vehicle totally unlicenced for 7 years as a result of such official idiocy!
Nettie Potgieter 2014/09/02 04:12:16 PM
Ask your local counselor for prove of residences.
SunshinyDay 2014/09/02 04:32:56 PM
Ag, don't even get me started. I have to register a car I bought (not knowing it had been deregistered) and after several trips to Lanlaagte (who told me to go to Lenasia, and Lenasia told me to go to Lanlaagte), several trips to the licencing dept. and loads of frustration, I am still not able to register the car (which is now going onto three years as an unlicenced vehicle). I drive with the complete pack of everything I have done (the change of ownership papers, the original licence (from when it was licenced), copies of seller and buyer ID's, the RCP form, etc. but even when I get stopped in roadblocks they want to impound the car (even though it's THEIR stupid system that prevents me from registering the car). Sigh....
Sheik Mohammad 2014/09/02 05:22:17 PM
My 1963 Volkswagen which I've had since 1966 was always a Volkswagen until three years ago, when it was changed by the eNatis system to a long bed trailer........... trying to get that fixed is an on going nightmare.
chedzoylocal 2014/09/02 06:06:46 PM
UK renewal system (the same throughout the life of the car regardless of owner's address): 1. Go to vehicle licensing website. 2. Enter car registration number (system automatically checks for valid MOT (roadworthiness) and insurance). 3. Pay online. 4. Disc posted within 5 working days (with discs no longer even required from 1 October). 5. Job done in around 2 minutes. Get with the programme, SA!
Tokyo Rose 2014/09/02 06:07:11 PM
The key words in your story are "Western Cape". Of course it worked there, everything does. That is why all my cars are still registered in the Western Cape, where all it takes to get my licence renewal are a phone call to the call centre (always answered before the 3rd ring), I get a reference number and pay the money into their account, and some 2 weeks later (depending on whether the Post Office is on strike or not) I get my new licence in the mail. Why bother to change - stay registered there, it is worth the slightly higher licence fees.
Totally Disillusioned 2014/09/02 06:29:12 PM
FB & N24 match this story. Anyway lets try again. PAID the license ONLINE 27 August, was issued next day and posted and was delivered at my house today, 2 September. 3.5 Working days. But then again, this IS the Cape...
Owen Walker 2014/09/02 06:34:19 PM
The proof of residence is very simple. Get an electronic copy of someone's electricity bill. Electronically alter the name. Keep for reuse. It's like swiping your card, no one checks the signature. All they have to see is your name on a bill, the rest is immaterial. Never sign fines as that is an admission of guilt. Just refuse. Never worry about your address, who wants them to find you easily. When in Rome ......
sxp 2014/09/02 07:14:03 PM
I see no reason for licenses. Simply nail those who cause harm and loss while driving.
Tina Butler 2014/09/02 10:40:25 PM
My daughter got married. Went to her bank with her old ID, new ID, marriage certificate and proof of residence to change her surname on her account. Was told that she cannot do so without her husband present, as they want proof that he actually exists and that they were in fact living together...