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If you don’t collect your driver’s license within the 120-day collection period in South Africa, it will be destroyed, and you’ll need to reapply, which involves retaking tests and incurring additional costs. Failure to collect your license can lead to driving restrictions and inconveniences.

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The Initial Notification

After successfully passing your driving test and fulfilling all the requirements, the driving license testing center will send you an SMS notification to inform you that your driver’s license is ready for collection. This SMS is a crucial communication method, so it’s vital to keep your contact information updated.

The 120-Day Collection Period

Now, let’s address the first important question: What happens if you don’t collect your driver’s license within the stipulated timeframe? South African law dictates that uncollected licenses are held for a period of 120 days from the date of notification. However, once this timeframe elapses, licenses that remain unclaimed are subject to destruction.

Consequences of Not Collecting Your Driver’s License

The consequences of not collecting your driver’s license extend beyond the inconvenience of having to reapply and retake the necessary tests. Here are some key repercussions:

  1. Additional Administrative Steps: If your driver’s license is destroyed due to non-collection, you’ll need to initiate the application process anew. This includes retaking the driving test, attending driving school, and providing the requisite documentation. The administrative work and time required for this can be significant.
  2. Financial Implications: Reapplying for a driver’s license in South Africa comes with associated costs. These include fees for the driving test, application, and potentially attending driving school. Moreover, the time you’ll spend on retesting and retraining can result in lost income.
  3. Driving Restrictions: Without a valid driver’s license, you won’t be legally permitted to operate a motor vehicle. This could affect your daily life, commute, job, and personal freedom.

Solutions and Preventive Measures

To prevent these consequences, it’s essential to:

  1. Keep your contact information updated with the driving license testing center to ensure you receive collection notifications.
  2. Plan your schedule to ensure you can collect your license within the 120-day period.
  3. If unforeseen circumstances prevent you from collecting your license in person, designate a trusted individual to do so on your behalf by following the outlined guidelines in the SMS notification.


Collecting your South African driver’s license is a significant milestone, and it’s crucial to do so within the 120-day collection window. Failing to do so can result in unnecessary inconveniences, financial costs, and restrictions. To avoid these consequences, stay vigilant with your notifications and plan accordingly. Remember that keeping your driver’s license in hand means keeping your freedom on the road.