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There are three categories of Learner’s License:
Category 1 is Motor Cycles, motor tricycles or quadrucycles
Category 2 is Light Motor Vehicles less than 3,500 kilograms
Category 3 is all other vehicles.
The Learner’s License exam is designed to prove to the authorities that you understand the basics of driving:
The controls of a vehicle
The rules of the road
Road traffic signs
Signals and markings
Road safety and your responsibilities in the event of a collision.
When you have passed, you will be allowed to drive on a public road provided you are accompanied by a qualified, licensed driver.

To write the Learner’s License exam in South Africa you must make an appointment with your local testing authority.
The appointment usually has to be in person as you must pay the prescribed fee in advanced of taking the test.
The fees vary by province and consist of a booking fee (R80-R160 depending on province) and issue fee (R35-R65 depending on province).
You will not be able to obtain a learner’s license if:
You have been disqualified by a court of law and the disqualification is still in force our licence has been suspended temporarily or cancelled and the suspension / cancellation is still in force
You already have a licence for the same class of vehicle You are addicted to narcotic drugs or to the excessive use of intoxicating liquor
You are suffering from one of the following:
(A) Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus or epilepsy.
(B) Sudden attacks of disabling giddiness or fainting.
(C) Any mental illness requiring you to be detained, supervised, controlled or treated as a patient.
(D) Defective vision (per prescribed standard).
(E) Any disease or physical defect which will render you incapable of driving effectively without endangering the safety of the public.
Deafness is not regarded as such a defect, The license holder must report to the nearest authority within 21 days of noticing any disqualification.
To take the Learner’s License Exam, you must be of the minimum required age, which is:
(A) for a motorcycle (without a sidecar) with an engine not exceeding 125 cc – 16 years.
(B) for light motor vehicles with a mass not exceeding 3 500 kilograms – 17 years.
(C) for all other vehicles (also motorcycles with an engine exceeding 125 cc) – 18 years Pass the health and eyesight requirements Have acceptable identification with you when you apply (SA identity document or a passport) and have two recent passport-size black-and-white or colour identity photographs.
The actual learner’s exam consists of a multiple choice test and an eye test. A situation or road sign is giving along with several questions or statements.
The written test is multiple choice with each question having at least three possible answers.
In some cases, only one option is correct, in others more than one option is correct, and in some cases one option is more correct than the others.
Read all answers carefully and make sure you select the most correct option(s).
Don’t hurry through the questions and select the wrong option because you didn’t read all the detail.
The Learner’s Licence exam typically has 68 questions across the syllabus per the table below.
To pass, you need circa 75% correct answers, though the allocation of questions and pass marks change over time so make sure you understand the requirements at your test centre.
Cheating during the official test is an offence. If convicted, a candidate will be disqualified from writing the test for at least 12 months.
Depending on your testing centre, you will either do the test using a computer or pen-and-paper.
Check this with your testing centre at the time of booking the test so that you can prepare.
For the pen-and-paper test, you will be given a book of questions, an answer sheet, a chart of road signs and a book containing pictures of the vehicle controls and different road layouts. Listen carefully to the instructions as you may only be required to answer sections pertinent to your vehicle class. Ask any questions to the examiner if you have them – there are always others that have the same questions.
When you obtain a Learner’s Licence, you may:
Drive on public roads/freeways provided you are supervised by a person in possession of a valid driver’s license for the class of vehicle which you are driving.
This person should be seated right next to you, or directly behind you if it is not possible to be seated next to you Allow passengers in the vehicle provided they do not pay a fare You must carry your Learner’s Licence with you whenever you are driving a vehicle and have a sticker with a large red “L” on the rear window.
Your Learner’s Licence will be valid for 24 months from the date of issue. Once you have obtained it, you can start preparing yourself for the Practical Driver’s Licence Exam by taking driving lessons with a qualified driving instructor.
There are three rules that apply with respect to vehicle handling:
All vehicles must have a clearance certificate (licence disc) that is valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
No one may drive, get into, onto, or tamper with a vehicle without permission It is illegal to in any way alter the engine or chassis number of a motor vehicle, except with the prior written consent of the registering authority.
A police officer may at any time stop you on the roadside and check that everything is in order with your vehicle.
Once you have obtained a Learner’s Licence, you may start to train for your Driver’s Licence.
We recommend you consult a professional, certified driving instructor that belong to a professional organisation such as the South African Institute of Driving Instructors (SAIDI).
SAIDI instructors should have a legal instructor’s certificate and all the necessary professional training that will ensure he/she can teach you all the advanced, safe techniques to make you a great driver.
There are several classes of driver’s licenses.
Depending on which Learner’s Licence you have, you are only permitted to take certain driver’s licenses. Once you have obtained your Driver’s Licence, you may drive the class of vehicle which you’ve have been licensed for without supervision, provided you carry your Driver’s Licence with you at all times when you drive.