What to Expect About the New SA Number Plates

One of the silliest ways to get your car insurance claim rejected is to have the wrong car license plate number recorded on your policy. It’s a pain, but rules are rules, and the rules say that all the details on your policy must be 100% correct.

Why is this something worth talking about, considering most of us already know to keep our policy details up-to-date for that very reason? Well, last year, our government announced their plans to introduce new South African car license plates in 2017.

The changes represent a complete overhaul, so grab that cold one and use this guide to understand what’s to come.

Why is this happening?

There are a few reasons for why this is planned, but the main objectives seem to include standardising number plates in SA, combating number plate fraud and cloning, and ensuring that only the right cars are on our roads as this is a contributing factor to car accident fatalities.

What will this look like and what will change?

Here is the lowdown on what the new plates will look like:

  • BLACK numbers and lettering for public transport cars.
  • RED numbers and lettering for government cars.
  • GREEN numbers and lettering for diplomatic cars.
  • BLUE numbers and lettering for personal cars.

Here are the elements that will be included on the new plates:

  • The South African National Flag will feature on the top left corner.
  • Your license number, plus the name of the province in which the car is registered, and the province’s license mark will be placed under the flag.
  • Your plate will also include a certified stamp of approval from the South African Bureau of Standards, a 4D barcode with the QR code that contains the registration number of the manufacturer of blank number plates, and the sequence number on the bottom left of the number plate.

All this info will be embossed on an aluminum plate (no more plastic) and coated with a retro-reflective surface, ensuring that it will last longer and won’t burn quite so easily in the unfortunate event of an accident.

What will happen to your customised number plates?

You’ll still be able to have your personalised number plates, but it will have to conform to the above regulations… So yes, you’ll have to get your plates redone. Apparently, there will also be a ban on offensive language or symbols. Only numbers and letters will be allowed.

The figures you should know about.

Let’s start with the cost. As of now, the new plates will cost around R250 and you will have to spring for this amount every few years. Here’s another figure: 5 years. That’s how long you have until you’ll have to renew your plates, and yes, pay another pot of gold.

The last figures that’s important to think about is the date, and alas… There has been no official date set for the roll out yet.

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