When taking into mind, ‘roadworthiness’, one often thinks of South Africa’s public road transportation systems, because the fact is that taxi’s have caused much traffic road rage for car drivers.

But, ‘roadworthiness’ is applicable to and is a legal requirement for ALL motor vehicle owners.

Roadworthy certificates are legally required when you sell your car or when you buy a car.

When buying a vehicle, you will need to register the car on your name. However, when selling your car, the vehicle needs to be registered on the car buyer’s name. This is due to the vehicle’s change in ownership. Prior to being able to register a vehicle on your name, a Roadworthy Certificate must be presented. Therefore before anything, it is your responsibility to ensure that you first test the vehicle for roadworthiness, at a private or public testing station.

Legally, if your motor vehicle is a heavy-load vehicle or being used for public transport, it has has to be tested for roadworthiness before renewing its licence, every year. However, buses have to be tested every 6-months.

Here is what you need to do:

Step 1: At your nearest vehicle testing station, submit an Application for Certification of Roadworthiness (ACR), along with your vehicle’s registration certificate, ID and indicated fee.

The application will be processed on the same day.

Your Roadworthy Certificate is generally valid for 60-days. But if your license expires and are unable to renew your used car license before its expiration date, you will have a grace period of 21-days to have your motor vehicle license renewed from the expiry date, while retaining its roadworthy status.

If you have sold your car, the car buyer has to submit the relevant forms – including the car seller’s registration form and current roadworthy certificate – to the appropriate registering authority, within 21-days of buying your car. This is relevant to all motor vehicle purchases. The car buyer therefore has the human right to obtain the pertinent documentation applicable to applying for a new Roadworthy Certificate.

According to the National Vehicle Testing Association association statistics, 80% of tested cars in the Western Cape were not in roadworthy condition. If you ignore your vehicle’s roadworthiness, your license registration application will not only be rejected but insurance companies will view driving an ‘unroadworthy’ car as reckless. Legally, doing so is simply a violation of the law.

So, why do you need a Roadworthy Certificate?

  • Identification of the vehicle by engine and chassis number, in case the vehicle is stolen and number plate changed.
  • Ensure that the vehicle’s doors are attached to the hinges and inner panels do not possess sharp edges that could injure.
  • Test the vehicle’s electrical system for safety risks. This includes vehicle lights, alternators, indicators, hooter, wipers, wiring, generator and battery.
  • Ensure that car seats are secure.
  • Ensure that the windows are using safety glass and window winders.
  • Check that the brakes are working and is in good condition.
  • Ensure that safety belts is not damaged and has a SABS or other mark.
  • Inspect the wheel’s tread and spare.
  • Ensure the fuel tank has a cap and assess the fuel tank’s effectiveness.
  • Ensure the vehicle has no sharp corroded edges that could injure.

Adhere to legal requirements of the National Traffic Laws and get your vehicle roadworthy-tested.

The above information, as retrieved from gov.za, is simply a guide and does not change any laws, rules and regulations, as stipulated in the South African National Road Traffic Act or National Road Traffic Regulations.

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