Book and Pass your Learners

Submitted under: Traffic Departments, Drivers license and Car license renewals

Learners License also called K53 learners permit.

This is your entry into the world of driving, it’s an A4 size page printed in a darker shade of green with your ID number, a ID photo and some information that allows you to drive a vehicle of a particular category that you passed the test for. In South Africa there are 3 popular categories of vehicles, A motorcycle which is class 1, a light motor vehicle is class 2, and a heavy vehicle. Im not sure what class a heavy vehicle falls under but more popular terms for vehicles are Code 8 for smaller vehicles, Code 10 for smaller trucks and Code 14 for anything bigger. There is another classification called Code 11 but its less popular and really a waste of time. If you are considering a Code 11 license you might as well skip to Code 14 with no limitations. It’s almost exactly the same procedure. These classifications are only for passenger and commercial vehicles. Operating a forklift for example is an application not handled by the Traffic Department.

To apply for a learners license you need to be 16 years or older for a motorbike, 17 years or older for a car and 18 years+ for anything bigger.

You also need your ID, proof of address and a small amount of cash for the application fee. This fee changes with inflation and it’s not see same throughout South Africa. Every city or province could charge a different rate. Booking for you learners is a 3 part procedure that should only take 20 minutes but because of the cues and in some cases nonchalant service, your waiting time could extend to a few hours. You first request the forms and submit the application form, on application they register you and FICA your details, the next step is to go for an eye test.  The final step is to pay for your booking and receive your test date. The teller will usually give you a few dates to choose from. You test date for your learners test will be much closer in terms of waiting than you test date for you drivers test. This is because each test lasts an hour and in that hour the examiner can test 20+ students at a time.

The learners test is rather easy and a lot of learners pass the first time. It is something you would want to study for though and you need to be prepared. A learner’s study guide can be rented at almost any local library, there are also free learners tests available online. Some driving schools offer classes and training at a minimal fee of R100.00 to R300.00 and they guarantee that you will pass. They use mock tests that are very close to the original test given to you at the testing station.

On your test date you will either be taking a written test or a computerized version. The computerized version of the test has more possible questions but the questions are limited. There’s just a larger pool of random questions that you can be asked from. If you study the K53 manual then you can pass both the written test and the computerized electronic test.

Once you are done with the test, you wait for a few minutes to receive your results. If you pass you then have to pay a small fee to receive your permit. If you’ve failed, they send you on your way to grieve.

I forgot to mention earlier, If you write you learners test for a heavy vehicle, you can do your driver’s test for any vehicle below that class in terms of weight with the exception of a motorcycle. This does not work the other way around though. For example, if you passed your learners for a light vehicle you can’t pass out of with a truck, but if you did your learners test for trucks and busses, you can decide to pass out with a vehicle, Of course your license will then permit you to drive the lesser vehicle only.


You are now ready to start preparing for you drivers test and to make a booking. You have 2 years in which obtain you driver’s license as the learners permit is valid for 24 months.