Rant…or RANT if you prefer

18 August , 2016

So, it’s come to my attention that my driver’s license needs urgent renewing. Let me just start off my tangent by reminding everone that once upon a time in the not too distant past, once you had your licence it was a done deal unless a court took it away from you for driving like an asshole, or someone liberated your ID book in a robbery.

Then they whipped it out of the ID book and on to a card…that had to be renewed every 5 years. 

And so off I go to the licencing department to go spend a day in the queue, as you do. (That was yesterday). 

My wait was short though, since apparently NOW the new and improved thing is that you have to have a proof of residence to renew. 

Explain this to me though. Where is the logic? You should strongly suspect that I’m not going to be at home when I renew my licence…since I’ll be driving around with it in a legal manner, right? 

Also, side rant, what the fuck is the point of this proof of residence business anyhoo?! It is the BANE of my existence in all things admin. As I understand it, the original purpose was to crack down on terrorism and scammers…I think we can all agree that in this regard it has been a monumental fail. 

Also, I have a really hard time proving my residence because a rental agreement doesn’t count, the utilities bill is in the landlord’s name and all my own accounts arrive at my house via email…yet someone who lives between two pieces of corrugated iron and an election poster will still manage to open accounts and do all manner of admin things without even having a street address or utilities. 

I have come to the conclusion that the whole requirement has been designed with the exclusive purpose of pissing people off and wasting their time. So mission accomplished I guess.

Right, so back to the licensing bit. I left (yesterday) in a huff. Got a utilities bill with a letter saying I stay there, and back into the fray I go. Second day in a row.

Only, still no joy. First off you also need a copy of your ID. You know, the one that now doesn’t have anything to do with your licence anymore. And NO, they can’t just make one if they need it. 

No problem. Some guy has set up a caravan with a copier outside. R6 a copy…only he hasn’t got paper. Eventually someone in a taxi delivers 10 pages and we’re good to go, right? Right?!

Wrong. Nope, proof of residence rejected. It has to have a sworn statement attached, and probably needs to be kissed by a unicorn too – who knows?!

So I did actually say, “Fuck this shit!” this time round, and if someone pulls me over for being unlicensed I might unleash a storm of papercuts on them with my invalid proof of residence and R6 ID copy. After two days at the licensing office I am now in an extremely foul mood about this.

To add insult to injury, as you walk out of the door, there are at least 10 shifty looking characters who swear high and low that they can get you in and out and licensed in 10 minutes, with no supporting documentation…for R300. They’ll drop down to R150 if you don’t look keen. If you still don’t want to bribe your way through the bullshit…they’ll settle for a cigarette to stop traffic for you so that you can get out.

I didn’t go for it. *sigh* I guess I’m in for another day’s queueing once I get a sworn statement. 


PS! I see IDs are also going the card way now, so you can imagine how delightful this is going to be in future.

PPS! Whichever political party promises to abolish this proof of residence bullshit will get my vote in the next round of elections. I am so over it. Really!


  1. Pfffttt indeed. Maybe the DA will make some sense and abolish this proof of residence thing…here’s hoping.

    • Seriously, that would be the most sensible thing ever!

  2. You know back in the day (2002/ 2003) I actually implemented FICA at the company I was at. And I’m so pleased I actually know the point of everything – we were very reasonable about proof of residence because 1) most people (well, in our target market) have post boxes, not actual street addresses and 2) you’ve got to stay creative and remember the big picture (exactly as you said, to clamp down on money laundering, the point is to know your client).

    Of course the problem comes in when you tell people what to do (KYC) but not why and don’t think further, then you get all this nonsense. I have to renew my car licence and we have NOTHING at this property yet. A girl at work told me just take your bill from the old address – who will know? Which is actually true so I’m going to go to the post office on Tues to have a bash – I’ll let you know….

    By the way, we fully accepted lease agreements and anything that proved you lived at such and such place. My financial advisory company got a letter from D (we have it ready now and just print one out) and our city of jhb statement because I also have nothing in my actual name except cell phone (which is emailed) and bank statement (also emailed).

    Anyway, all that to say GOOD LUCK and take a stress ball with you.


    • Whoohoo! 3rd time lucky. I am once more driving legally – thank goodness!

      Marcia, you are so right though. People do things without understanding the reasons behind stuff…and the wheels come off.

  3. Oh gosh and they think you need it for almost flippin everything!

    • Just about everything, yip. So annoying!

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