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How Long Is Roadworthy Valid In South Africa?

Quick Summary

In South Africa, a roadworthy certificate is required when buying or selling a car, and it is valid for 60 days. Different types of vehicles have specific roadworthy requirements, and the certificate can be obtained through a roadworthy test at authorized testing stations. It is important to have a valid roadworthy certificate to ensure compliance with traffic laws and to maintain the safety of the vehicle.


In South Africa, a roadworthy certificate is an essential document when it comes to buying or selling a vehicle. This certification ensures that the vehicle meets specific safety and compliance standards set by national traffic laws. It serves as proof that the car has undergone thorough inspection and is deemed fit for use on public roads.

Whether you are purchasing a new or used vehicle, obtaining a roadworthy certificate is crucial before registering it in your name. Failure to present this certificate can result in rejection of license registration and may even affect insurance coverage.

But how long does this roadworthy certificate remain valid? In this blog post, we will explore the validity period of roadworthiness certificates in South Africa and provide answers to some frequently asked questions regarding their requirements.

What is a roadworthy certificate?

A roadworthy certificate, also known as a Certificate of Roadworthiness, is an official document that certifies the safety and compliance of a motor vehicle with national traffic laws and standards. In South Africa, it is required by law to have a valid roadworthy certificate when buying or selling a car.

This certification ensures that vehicles on the roads are in good condition and safe for both drivers and passengers. It involves conducting thorough inspections of various components such as brakes, lights, tires, steering system, suspension system, electrical systems, and overall adherence to traffic regulations.

The purpose of obtaining this certificate is to minimize accidents caused by faulty or unsafe vehicles. By regularly inspecting cars through these tests, it helps identify potential issues early on so they can be addressed promptly before causing any harm.

It’s important to note that having a current roadworthy certificate does not guarantee the future performance or reliability of the vehicle. It simply indicates that at the time of inspection, the vehicle met the required standards and was deemed fit for use on the roads. However, circumstances can change over time, such as wear and tear or new modifications, making it essential to continuously maintain your car in good condition even after obtaining a certificate.

Why is a roadworthy certificate required in South Africa?

In South Africa, a roadworthy certificate is legally required when selling or buying a car. This requirement ensures that vehicles on the roads are safe and comply with national traffic laws and safety standards. The purpose of obtaining a roadworthy certificate is to minimize the risk of accidents caused by faulty or unsafe vehicles.

Ensuring Safety and Compliance

When purchasing a vehicle, it needs to be registered in the buyer’s name, and before registration can take place, a valid roadworthy certificate must be presented. This certification process involves conducting an inspection of various aspects of the vehicle such as brakes, lights, tires, steering system, and suspension components.

Protecting Buyers

The importance placed on having this document lies not only in ensuring public safety but also protecting buyers from acquiring unroadworthy cars unknowingly. By requiring sellers to provide proof that their vehicles meet certain criteria for being deemed “road-worthy,” potential buyers have some assurance about what they’re getting into when making such purchases.

Regular Inspections

Furthermore, the law mandates regular inspections through these certificates every two months (60 days) to ensure ongoing compliance with regulations. This periodic testing helps identify any issues early enough so corrective measures can be taken promptly, reducing risks associated with driving defective automobiles. The responsibility falls upon owners who need new certifications after expiration dates pass; otherwise, it may result in rejection during license registrations or insurance companies viewing them as reckless drivers due to non-compliance with legal requirements.

Additional Checks for Specific Vehicles

It should also be noted that heavy-load vehicles and those used for public transport are subject to regular annual tests, while buses require testing every six months. These additional checks help maintain higher levels of safety given the nature of their usage and the potential risks involved if they were operating without proper maintenance checks.

In summary, a valid roadworthy certificate is required to safeguard both drivers’ well-being and society at large by ensuring vehicles that meet minimum safety requirements are running on the country’s roads.

How long is a roadworthy certificate valid for?

In South Africa, a roadworthy certificate is an essential document required before registering a motor vehicle in your name. The validity period of the roadworthy certificate plays an important role in ensuring that vehicles on the roads are safe and comply with national traffic laws.

The general rule regarding the validity of a roadworthy certificate is that it remains valid for 60 days from the date of issue. This means that once you obtain this certification, you have two months to complete all necessary registration processes without needing another inspection.

It’s crucial to note that different circumstances may affect how long your specific roadworthy certificate remains valid. For example, if modifications have been made to your vehicle or if there are any changes related to fuel type usage, these factors might impact its duration.

To ensure accurate information about certification periods based on individual situations such as modified vehicles or alternative fuels used, it’s advisable always to consult with authorized testing stations or relevant regulatory authorities directly. They will be able provide up-to-date guidance tailored specifically for each case.

Remembering when exactly your current Road Worthy Certificate expires can help avoid unnecessary complications during car transactions and registrations while keeping yourself compliant with legal requirements.

Roadworthy requirements for different types of vehicles

Private vehicles

When it comes to private vehicles in South Africa, a roadworthy certificate is required before the vehicle can be registered in the buyer’s name. This means that when buying or selling a car, both parties need to ensure that the vehicle has a valid roadworthy certificate. The certificate ensures that the vehicle meets certain safety standards and adheres to national traffic laws.

Heavy-load vehicles

For heavy-load vehicles such as trucks and trailers, an annual roadworthiness test is mandatory. These tests are conducted by authorized testing stations and aim to assess whether these larger commercial vehicles meet specific safety criteria set out by regulatory authorities.

Vehicles used for public transport

Vehicles used for public transportation purposes also require regular roadworthiness inspections. In this case, they must undergo an annual inspection at approved testing stations designated specifically for assessing their fitness on South African roads.


Buses have slightly stricter regulations compared to other types of motorized transport due to their capacity and potential impact on passenger safety. As such, buses are subject not only annually but every six months (twice per year) under law 57(3)(a). It’s important bus owners adhere strictly with these guidelines so passengers remain safe during transit journeys throughout our country.

How to obtain a roadworthy certificate

In order to obtain a roadworthy certificate in South Africa, there are certain steps and processes that need to be followed. This section will outline the roadworthy test process, provide information on authorized testing stations, and explain how to renew a roadworthy certificate.

Roadworthy test process

The first step in obtaining a roadworthy certificate is undergoing the necessary tests. These tests ensure that your vehicle complies with national traffic laws and safety standards. During the inspection, various aspects of your vehicle will be checked including brakes, lights, tires, steering system, and suspension.

It is important for owners or sellers of vehicles seeking certification to take their cars for these inspections at an accredited private or public vehicle testing station. The inspectors at these stations have been trained specifically for this purpose. They possess knowledge about all relevant regulations pertaining to motor vehicles’ roadworthiness requirements.

During the inspection, the inspector may identify any faults or issues with your car. If such problems arise, you’ll receive feedback regarding what needs fixing before you can pass the examination. Once repairs have been made, a retest must be conducted until compliance has been achieved. This ensures that only safe and reliable vehicles are granted a valid roadworthy certificate.

Authorized roadworthy testing stations

To undergo the roadworthy tests, it’s crucial to visit an authorized roadworthy testing station. These stations are approved by the relevant authorities in South Africa and have the authority to grant valid roadworthy certificates. Avoid unauthorized or illegitimate establishments as they may not follow proper procedures or take into account all necessary factors during their inspections. To ensure you visit an authorized station, you can check with your local traffic department or government website for a list of accredited testing facilities in your area. It is recommended to take the time to research and choose a reputable station to ensure thorough and accurate inspections of your vehicle.

Renewing a roadworthy certificate

Roadworthy certificates in South Africa are valid for a period of 60 days from the date of issue. This means that you will need to renew your certificate every two months. To renew the roadworthy certificate, you must take your vehicle to an authorized roadworthy testing station and repeat the inspection process as when obtaining the initial certificate. If the vehicle meets all the safety standards, a new certificate will be issued, valid for another 60 days. It is important to note that if any repairs or adjustments were made to your vehicle after it passed its last roadworthy test, it may not pass the new inspection without correcting those issues first. Taking care of regular maintenance and addressing any concerns promptly will help ensure your car remains roadworthy throughout the year.

By following these steps and adhering to the necessary procedures, you can obtain or renew a roadworthy certificate in South Africa. Remember that having a valid roadworthy certificate is not only legally required but also ensures the safety of yourself as well as other drivers on the roads.

Consequences of not having a roadworthy certificate

In South Africa, it is mandatory to have a valid roadworthy certificate when registering or selling a motor vehicle. Failing to obtain this certification can lead to various consequences and legal implications.

1. Rejection of license registration

If you do not possess a valid roadworthy certificate, the authorities may reject your application for license registration. This means that you will be unable to legally drive or operate the vehicle on public roads until the necessary inspections are conducted and compliance with safety standards is ensured.

2. Risking personal safety

Driving an unsafe vehicle without proper inspection increases the risk of accidents caused by faulty brakes, worn-out tires, malfunctioning lights, or other critical issues that could compromise both your own safety as well as others sharing the road with you.

3. Insurance complications

Most insurance companies require proof of a valid roadworthy certificate before providing coverage for any damages incurred in an accident involving your vehicle. Without this certification, they might view it as reckless driving and refuse claims related to such incidents.

4. Implications during sale/purchase transactions

When buying or selling vehicles in South Africa, it’s crucially important to present relevant forms along with the current Roadworthiness Certificate within 21 days from the purchase date. Failure to do so would result in penalties imposed by the traffic department, which includes fines.

5. Legal repercussions

Driving without possessing a valid roadworthy certificate is considered an offense under the National Road Traffic Act and can result in legal consequences. These penalties may include fines or prosecution depending on the severity of the case. It is important to comply with the requirements set by law to avoid any unwanted troubles or mishaps on the road.

It is essential to always ensure that your car undergoes regular maintenance checks even if there isn’t an immediate need for a roadworthy test. This will help you keep your vehicle in optimal condition and ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do I need to renew my roadworthy certificate?

In South Africa, a roadworthy certificate is valid for a period of 60 days from the date of issue. This means that you will need to obtain a new roadworthy certificate every two months in order to remain compliant with the law.

Can I sell my car without a roadworthy certificate?

No, it is illegal to sell or transfer ownership of a motor vehicle without providing the buyer with a valid and up-to-date roadworthy certificate. The seller must submit relevant forms and provide the current roadworthy certificate within 21 days of purchase.

Can I drive a car with an expired roadworthy certificate?


  1. https://carzar.co.za/when-and-why-you-need-a-roadworthy-certificate/
  2. https://askly.co.za/how-long-is-roadworthy-valid-in-south-africa/
  3. https://mzansibride.co.za/understanding-roadworthy-validity-in-south-africa/

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