The Car Buyer

Procedure for registering a car in South Africa

How do I register a car on my name?

You register a vehicle by submitting a registration form with the neccassry documentation to the motor vehicle registering authority.

Where do you register a car?

The department in charge of vehicle registration is called the MVR, motor vehicle registration authority commonly referred to as the traffic department or vehicle license office. You can only register a car in your own district. If you live in Cape Town, you cannot register a vehicle in Johannesburg unless your address is changed and fica’d accordingly. This address change will affect all the vehicles registered onto your name, you will need to re-license the vehicles to obtain the correct number plates for that province.

Explantion: If I sell my car in Cape Town to someone that lives in Durban, the buyer will not be able no register the vehicle in Cape Town unless their address is changed to a Cape Town address. Also, If I live in Cape Town, drive the car to Durban and find a buyer on that side, I will not be able to submit a change of ownership in Durban unless I am registering the car in the same transaction

A change of ownership can only be done in the area where the vehicle is registered in unless the car is also registered with a blue RLV form.

What do you register a vehicle for ?

You are registering a vehicle so you can take legal ownership. You want proof of ownership for a vehicle and this is confirmed once you have a certificate of registration with your name and ID number listed under owner and title holder. You also want the authority to license the vehicle annually and to insure the car, for this you need to be registered as the owner at the very least.

The registered title holder has higher authority than the registered owner. In the case of vehicle registration, being the owner simply means you are responsible for the vehicle.

Registering a vehicle onto your name is usually a straight forward process, in some instances which is usually in the absence of the correct documentation, it can be frustrating. To start off, we will list the documents that come into play when registering a vehicle.

What do I need to register my car ?

If you a registering a vehicle within 12 months from the date you fica’d your details then proof of address wont be needed.

To register a vehicle you obviously need to own one, how you acquired or paid for the car would determine the documentation that is needed to take ownership and register.

You financed a vehicle

When you finance a vehicle, to secure the loan the vehicle is registered to the bank/financier.
You can only take ownership of the car and register it when the bank signs the vehicle over to you. This transfer of ownership does not happen by default. Once your vehicle is paid up and the loan settled, the bank doesnt sign the vehicle over to you automatically. You need to initiate the procedure.

How do register a car from the bank?

You contact the bank via telephone and give them your account number. They will ask you a few questions to verify you are indeed the owner, you then request that they send you the appropriate documentation which enables you register the vehicle
For a smooth transaction it is crucial that you receive the following 4 documents from the bank:

All 4 of these documents are important and serves a particular purpose

The paid up letter from the bank, this document tells the traffic official that you are done paying the vehicle and the bank has authorize you to proceed with the registration. It also explains the procedure to you and indicates that you have 21 days to submit the documents to the traffic department. Take note that the settlement letter is dated, it is from this date that your 21 days start. Its not common but if you submit these forms after the 21 day period you may be penalized for late registration, it all depends on the mood of the teller so be on the safe side and stick within your 21 day window.

The certificate of registration, this document ties the other 3 forms together. It’s a smart and subtle way of the bank informing the teller, the car is really settled and they are aware of the transaction. You wouldn’t have the original document otherwise!

The Natis NCO form must be signed by the proxy, this form is sent as part of procedure. If the settlement letter is signed and dated then it may or may not be needed. Complete section B and C of the yellow form and take it with you just to be safe.

The ID of the proxy, All Businesses with a business register certificate will have an assigned proxy, their ID needs to be attached to all transactions.

The bank will send you all the forms needed but one, the registration RLV blue form. This can be obtained by the traffic department.
The cost of this transaction is currently R132.00 provided your vehicles license is valid.

You bought a vehicle cash

If you bought a vehicle from a private seller, its recommended to register the vehicle at the traffic department with the seller present. We explain this in being safe when buying a car. Assuming you’ve passed this point you will need the following:

If the cars license is expired you will not be able to transfer ownership unless you bought the vehicle before the license had fallen and its proven on the receipt and or the yellow form. A vehicle can be registered without a roadworthy certificate but the license disk will be retained.

Also, the roadworthy certificate is not a physical document anymore, its submitted to the Natis system directly from the roadworthy center. Some bigger roadworthy centers still issue some form of a certificate but its not for the traffic department

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