Does your driver have the right licence?

Owning a successful transporting business comes with many perks and challenges – and if you haven’t confirmed that all your drivers have valid driver’s licenses, then you may find yourself in big trouble.

One of the basic conditions of any vehicle insurance policy is that the driver has the relevant qualification. If your business involves the transportation of people, ordinary goods or dangerous goods on public roads, it is critical that your driver(s) have a Professional Driver’s Permit.

What happens if the driver doesn’t have a Professional Driver’s Permit?

Not having a Professional Driver’s Permit would result in the driver, passengers, vehicle and goods not being covered by their insurance company in the event of an accident. If other parties are involved, anyone facing a damages claim for negligent driving, and who did not have a Permit, would find their case considerably weakened.

How to obtain a Professional Driver’s Permit

To obtain a Professional Driver’s Permit, which replaces the old Public Driver’s Permit, an individual must meet certain criteria. Applicants need to:

  • Register their application with the police, who will also take fingerprints;
  • Not have been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, or of reckless or negligent driving, within the past five years;
  • Have a normal driving licence;
  • Be certified medically fit by a doctor;
  • Have been certified by an approved training body for certain kinds of vehicles (in some cases).

Fraud is also a significant challenge

Unfortunately, fake Professional Driver’s Permits are rife. Businesses (or specialised agencies) are advised to make inquiries regarding the authenticity of a Permit. Operators or owners of motor vehicles for which a Professional Driver’s Permit is required should also know when the Permit expires – there is no grace period as there is with a normal driver’s licence, so validity lapses immediately on expiry. This would mean the business vehicle insurance cover would also be compromised.

Insurance is a key survival tool in the South African small business sector! Make sure your business is comprehensively covered and ensure that your employees are licenced to drive the vehicles they do.

The consequences for getting caught driving without a licence and insurance are dire. You will pay a hefty fine if you’re driving without a license and in the event of an accident, will have to pay exorbitant car repairing costs out of your pocket if you do not have insurance. Get insured and get a free online insurance quote from MiWay.

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