We tested the Post Office’s Online Car License Disc Renewal – and got it working

South Africa Post’s online vehicle license renewal service works – if you’re willing to wait much longer than they claim to get your disc to you.

La Poste has recently joined a wide range of private providers who offer the renewal and delivery of driving license discs.

With no administration fees and a delivery charge of only R75, its service is the cheapest on the market.

Since it launched less than a month after my registration disc expired, I decided to give it a try, despite the Post Office’s infamous reputation for delays and lost packages.

To use the service, I first had to create an account on www.sapomvl.co.za.

For this, I had to provide personal information, including my full name, ID number and contact details.

I was offered to choose between my email address or my mobile number via WhatsApp as the method of contact.

I then had to enter an email address and create a password for my account. The images below show these steps.

To verify my account, I had to provide a one-time code sent to my phone number via WhatsApp, which was my preferred contact method.

Although I received my code quickly, another MyBroadband colleague initially had trouble with this step. A day later, he had no problem getting his code.

Once I verified my account, I logged in and was presented with a dashboard with empty “Applications” and “Quotes” sections.

On the left, I selected the “Create Quote” tab, which presented a page with some of my information already pre-populated.

At the bottom of this page was an option to add a vehicle, which I chose to do first before filling in any other information.

A window appeared where I had to enter details such as my car registration number, register number, make, model, mileage, location, tare and expiry date of the Licence.

Once complete, I had to digitally sign using my laptop’s mouse or touch screen to confirm that all details were correct.

Once done, I added all my address information and provided our office address for delivery. I also had to present a certified copy of my ID and proof of address, for which I used an insurance cover letter.

During this process I encountered only one problem – the location service which automatically detects the nearest post office that processes motor vehicle license applications was not working for Gauteng.

As this was a required field, I was unable to proceed with the payment.

Without this little hassle, the whole process, from registration to payment, would probably have taken less than 15 minutes.

I logged the issue using the “Contact Us” tab on the website, where I tagged it as a “Technical Issue” with a brief description of the issue. A reference number was sent to my email address and WhatsApp number.

It was around 10:30 in the morning.

The issue was resolved at 3:40 PM when I managed to complete the process and make payment using Masterpass scan to pay through my FNB app.

After approving payment on my app, the website presented me with a server error.

Luckily, the payment appeared to have been processed, as my dashboard now showed that the request had been paid.

Due to the tare of my vehicle, my registration fee was R504. With the courier charge of R75, the total amount was R579.

Then begins the great wait.

La Poste claims a turnaround time of three working days for the service, with an additional two days for outlying areas.

Since our office is located less than 10km from the Lyttelton post office, it was reasonable to assume that we would fall into the 3 day category. But that was not the case.

On Friday, February 4, 2022, four days after submitting my application, I received the first communication from La Poste informing me that my application was complete and ready to be sent.

Confusingly, the next day I received a text message that my application had been received and was being processed. This message should probably have arrived before the WhatsApp message.

About three hours later, another WhatsApp notification informed me that my request was complete and ready for delivery. I was then provided with a packing slip/tracking number.

However, this tracking number only worked on the SAPO tracking site from the afternoon of Tuesday, February 8, 2022.

The package remained “in transit” at the Lyttelton Post Office throughout Wednesday. On Thursday the tracking website did not work.

Finally, at 2:15 p.m. on Thursday, February 10, 2022, I received a call from the courier, who had arrived at my home for delivery, instead of the office address I had given for delivery.

This was a little inconvenient, especially since there was no indication from the post office that my order was ready for same-day delivery, as is the case with many private couriers.

Fortunately, someone was at my house and was able to take delivery.

The table below summarizes the renewal process from start to finish.

Progress in the renewal of Swiss Post vehicle licenses
Dated Time Status Payment deadline
Monday, January 31, 2022 10:14 Online account created and verified 0 days
Monday, January 31, 2022 15:44 Request completed and order paid 0 days
Friday, February 4, 2022 10:53 WhatsApp — Request completed and ready to ship 4 days / 4 working days
Saturday, February 5, 2022 08:14 SMS — Request received and being processed 5 days / 4 working days
Saturday, February 5, 2022 11:23 WhatsApp – Application completed and ready for delivery 5 days / 4 working days
Monday, February 7, 2022 All day Tracking number checked throughout the day, not loaded on the system 7 days / 5 working days
Tuesday, February 8, 2022 16:43 Slip number loaded. Order Progress — In Transit Lyttelton Post Office 8 days / 6 working days
Wednesday, February 9, 2022 All day Verified tracking site, no updates. 9 days / 7 working days
Thursday, February 10, 2022 14:15 Order delivered to wrong address 10 days / 8 working days

Read now: SA Post Office’s fast services tested – and compared to other courier services

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