Expert Info

Posted by Margaret Nolan
on 7 Jul 2017
Hi Can I register/license and insure a car if my visa status is a student visa?A student visa is structly speaking a longer term temporary residence. I am a PhD student based in Pretoria, from Ireland. My visa is a three year student visa, my drivers license is in English and is accepted for driving here. I have been leasing a car on and off since my arrival last year but am now considering buying. There is no definitive answer via official websites for this question. Appreciate any help/guidance.
Anonymous (not verified) on 10 Jul 2017 - 11:20
Hi again Meaghan Upon further research I have discovered that it is possible to purchase a vehicle in SA when here on a study visa. It requires getting a Traffic Registration Number first so might be an idea to update the info available on this site to reflect that for other expats in similar situations, Thanks again. Margaret
Anonymous (not verified) on 10 Jul 2017 - 10:07
Thanks Meaghan for this info. Much appreciated.
Meagan on 10 Jul 2017 - 09:25
Hi Margaret,

Unfortunately you need a work visa or permanent residence permit to buy a car in South Africa. For future reference, if you do end up staying in SA for longer and you then have a work visa or permanent residence permit, we have a pretty comprehensive guide here: Buying A Car in South Africa.

Meagan on 10 Jul 2017 - 12:52
Hi Margaret,

Thanks for getting back to us. Are you referring to the TRN process as outlined on the SA government website? I see it says that a temporary permit is sufficient to apply for a TRN – in the past this wasn't the case so it may be a relatively recent change. I've been doing a bit of reading up online, and it sounds like even some government employees at the licencing department aren't aware of this, so they may try to turn you away regardless. In case that happens, I'd recommend having a printout of the webpage listing the requirements and pointing out that a temporary permit is supposed to be sufficient. You might end up not needing to do that but I find it's always best to be overprepared when dealing with the infamous South African bureaucracy.

Hope this helps.


Anonymous (not verified) on 11 Jul 2017 - 05:43
Hi Meaghan Ok, duly noted. Very helpful advice, thanks so much. I will check back in and report on my experiences. All the best Margaret

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