Special Needs – Oral Tests:

In the case where a person living in South Africa wishes to obtain a learner’s licence, if illiterate, dyslexic etc. it is necessary to produce the following documents:

  1. Application form 
  2. Affidavit explaining the situation
  3. Letter from the school, should an applicant be in a special school for learners with learning disabilities
  4. Copy of ID

Format of an oral learner’s licence test:

Oral tests are one-on-one where an examiner asks the applicant the questions.

The applicant answers the questions.

The examiner marks the answer sheet on behalf of the applicant.

The applicant is informed of the outcome of the test.

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?

HOWEVER, problems arise in Gauteng since the computerised system is not geared for oral tests.

So, because nobody in the driving licence testing centres seem to know how to provide oral tests, the applicant might be coerced into booking computerised tests, repeatedly, at great personal cost, since the time limit causes him/her to fail over and over again, despite assurances at the Technical committee of no time limit for special needs applicants. This is just not true!

According to the Tasima Power Point presentation given to the driving school industry on 31st March 2013, “If you are not done within 1 hour (60 minutes) the CLLT system will automatically end the test.” That is the reality, which causes repeated failures if someone is a little slower to answer.

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Pat Allen’s experience:

One of my own students was forced to write the computerised test six times, failing on each attempt because he ran out of time.

Eventually he lost hope. I had to encourage him and tell him he could do it!

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Eventually, a a year later, my client was finally allowed to write an oral test.

Moses passed immediately with no difficulties, since he knows his work really well. He has even learnt to read during his lessons and to study online, and all sorts of extra skills, including measurements. He is a talented young man too. He studies music and takes part in dramas.

Proof of Moses passing the oral test after being forced to write six computerised tests for a year!

As can be seen, Moses definitely passed first time with an oral test!

We were thrilled. Time to drive at last.

Then came the crunch. Moses could not be issued with a learner’s licence because of the computerised system.

Now, nearly three weeks later, he has still not been able to start his driving lessons.

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Moses is trying to be patient waiting to be called to collect his learner’s licence. His sponsor is not impressed. Nor am I! I am sickened! This should not be happening.

Hang in there Moses! Say to yourself:

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How is it possible that this situation can be permitted in a country with a high number of illiterate and special needs applicants?

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Do those in authority think, “I ‘m alright. I don’t think your situation is worth bothering about?”

Government authorities –

With all due respect, do the job you are paid to do! You are public servants, so serve the public please. Service providers – provide the service please.

This might not be important to you but it is to a man who can’t feed his family!

Special needs clients in Gauteng who need driving licences are currently being prevented from earning a living or from providing for their families by this lack of preparation by those responsible for the computerised test system.

I suppose it is easy to understand why. It was a heck of a job to change the whole Province over to the new system.

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BUT in the process, our special needs people were forgotten.

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It’s the same as people with disabilities. What is the Government doing for them? Next-to-nothing! It’s a disgrace!

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Countless emails have left this unfortunate victim of a lack of preparation and administration high and dry through no fault on his side.

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How must this young man feel by now?

WhatsApp messages received from a very discouraged applicant who was ready to give up after a year of struggling. He had no reason to hope that he would ever pass his learner’s licence.

[10:26, 6/18/2019] Moses: Morning Pat: I can’t meet up am super busy
[10:28, 6/18/2019] Moses: No I did not call the number you sent to me and no money to book am too busy (Not surprising – this would be the eighth appointment his family was paying for!)
[10:28, 6/18/2019] Moses: Thank you (He had lost faith in me, in the system and in just about everybody.)

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As a driving instructor, I had to encourage my client because he had tried so hard. He deserved to have another chance to pass his learner’s licence test.

Pat: Okay. Please do book as soon as time and money allow and let me know.

[10:47, 8/13/2019] Pat: Morning (Government Offical). My client just phoned. He is very excited! He said he passed the oral test this morning with flying colours. It took about two hours, I think because he phoned me before. How great is that??? Thank you so much for all your help getting this organised. This can change his life. I can’t wait to tell his American sponsor. Regards, Pat.

[10:48, 8/13/2019] Pat: I sent this message to the Government Official. I want to share it with your sponsor, or do you want to first?

Moses: It better you do it pat????


Pat: I will let him know. I can only imagine how happy he will be! ????

Moses: ????yes

Pat: Hi. Home? Would you like to start your first theoretical lesson tomorrow afternoon?

My very excited anxious client:

[21:06, 8/13/2019] Moses: What if thy call me to come and pay
[21:06, 8/13/2019] Moses: The R60

Pat: Okay. Let me know when you are ready to start Moses. Good night. Everybody must be so pleased.

Moses: Every ????one is happy 4me

Moses: See you tomorrow ????

[20:26, 8/14/2019] Moses: Wish we could start early am happy still
[20:27, 8/14/2019] Pat: What time? 10:30?
[20:27, 8/14/2019] Pat: I can do that. Please confirm.
[20:31, 8/14/2019] Moses: Yes 10:30
[20:31, 8/14/2019] Moses: Just like the old days meeting up
[20:33, 8/14/2019] Pat: Okay. Good. See you then.

[13:51, 8/15/2019] Pat: Hi (Government Official). I hope you are well. Moses’s mom sent the above message. I arranged to start lessons today. Drove to Centurion. Gave some theoretical training. Wanted to let Moses start driving at last. Asked for his learners but its STILL NOT ISSUED. Had to postpone until he has it. How long do you think it will take?
[13:51, 8/15/2019] Pat: Im not in the office I will check what is the delay
[13:51, 8/15/2019] Pat: Please and thanks.
[14:58, 8/15/2019] Moses: Hey Pat: Please send this message to (Government Official) I want to thank him for his hardwork trying to book a oral tests for me .Calling???? a lot of people to help) Thank you so much for everything
[14:58, 8/15/2019] Moses: ????‍♂????
Government Official [17:39, 8/15/2019] Pat: Lol pleasure
[17:39, 8/15/2019] Pat: ????
[11:07, 8/16/2019] Pat: Morning Government Offical. Any news about Moses’ issuing of his learner’s licence? I need to get going with his driving lessons but can’t even though he has passed. How long can this take? Regards, Pat.

[11:10, 8/16/2019] Moses: Thanks and you to .They didn’t call yet
[11:11, 8/16/2019] Pat: Thanks for letting me know. Study. Don’t rest too much. Educate yourself all the time.
[11:11, 8/16/2019] Moses: Yes
[11:12, 8/16/2019] Pat: Its your future.
[13:53, 8/21/2019] Moses: Hey Pat: they did not call
[13:55, 8/21/2019] Pat: Don’t worry. I reported it to the authorities this morning. They replied. Hang in there.
[14:49, 8/21/2019] Moses: Oh (Losing hope)

Pat: Hi. Please send your id

Pat: Don’t worry. I found your id number. The National Department of Transport is working on your issuing of your learners licence.

[08:00, 8/27/2019] Moses: Morning Pat. Thy did not call
[08:12, 8/27/2019] Pat: Hi Moses. Incredible. Will let the Government Official know.
[08:13, 8/27/2019] Moses: ????????yes
[08:19, 8/27/2019] Pat: Have sent a message. Enjoy your day. Soon I will be bullying you and you will be sorry. ????????????????
[10:06, 8/27/2019] Moses: Lol????

Does our Government really care?

Why was this situation not sorted out before the computerised system started in Gauteng?

Is Moses the first special needs client to be passed for his learner’s licence since 2013? No. I have had other pupils pass orally and there was no difficulty issuing them with learner’s licences, so why is it different now?

Just sort the problem out please…

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Moses received a phone call to say he could come to pay the R60.00 for his learner’s licence to be issued almost three weeks later on 2nd September 2019.

We sincerely hope that will be the last problem we experience with a technical difficulty issuing the learner’s licence for someone who:

a) Was refused an oral test for almost a year.

b) Paid over and over again 6 times to write the CLLT (computerised) test but who was failed due to an automatic cut-off at 60 minutes despite assurances from the Technical Committee that no time limit would apply in special needs cases.

c) Having passed the first oral test with ease, was not able to start driving lessons for three weeks due to a technical error.

The question must be asked –


It is essential that this matter be addressed since a very high proportion of strong, healthy people, could be employed as drivers, but due to whatever reason, have learning difficulties which prevent them from obtaining a driving licence legally.

It is not as if we did not ask for help a year ago.

Please see the email below copied and pasted, with details not to embarrass or alienate those we wrote to:

From: info@saidinational.org>
Sent: Thursday, 11 October 2018 4:47 PM

Subject: Oral Learner’s Licence Tests correct booking procedures and DLTC’s able to test them.

Good afternoon All,

SAIDI members request assistance with the correct procedure when training applicants who are illiterate, or attended special schools or are otherwise unable to cope with the computerised tests in order to pass their learners licences legally please. To avoid them becoming desperate enough to resort to corruption we request help.

Members generally experience refusals to test them, being turned away from every DLTC, or delays of up to four or more months as standard procedure.

There is also a lack of clear directions and list DLTC’s able to offer this assistance to the public which will enable them to become independent and self-sufficient.

Your kind assistance in this regard would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

Ms. P. A. Allen