The new driver’s licence system, which went into effect in Zimbabwe on June 19, 2023, brought with it various changes, including an increase in the age restriction and new vehicle licence categories.
The new laws require public transportation drivers to be at least 25 years old, and heavy vehicle licences are now classified according to truck weight, ranging from 3,500 kg to 56 tonnes.
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The new system will gradually qualify professional drivers, and their licences will be renewed every two years, with eye and mental stability examinations required.
Furthermore, the licence is entirely consistent with SADC, COMESA, and EAC regulations, allowing local drivers to drive in 25 African nations.
The new approach also intends to combat fraudulent practises by some driving schools, which undercharge and avoid adequately training trainees, resulting in half-baked drivers.
The new laws require prospective drivers to pass particular exams for the cars they wish to drive, and codes will be based on gross vehicle mass (GVM) rather than nett vehicle mass (NVM).
Furthermore, the new plastic licences will be granted within seven working days, with the metal disc being phased out in the future.
The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development confirmed that drivers who currently have a driver’s licence will be converted in accordance with the new rules, and that conversion will not involve real road tests but rather an upgrade of biometrics and medical examinations.