What is AARTO?
A summary of what AARTO is all about
The points-demerit system.
A big part of AARTO, and the most significant change to traffic law in South Africa is the points-demerit system.
Demerit-points on driving licences is not a new concept and is in force in many countries in the world, so this will not be a first.
Every driver starts out with 0 points on their driving licence and a predetermined amount of points are added to their driving licence in accordance with the allocated points in the AARTO charge book for each infringement they commit.
A maximum of 12 points may be accumulated on your driving licence and on the 13th point, your license will be suspended for 3 months.
Driving during this ban period is a criminal offence, for which you will be arrested and will have to appear in court. It will also earn you 6 extra points on your driving licence!
If your driving licence is suspended three times, it will be cancelled and destroyed. Only after the relevant ban period has elapsed will you be allowed to re-sit your learner's and driving licence - from scratch.
Please remember that the points demerit system IS NOT IN FORCE yet and can only come into play when AARTO has been rolled out to ALL JURISDICTIONS in South Africa. AARTO is a national Act.
How do demerit-points get reduced/deducted off your license?
Because you start with 0 points and accumulate them with each infringement, points are deducted from your demerits over time.
Earning a clean slate on your driving licence is based solely on time in South Africa because the AARTO Act only makes provision for the reduction of points at a rate of 1 point for every 3 months that you do not receive another point-demerit.
If you do receive another point/s within that 3 month timeframe, the clock gets reset to zero and the countdown restarts.
There is no other provision or legal way for you to reduce your points in South Africa. No driver education programmes, no community service - nothing! This is one of the biggest pitfalls of the AARTO system and you can read more about these in our pitfalls section. Please do not do so until you have completed this section though.
Who accumulates demerit-points and who doesn't?
Strange as it may seem, there are instances where demerit-points will not be applied on an individual's driving licence.
|Any individual who drives a privately registered vehicle and a full driving licence will accumulate demerit-points, unless they nominate another driver.|
|Any individual who drives a privately registered vehicle and but has a learner driving licence will accumulate demerit-points but these will not be applied until they get their full driving licence.|
|Any individual who is nominated as the driver of a vehicle registered in the name of another individual or a juristic person (company etc.) will have the applicable demerit points applied to their own driving licence as usual.|
Juristic persons, like the proxies of companies and other organisations in whose name vehicles are registered will not have demerit-points added to their driving licences. However, whilst this may make people who are registered as the proxy for their organisation breath a sigh of relief, this is not all good news!
Fine values for juristic persons or cross-border operators are tripled under AARTO and the only way to have this changed is to have the infringement notice redirected to the appropriate individual by nominating the driver by competing and submitting an AARTO 07 driver nomination form.
Companies defined as operators due to their vehicle requiring an operator card have points assigned to the operator cards they hold if the infringement is with respect to roadworthiness etc. Operator cards are typically applicable to goods or passenger transport vehicles and/or vehicles over 3500kg GVM.
How are the points on a driving licence managed?
Demerit-points on a driving licence are a function of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA), which is a body of the RTMC.
Demerit-points are entered into a register called the National Contraventions Register (NCR) kept by this agency on the eNatIS database. Whether the automated reduction of points has been catered for in eNatIS is anyone's guess but it is not unreasonable to assume that this should have been included in the system.
How to find out what points exist on your driving licence.
When the points-demerit system comes into play (whenever that may be), the only to keep abreast of what demerit points exist on your driving licence will be to either keep and maintain a tally yourself or to fill in an AARTO 28 or AARTO 29 enquiry form, taking it to the licensing authority and paying a R60 fee.
There is no online or free service for this basic right and the fee has been legislated so you will again be expected to pay!
Document last revised: 17 June, 2012