SMS for Professional Driving Permit applications

November 2013 Security Services & Risk Management, Transport (Industry)

Checking the progress of fingerprint clearances is no longer a headache for Professional Driving Permit (PrDP) applicants in South Africa, thanks to a new SMS service from Afiswitch, the company responsible for managing the fingerprint clearance process on behalf of the Department of Transport.

In line with the new service, which was launched in time for October Transport Month, a PrDP applicant receives an SMS to confirm that the result of his fingerprint clearance has been forwarded to the originating Driving Licence Testing Centre (DLTC) for a determination according to applicable laws and policy guidelines. This simple courtesy streamlines the department’s administrative function and improves capacity to deliver, as well as transparency. It also saves PrDP applicants time and money, as they don’t have to keep going back to their DLTCs to check progress.

To operate as a professional driver, a person must have a valid South African driver’s licence, which incorporates a PrDP. The drivers of all buses, heavy goods vehicles and taxis must have PrDPs.

A fingerprint clearance involves a number of steps, namely:

* At the DLTC, fingerprints are captured electronically and attached to PrDP applications or renewals;

* They’re forwarded from the DLTC to the South African Police Service (SAPS) via the Afiswitch interface;

* Once checked, SAPS provides a report to Afiswitch; and

* Afiswitch sends the report to the DLTC, where a determination is made according to applicable laws and policy guidelines.

On a daily basis, Afiswitch receives approximately 2000 PrDP applications from some 360 DLTCs around the country! At least 1500 (75%) are returned to the DLTCs (usually within 48 hours) for the issue of PrDPs.

The managing director of Afiswitch, Pine Pienaar, says SMS technology is readily available, cost-effective and user-friendly. “The service is free of charge and drivers are responding positively to the updates. The Department of Transport is also very supportive.”

For more information contact Afiswitch, +27 (0)12 679 2947,

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