Murphy’s Law says if something can get lost, it most probably will. This applies to documents, certificates, and the original registration papers for your car. However, do not panic as a duplicate set can be relatively easily obtained.
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Getting a duplicate motor vehicle document such as a registration or deregistration certificate is permissible if you have lost or inadvertently destroyed the original, the engine number has changed or the chassis or VIN number has changed.
In the case of the two latter instances, this would occur if you replaced the engine or transferred your engine to a new body.
To get the replacement documents you must go in person to your nearest registering authority to make the application and you need:
- Your identity document
- Proof of residence such as a utility account. The account must be in your name otherwise you will need an affidavit from the owner declaring you do live at the address. If you live in an informal settlement, you need a date-stamped letter from your local ward councillor confirming you live at that address.
You will then need to complete the Application for duplicate registration/Deregistration certificate in respect of motor vehicle (DRC) form and the Declaration in respect of lost documents form (DCT).
The fees payable for this vary from province to province so it is advisable to call the relevant authority and check up on the cost before going to the department. It is also advisable to take cash as some do not have card facilities.
As with the costs, the turnaround time may also vary from place to place. In some areas and in larger metropoles, the document may even be handed over instantly. In other places it could take up to seven days to process.
The green, watermarked form–Certificate of Registration in Respect of Motor Vehicle–is to your car what your ID document is to you and is proof of legal ownership of the vehicle.
However, if your car is financed it is likely your bank will keep the registration documents until the car is paid for and can be transferred into your name. Should you need a copy before then, you would have to approach the bank.
These are the registering authorities in the major cities and municipalities of South Africa:
- City of Johannesburg
- City of Tshwane
- City of Cape Town
- Nelson Mandela Bay
- Eastern Cape municipalities
- Free State municipalities
- Gauteng municipalities
- KwaZulu-Natal municipalities
- Limpopo municipalities
- Mpumalanga municipalities
- North West municipalities
- Northern Cape municipalities
- Western Cape municipalities
Life happens and sometimes documents go missing but, there are some simple steps to obtaining a duplicate vehicle registration.
If your vehicle registration papers go missing do not panic. It may take a few days or weeks but you can quite easily obtain a duplicate set if you need to. Simply follow the outlined procedure.
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