The number of heavy commercial vehicle drivers from neighbouring states being granted work permits is on the increase, there are over 22,500 from Zimbabwe alone.
We have found that fleet operators rarely go to the trouble of verifying the validity of driving documents provided by foreign drivers. They often only find out that they had an unqualified driver behind the wheel after an accident when the Insurance Company repudiates the claim, or worse, the SAPS investigate why the unlicensed driver was allowed to drive.
It is the responsibility of the Operator to ensure that the person being employed to drive his vehicle holds the appropriate driving credentials before allowing them out on the road.
The procedure involved in performing this task frequently causes the employer to turn a blind eye to even some really bad fake licences and PrDP’s, presumably hoping they could rely on the excuse “it looked real to me” in the event of a disaster on the road.Unfortunately, in the eyes of both the SAPS and the Insurance Company – ignorance is no excuse.
We have been carrying out these verifications for almost two years at this point and the statistics that have emerged are nothing but frightening! For example, we have found that of the 200+ Zimbabwean drivers checked, 32% of driving licenses are fraudulent as are 66% of their PrDP’s equivalent, their Defensive Driving Certificates.
To assist both Fleet Operators and Insurance Companies avoid this unpleasant situation, while helping expose the fraudsters who are without the correct driving qualifications, contributing to the carnage on our roads, CHECK-YOUR-DRIVER can carry out the verification for you.
Checks are carried out at source in the relevant country at the official custodian of the records for drivers’ licenses, providing written confirmation of our findings.
We have referred to the applicable legislation, being the NRTA (National Road Traffic Act 1996). It is a requirement of the NRTA that a driver be in possession of a valid Driver’s License and PrDP, or SADC country equivalent. (Zimbabwe being one of these) We check at the custodian of the records in the issuing countries. We also verify Swazi, Malawi, SA (especially foreign drivers who are in possession of a SA license – many are NOT authentic!) Also checks of International Driving Permit& Vehicle ID service ensuring VIN & Engine numbers correlate. Of the checks we have carried out, at claim stage, this is what the stats say:
Literally it is a flip of a coin as to whether or not your
Zimbabwean driver’s credentials are legitimate or not!
New Scary Stats for 2020 – 2021
January 2021: 36 out of 87 were FAKE. That’s a ridiculous 41%
February 2021: 59 out of 107 were FAKE. That’s a hair-raising 55%
March 2021: 35 out of 87 were 166 were FAKE. That’s a horrific 52%
April 2021: 52 out of 107 were FAKE. That’s a horrific 49%
May 2021: 47 out of 119 were fake. That’s a disturbing 39%
January 2020: 48 out of 122 were FAKE. That’s a high of 39%
February 2020: 43 out of 132 were FAKE. That’s a crazy 33%
March 2020: 35 out of 105 were FAKE. That’s a deadly 33%
April 2020: 13 out of 25 were FAKE. That’s a scary 52%
May 2020: 35 out of 65 were FAKE. That’s a horrific 54%
June 2020: 37 out of 83 were FAKE. That’s a ridiculous 45%
July 2020: 58 out of 116 were FAKE. That’s a hair-raising 50%
August 2020: 78 out of 152 were FAKE. That’s a scandalous 51%
September 2020: 90 out of 150 were FAKE. That’s highest ever 60%
October 2020: 74 out of 170 were fake. That’s a disturbing 44%
November 2020: 45 out of 170 were fake. That’s a daunting 43%
December 2020: 58 out of 114 were fake, That’s a risky 51%
We have been carrying out checks for over two and a half years now and the statistics are appalling! A quick count on my database, the last 20 checks carried out, 14/20 PrDP were fake and 6/20 licenses revealed the same. That’s nearly 75% of professional driving permits are fraudulent and these stats have been consistent since 2014.
Transporters costs are on the increase – you just have to look at fuel increases – 30cents up on 01 April 2016. Adding another layer of cost, unfortunately this results in less money for crucial maintenance repairs and the upkeep of vehicles, up-skilling and training for drivers and somewhere at the end of the list comes, if it even exists for some Operators, are the driver pre-employment / assessments & checks. Are driver’s licenses being verified for authenticity? Our statistics clearly indicate NO!
It’s not all bad news! CHECK-YOUR-DRI√ER is working with a range of clients, and although many checks come at claim stage from Insurance companies, only to reveal that the driver of yet another accident on our roads was a fraudster, we are now getting calls and queries from Operators & Brokers who by carrying out verifications of their drivers reduce risk & road carnage. Hats off to them!
With so many claims being repudiated at claim stage because of fraudulent licenses, no operator can be at risk! Just ask the operator who has lost over R1m truck & trailer. Add a fatality, accountability is key, and the money is not half the problem. What about possible civil suits, 3rd party claims and uproar from the Road Accident Fund who won’t pay.
Meeting with many Operators has proven to be a learning curve –hopefully one that will result in action to utilise CHECK-YOURDRI√ER more and to ensure we have licensed drivers on our roads. Hopefully gone are the days when our Transporters sole recruitment tool lies in a box of CVs in the reception office.
So why are there so many fraudulent Licenses & PrDP when SADC countries documents are recognised by the NRTA in South Africa?The reasons do vary but the bottom line for most is common – they just don’t go renew them! From costs, to time off work, ill informed bosses and traffic authorities, bribery and easy access to getting your hands on fake documents; these all play a role. Specifically in Zimbabwe, the custodian of records for the actual Driver’s License and Defensive Driving Certificate are two different organizations. The DDC is only valid for 4 years and to renew a driver would need to travel to Zimbabwe, pay $38, complete the DDC course over 2 days and wait for the card to be issued (another 48 hours). A time consuming and costly process!
It is a requirement of all motor Insurance Policies that the driver be legally licensed to drive the Insured vehicle. Not enough Insurance companies are verifying that the documents presented by the almost 30,000 Zimbabwean drivers currently working in SA are legitimate. Some cite the cost of the verification, others – an unfounded fear that the Ombudsman would overturn any repudiation, in favour of the Insurers, that was based on the driver being unlicensed. With the shocking road accident statistics, the OSTI has to uphold the law of our land and would not condone the operation of a heavy commercial vehicle by an unlicensed driver.
Another factor to consider is INFORMATION. Too often the excuse we hear is “but the license looked real”. Unfortunately in the eyes of the law, ignorance is no excuse! We need to raise the awareness of fraudulent driver’s documents and address this issue in the Transport Industry.
Reading about FLEETWATCH Brake & Tyre Team left me inspired to reach out for collaboration to Corporate, Private and Public sectors to hold hands and together in partnership we can make a difference. Not only are unroadworthy vehicles a catastrophic problem; so are unlicensed drivers.
CHECK-YOUR-DRI√ER’s vision is preventative action….. Get in touch and start the verification process today!
Below are the main Nationalities / services we offer, meeting a range of clients needs.
We have also carried out license & claim-related verifications of documents from Korea, Belarus, UK, Egypt, Sudanese, Japan, Tanzania, Mozambique (letter only), Czechoslovakia, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Sweden, Pakistan, Brazil, Malaysia, Portugal, Madagascar, USA (some States only), Cuban, Belgium, Hong Kong, South Sudan, New Zealand, Azerbaijan, Libya, Italy, DRC (letter only), and India (letter only).
** (letter only) – get in touch to find out more about how to verify license docs from these countries.
- Verification of Zimbabwe Licenses and their Defensive Driving Permits.
- Verification of Zimbabwe International Driving Permits. (IDP)
- Verification of Swazi License and their Public Driving Permits.
- Verification of Malawi License and their PDP.
- Verification of Lesotho License & PDP.
- Verification of Indian License documents.
- Verification of Botswana License documents.
- Verification of Nigerian License documents.
- Verification of South African License documents.
- Vehicle ownership reports / vehicle traces.
- Criminal checks.
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At Check-Your-Driver we are committed to meeting our data protection obligations in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) and ensuring the protection and security of your personal information.