South African Driving Licence Photo

South African Driving Licence Photo

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South African Driving Licence Photo - Size & Requirements

South African Driving Licence Photo
Width: 35 mm
Height: 45 mm
600 dpi
Image definition parameters
  • Head height: 34.5 mm
  • Top of the Photo to Top of the Hair: 3 mm
Is it suitable for online submission?
Is it printable?
Background Color

How to make a photo?

Body-camera distance
Body-camera distance
Posture: Straight ahead
Posture: Straight ahead
Posture: Straight ahead
Even lighting on both sides of the face
Even lighting on both sides of the face
Even lighting on both sides of the face

A driving license is an important document that proves your driving skills. This is why it is crucial to take the right photo for this! The whole process of getting a South African driving license might be a little overwhelming. This is why we are to help!

Today, you will find out the South African driver’s license photo dimensions, where and how to take a photo to a driver's license, how to use a photo mobile app and what mistakes not to make as well as the general requirements regarding driving license and a driving license application.

Guidelines for South African Driving Licence photo

There are a lot of places where you can take a photo for a South African driving license.

You can use some Driver License Testing Centres or DLTCs which allow you to take an ID photo that can be used on your driver's license. Besides that, many chemists also offer this service or obviously photographic shops or Internet cafés. You will also find ID photo booths at airports, some stations and online. Another option is to try taking photos by yourself! Read the requirements below and take the perfect photo for your driving license.

South African Driving Licence photo size

For South African photos you can use your passport or ID photograph because the dimensions are the same: 45mm high and 35mm wide

Colour of the driving licence photo

For a South African driving license, black and white photos are perfectly acceptable. You do not have to submit a colour one because it will appear in your document in black and white.

Head & Face

The photo should present your shoulders and the whole face, eyes but not your teeth. Nothing or no-one else should not appear in the photo except your face. Your head and shoulders in the picture should be clearly visible. It is important that the photographed person is looking straight at the camera head-on, not from the side or at an angle. 

Facial expression 

The facial expression should be neutral and show your actual appearance. A Slight smile with a closed mouth will not cause rejection but it is better to keep a neutral expression.


The background should be white and clear of shadows. Use the natural daylight in the room instead of taking photos in the dark with a flash (that causes the ‘red eye’ effect which is not acceptable).


Hats or caps are not permitted. You can only wear headwear for medical or religious reasons and even then be sure that it doesn’t cover your face or especially your eyes. Exceptions are beards or moustache which is a different face covering.


Sunglasses are not allowed but if you always wear glasses, you can keep them for the photo if they do not cover your eyes.


The photos need to be printed on high-quality photo paper, without creases or damage. All the photos submitted must be identical, that's why photos are usually printed in batches of four.

How to take a photo of a South African driving licence at home?

If you choose from the options above to try taking photos for your South African driving license by yourself this is a guide for you!

To take photos for your South African driver’s license, you just need to have some device with taking photos options like smartphone, digital camera, tablet, etc. Take in advance the requirements above, choose the right place in your house, prepare the background and start photographing!

After you have taken some photos, upload them to our Passport Photo Online service or photo mobile app and let us do the rest for you! We will crop and edit your driving license photo in the blink of an eye!

South African driving license Photo Mobile App

It is important to know how to upload a photo to our photo mobile app if you want to use this option.

If you use Appstore to get our Photo Tool app on your iPhone read on how it works. You can use iOS as well as Android in the AppStore or Google Play Store so don’t worry! Try and see how simple and quick it is!

After downloading the app, upload your picture, choose a document, in this case, a driving license. Afterwards, the app resizes your picture to the required specifications. Then, you choose if you want a free option or an upgraded (paid) one. Furthermore, you let the app edit your photo a little under the official government requirements and at the end verifies if it meets the standards of a chosen document.

The most common mistakes on photos to South African driving licence

Unfortunately every day the Driving license office authorities are forced to reject candidates’ photos because they don’t meet requirements. If you will know what mistakes not to repeat, it will be easier for you to avoid rejection and be happy that you are ready to drive with your document!

Here is the list of the most common mistakes while taking photos to South African Driving license:

  • tilting the head, posing in profile, not en-face
  • looking sideways not in front of the camera
  • smiling and showing teeth
  • having hair or a headgear obscuring the face
  • having the size of the photo wrong
  • the background is with patterns or someone/ something appears in the back

Some of the mistakes you can fix with our photo tool which changes the wrong background color or removes patterns or shadows. Also, the app or online service can change the size of the photograph and crop it to fit for your South African driving license.

Except for mistakes, it is important to know some DON’TS regarding the South African driving licence:

  • DON’T copy or cut a piece of the other, bigger image
  • DON’T upload a picture taken a long time ago (the photo has to be recent)
  • DON’T altered by computer software
  • DON’T overexpose or underexpose the photo
  • DON’T print on the home printer and/or on low-quality paper
  • DON’T submit a damaged or blurred photo that is of bad quality and not in focus.

Last update: July, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

💡 What photo can I use for driving license?

It has to be a black and white photo taken in the last 30 days, in size of South African passport or ID, so 35mm in width and 45mm in hight.

💡 Can I take a photo on my phone to a driver's license?

There is no specific requirements saying that you cannot take a photo by your phone. You can use any devices with camera like smartphone, digital camera or tablet.

💡 Can a foreigner get a South African driving license?

The process of getting South African driving license is guite slow and long regarding a big amount of paperworks but generally you can get a South African driving license. It is even required after a year of residency there.
There are free websites which offer a quick services. You can find out with a driver's ID number, passport number, foreign ID number or car registration number as well as their licence card number triggers an automated response that confirms or denies the validity of the person's licence.
Depending on a country, for South African, it is required to upload a black and white photo as it appears in black and white on the card.
Actually, it is not necassary to replace a traditional paper driving license for a photocard one but you have to know your requirements regarding the paper one. However, it is more popular nowadays to use the photocard license which in some countries works like an ID card as well.
There are some requirements which you have to meet before applying for a driver license in South Africa. Before getting one, you need have a learner's license, your ID document, four identical black and white pictures, proof of residental, etc.
The most important is to drive as close as possible to the left hand side of the road and don't exceed the speed limits.
You have to follow the requirements regarding head position, background colour, photo size, the quality of photo and photo paper, what is allowed and not allowed, etc.

About the document

South African driving licence

South African driving licence is the official document that authorises the holder to drive legally on South African roads. Driving licences are issued by authorised driving licence testing centres, which are run by the municipalities under the supervision of the provincial and national Departments of Transport.

Since 1998, the driving licence has been issued in a ‘credit card format’, before then it was included in the holder's national identity document. 

Who can apply for a South African driving licence?

The minimum age to hold a licence is 18 years old, with the exception of Code A1 for which the minimum age is 16. This means you can drive a car in South Africa from the age of 18 or a small motorcycle with an engine of less than 125cc at the age of 17.

Regarding other nationalities, you can drive using a valid foreign license. However, after one year of official residency, foreigners typically must apply for a driver’s license in South Africa.

South African Driving Licence application requirements

To book a test date you have to go to the nearest driving licence testing centre (DLTC). However, before that you have to collect some documents:

  • your learner's licence.
  • your identity document (passport, ID, etc.).
  • four identical black and white photographs. You must first confirm with the DLTC how many photos they require before you have photos taken.
  • Proof of residential address e.g. utility account. If the utility bill is not in your name, the owner of the bill must make an affidavit declaring that you live at the address and the utility bill must be attached to the affidavit. 
  • if you stay at an informal settlement, you must bring a letter with an official date stamp from the ward councillor confirming your residential address.
  • a booking fee. 

Driving licence costs in South Africa

The best way to find out the South African driving license costs is to contact your local licensing office because the exact nature of how driving tests and licenses are administered varies depending on the place of living.

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