New requirements when taking a motor vehicle across South Africa's borders.


Following a clampdown last month on the regulations for travellers crossing South Africa’s land borders, eTNW went through the process of acquiring the required documents and found that it took less than four working days.

On Thursday last week, I contacted my insurance company for confirmation that I would be covered by insurance, including if I was involved in an accident, while in Mozambique. Within 30 minutes, my insurer, Auto and General, sent through confirmation of vehicle cover outside SA borders.

I then sent this confirmation to my bank and, four working days later, on Tuesday, my bank, FNB, which is financing my vehicle, sent me a letter authorising me to take the vehicle outside SA’s borders, stipulating my dates of travel.

According to SA’s regulations for vehicles crossing its borders, the letter from the bank is required for vehicles that are financed.

In instances where a rented vehicle is taken across SA’s borders, a letter of authorisation is needed from the rental company. Sandile Ntseoane, gm of the Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, commented: “Most of our members supply their renters with a letter of authority when they are to cross the border. It contains the vehicle details such as engine and vin numbers as well as the rental details and which country they are entering. To my knowledge, they do not give them copies of the vehicle registration papers as the signed original letter of authority has been sufficient.”

According to the AA, drivers crossing SA’s borders require:
- A valid passport for the driver and passengers
- A certified copy of the vehicle registration papers
- If vehicle is still being financed, a letter of authority from the bank (must include dates of travel) together with the vehicle licence papers   
- If the driver is not the registered owner of the vehicle, a letter of authorisation from the registered owner 

To access information on the requirements of SA’s neighbouring countries, click here.