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National Traffic Information System - Overview

The NaTIS is the national register and asset that stores, records, manages and enforces the requirements of the National Road Traffic Act (NRTA) and the National Road Traffic Regulations (NRTR). It provides for the registration and licensing of vehicles. It manages and records applications for and authorizations of driving and learner’s licenses. It is a law enforcement tool which is used to ensure that the details of vehicles that are stolen are circulated and to prevent irregular and fraudulent re-registration of such vehicles. It serves as a register for recording the decisions of safety as provided by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). This process, where the SABS is linked to the NaTIS, ensures that only vehicles that meet our country’s stringent safety standards are allowed to be registered in this country.


NaTIS is seen “as a key resource to provide effective road traffic management”. It is used at more than 1 753 sites throughout the country to register, deregister and check the ownership of vehicles. It performs about 40 000 transactions per hour with a turnover of R3 billion per annum.

New vehicle models, built up vehicles and modifications of vehicles, whether locally manufactured or imported, must conform to the compulsory specifications for vehicles of the relevant class, and in particular the standards affecting Safety Critical Characteristics of the vehicle and its components. We are appointed as the inspectorate responsible for ensuring compliance of the following classes of vehicles with the relevant compulsory standards:

  • Passenger vehicles (M1, M2, M3)
  • Goods vehicles (N1, N2, N3)
  • Trailers (O1, O2, O3, O4)
  • Agricultural tractors

The compulsory standards for motorcycles are still in the draft stage. In order to prove the conformity of a vehicle or vehicle model, we subject it to the process of homologation. In South Africa this process is aligned with international practice, in accordance with Code of Practice SANS 10267 Homologation of motor vehicle models. Homologation must be completed successfully before a vehicle or vehicle model is allocated a NATIS number, which permits the manufacturer or importer to offer the vehicle or vehicle model for sale. No vehicle may be sold or registered and licensed unless a NATIS number has been allocated.

We require substantial evidence in order to homologate a vehicle. A sample must be supplied for evaluation, supported by a body of documented evidence provided by the original manufacturer, including inspection and test reports compiled by accredited laboratories or inspection authorities. The evidence must cover the characteristics of the complete vehicle, as well as all components referred to in the applicable standards and codes of practice, all of which are obtainable from the SANS Standards Sales department.