Firearm License Renewal: South Africa

Many firearm licences, which were renewed in the transition period from the previous 1969 licensing laws to the new 2000/60 Firearm Regulations Act, have come up for renewal. The transition period refers to the time when you had to apply to renew your old green licences (1969) to the new white card licences (2000/60) issued under the new Act.

This process license renewals will thus be a continuous process from 2015, as Section 15 and Section 16 licences renewed in the transition period are only valid for 10 years. Many self-protection licences, valid for 5 years, have already expired and been renewed since.

Remember that you have to submit your renewal application(s) 90 days before the expiry date of your white card licences. DO NOT get caught with licences which have already expired! Please do not get yourself into a position where you are forced to hand in your firearm because you are (in effect) illegally in possession of a firearm once your license has expired.

If you apply before 90 days of expiry date, your existing licence remains valid until SAPS renews your licence – no matter how long that might take. Once renewed, the licence(s) will again be valid for the period the original licence was valid for. For example: 5 years.

SAPS: License Renewal FAQ

Please ensure you make a copy of the receipt for the payment(s) you will have to make for your firearm license renewal(s). You must, at all times, carry a copy of the receipt(s) with your expired licence as proof that you have applied for your renewal on time. Otherwise, it can be mistaken that you are illegally in possession of a firearm as the licence has expired.

How Do I Apply for a Renewal of a Firearm Licence?

At least 90 days before your firearm license is due to expire, take the following documentation to the DFO at the police station nearest to your official place of residence:

  • Your official identity document (certified copy of permanent residence for a non-South African citizen
  • The original firearm licence, permit or authorisation for a firearm you wish to renew
  • Two recent passport-size colour photographs (not older than three months)
  • Competency certificate
  • Complete the relevant sections of the SAPS 518(a) form.

At the Police Station, the DFO will:

  • take a full set of your fingerprints on the SAPS 91(a) form (only for a competency certificate)
  • issue you with a remittance advice SAPS 523(a) and direct you to the financial office at the police station to pay the prescribed fee. The payment must be made by means of cash or a bank-guaranteed cheque. You will be issued with a receipt (Z263) as proof of payment, which you must submit to the DFO to ensure that the processing of the application will continue. You will receive a signed acknowledgement of receipt (SAPS 523) as proof that you have submitted an application for a renewal of a licence to possess a firearm.

How Much Will it Cost?

  • Competency certificate: R84,00
  • Renewal of firearm licence: R84,00

Standard Requirements: Firearm License Renewal

As mentioned above, the following documents will need to be supplied with your firearm license renewal application(s). Here is a list of the standard documents and motivational letters needed to support your renewal application:

  • Correctly completed SAPS 518(a) form (download here)
  • Copy of your ID.
  • Copy of proof of residence.
  • Copies of all relevant training certificates.
  • Copy of your firearm competency certificate(s).
  • Proof of membership of shooting clubs.
  • Motivation letter explaining the intended purpose and use of your firearm, which includes a large section containing proof of your use of firearm for the purposes it was originally motivated for.

When completing this section, your full dedication and careful attention is of utmost importance. You HAVE TO PROVE why you still need a firearm. To make the most out of your motivation for renewal, attach copies of your receipts from hunting trips, permissions to hunt and transport venison, letters from game farms stating that you hunted with them, photos from hunting trips with relevant dates, shooting range registers, score cards, photos of you using the shooting range, etc.

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