Applying for an Identity Document

Description:

An identity document (ID) enables South African citizens and permanent residents to identify themselves for general purposes and day-to-day activities in society. IDs form an important part of each person's daily activities since all transactions require positive identification.

You can get a South African ID if you are a South African citizen or permanent resident and are aged 16 years or older.

If your ID book has been lost, stolen or damaged, you can apply for a replacement ID. You can also get a new ID if:

  • Your personal particulars have changed.
  • Your citizenship status has changed.
  • You have changed your surname (for example, if you get married or divorced).
  • You are temporarily living abroad and have previously had a South African ID.

Replacing your lost, stolen or damaged ID will cost R140. 

Immigrants who have valid permanent residence permits can also get an ID.

A temporary ID serves as proof of identity while you are waiting for your application for an ID to be processed. This document is only valid for a short period.

Disclaimer: Please contact your Home Affairs office before visiting, to confirm if they're using the new biometric application system, or if you need to bring your own photos. 

Instructions:

Smart ID

First time applicants

All first time applicants must be accompanied by their parents or one of the parents when applying for an ID card. The parents /legal guardians of first time applicants must bring along a certified copy of their IDs as well.

  • In the case where the parents are deceased, a child needs to be accompanied by their legal guardian. 

First time applicants must submit the following documentation to their nearest Department of Home Affairs office or South African mission or consulate abroad:

  • Form BI-9, completed in black ink. These forms are available at Home Affairs.
  • A certified copy of your birth certificate or reference book  or a copy of the old Transkei, Bophutatswana, Venda or Ciskei homelands identity or travel documents. 
  • Two identical ID photographs (colour). 

Your fingerprints will be taken by a Home Affairs official and imprinted on Form DHA-9. 

Note: If you are a naturalised citizen or a permanent residence permit holder, you must attach the following to your application form:

  • Your naturalisation certificate and a copy, which will be certified by Home Affairs.
  • Your permanent residency certificate and a copy, which will be certified by Home Affairs.
  • Your exemption certificate and a copy, which will be certified by Home Affairs.
  • Form BI-1620, which must be  completed at a Home Affairs office.

If the permanent residence permit or exemption certificate cannot be furnished, Form BI-829 must be completed for the issuing of a duplicate thereof.

If the naturalisation certificate cannot be provided, you must apply for a duplicate prior to submitting the ID book application.


Re-issuing an ID

In the event that your ID is lost, damaged or stolen, you may request a Temporary Identification Certificate (TIC). This can be done at any office of the Department of Home Affairs and is subject to the verification of your fingerprints.

You can also get a new ID if:

  • Your personal details have changed.
  • Your citizenship status has changed.
  • You have changed your surname (for example, if you get married or divorced).
  • You are temporarily living abroad and have previously had a South African ID. 
     

Smart ID

You can apply for a replacement ID by: 
  • Completing Form BI-9 as well if you have not previously submitted your fingerprints.
  • Attaching additional documents as required (e.g. a marriage certificate if you are married).
  • Paying the required fee, R140, for the re-issue.

Be sure to provide your cellphone number in your application so that you can receive regular updates on the progress of your application via SMS.

To get the SMS updates, simply SMS the word “ID” followed by your ID number to 32551. You will be charged R1 for each SMS sent.

For more information on how to apply for an identity document, visit the Department of Home Affairs website, where you can also track and trace the progress of your ID application.


Correcting errors in your ID

If you get your ID and there are errors, the Department of Home Affairs will replace your ID for free.

To apply to correct information in your ID, simply submit the following to any office of the Department of Home Affairs:

  • Forms BI-9 and BI-309 completed with the correct information
  • Proof of the error, which shows the correct information (e.g.  a birth certificate)
  • Two identical ID photographs.

Note: Application forms cannot be downloaded from the Home Affairs website. Please visit your nearest Western Cape Home Affairs office to get one of these.


Smart ID cards

All South Africans can now apply for the new Smart Identity card which replaces the green bar-coded identity document. 

The smart card IDs can only be issued at offices where the live capture system is in place. 

So please contact your nearest home affairs office to make sure they have a “live capture” system for processing smart card IDs and new passports. 
Department of Home Affairs

Applications for a Smart ID will cost R140. You will not need to bring photos as the offices equipped to handle applications for the smart ID card will be able to cater for both processes.

You can also apply for an smart ID online with eHome Affairs

Note: The old green ID books will remain valid as it is estimated that it would take six to seven years to phase them out.

For more information on smart ID cards, please refer to these frequently asked questions.

More information:

 

Provided At: These facility categories:
Provided by:
Government Body: (The Government of South Africa)
Price:

Costs:

Types of Applications

Cost of Applications

Photographs

First time application for an ID or a Smart ID Card for youths and pensioners over the age of 60

Free

No photos needed

Smart ID Card (all other citizens)

R140

No photos needed

Replacement of an ID or Smart Card

R140

Two identical ID photos

Temporary ID

R70

Two identical ID photos

 

Note: The cost for applying for an ID does not include the cost of photographs.

The content on this page was last updated on 13 April 2018