Applying for an Identity Document
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 part of each person's daily activities since all transactions require identification.
You can get a South African ID if you’re a South African citizen or permanent resident 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:
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’re 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 and if you need to bring your own photos. Please also check with your local Home Affairs office which services are available there, and confirm which supporting documents are required as these change from time to time without notice.
All South Africans can now apply for the new Smart Identity card that replaces the green bar-coded identity document.
Only offices that use the live capture system can issue smart ID cards. Contact your nearest home affairs office to make sure they have a “live capture” system for processing smart ID cards and new passports. Applications for a Smart ID will cost R140. You’ll 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 a smart ID card online with eHome Affairs.
Note: The old green ID books will remain valid as it is estimated that it would take 6 to 7 years to phase them out.
For more information on smart ID cards, please refer to these frequently asked questions.
First time applicants
First time applicants must submit the following documentation to their nearest Department of Home Affairs office or South African mission or consulate abroad:
Your fingerprints will be taken by a Home Affairs official and imprinted on Form DHA-9.
Note: If you’re a naturalised citizen or a permanent residence permit holder, you must attach the following to your application form:
If the permanent residence permit or exemption certificate can’t be furnished, Form BI-829 must be completed for the issuing of a duplicate thereof.
If the naturalisation certificate can’t be provided, you must apply for a duplicate before 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:
You can apply for a replacement ID by:
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:
These facility categories:
|Government Body:||(The Government of South Africa)|
Note: The cost for applying for an ID does not include the cost of photographs.