Applying for an ID Book / Passport

You’ll need an ID book or passport for a variety of things, including renting properties, opening a bank account and even getting a driver’s licence.

You can apply for an ID book or passport either through Home Affairs or at selected banks in South Africa. Call your nearest bank to see if they offer this service.

You can get a South African ID book as soon as you turn 16 years old. This is a green, bar-coded book or what is called a ‘Smart-card’ ID. Either of these will work as a legal form of identity for both government and private institutions.

You need to be a South African citizen or have a permanent residence permit in order to get an ID document.

Top Tip:

Make sure you bring along passport or ID photos before you get to Home Affairs – it could cost you a lot more to have the photos taken there

Applying For an ID Document At Home Affairs

When you apply for an ID document, you’ll need to submit the following:

1. A BI-9 form, completed in black ink. This form will be provided to you at the home affairs office.

2. A certified copy of your reference book or birth certificate, or a copy of the old Bophuthatswana, Transkei, Ciskei or Venda homelands identity or travel documents

3. Two identical, colour photos (these are not required at smart-card offices as those ID images are digitally captured at the office where you make your application).

4. You will have your fingerprints taken by an official at home affairs.

For those who are naturalised citizens or permanent residence permit holders, you’ll also need to include the following with your application:


Your naturalisation certificate, as well as a copy that will then be certified by Home Affairs naturalisation

Your permanent residency certificate, as well as a copy that will then be certified by Home Affairs

Your exemption certificate, as well as a copy that will then be certified by Home Affairs

A BI-1620 form that is to be filled out at the Home Affairs office.

If you provide a cellphone number along with your application, you can get updates on the progress of your application. Youll need to SMS the word ID and then your ID number to 32551. Each SMS will cost you one rand.

Remember: If theres an error in your ID book when it arrives, the Department of Home Affairs will replace it free of charge.

Top Tip:

You can apply for a Temporary Identification Certificate (TIC) if your ID book has been damaged, lost or stolen. You can do this at any Department of Home Affairs office. Contact details for Home Affairs: or phone 0800 60 11 90.

Having an ID Document Re-Issued

There are three reasons someone would have their ID re-issued:

  1. If you’ve gotten married and you want to take on the name of your spouse, you will need to submit your marriage certificate and a copy of the BI-9 form, as well as include the appropriate fee.
  2. For women who want to take on a previous name, you’ll need to show proof that you’re entitled to use that name (such as a birth certificate) and a completed BI-9. You’ll also need to include the appropriate fee.
  3. Those whose ID books have been damaged, lost or stolen.

You will need to bring along a police affidavit in instances where your ID book has been lost or stolen. For those applying for a passport renewal, you’ll need to bring your old passport with you to the bank / Home Affairs office.


Applying For a Smart ID Card At a Bank


Remember: Only South African citizens can apply for a Smart ID card.

In some places, you can now apply for your Smart ID card through a bank, such as FNB. Currently Absa, FNB, Standard Bank and Nedbank offer this service in selective towns. Please call your nearest bank to find out if they offer this service before applying online.

In order to apply for your ID / passport through FNB, you will need to follow these steps, which have been divided into parts A and B.

Part A:

  1. Visit the Home Affairs website. Click Here.
  2. Choose Smart ID
  3. Choose Register and fill out the questions
  4. Confirm your cellphone number
  5. Login to your profile
  6. Capture the OTP logon sent to your cellphone via SMS
  7. Complete the application form
  8. Submit the application – you might need to upload additional supporting documentation
  9. Input your banking details to complete the payment.

Part B:

  1. Login to FNB Online Banking
  2. Select Pay
  3. Select e-Filing
  4. Select Approve Payment. It will take a couple of minutes to reflect with Home Affairs
  5. Revisit the Home Affairs website
  6. Login to your eChannel profile
  7. Choose your FNB branch
  8. Pick your appointment time and date
  9. Print your confirmation page
  10. Visit the branch at the time and date you picked.

Please note the following section is based on Gauteng and Western Cape contact details only. Call your local bank to find out if they have the Smart ID facilities available in your area. Click here to view banks that do smart id cards.

Cost of an ID Book

It won’t cost you anything when you’re applying for an ID book for minors or for those applying for an ID book for the first time.

Those who are renewing their ID books will need to pay R140 (Estimated, please verify). If your ID book has been lost or stolen, you’ll need to bring along a police affidavit.

Citizens who were born in South Africa and are 60 years and older will get their Smart ID card for free.

Applying For A Passport At Home Affairs

In order to travel, you need to make sure that you have a valid passport and you can apply for this at your local Home Affairs office, or for those who are outside of the country, from the nearest South African mission or embassy.

A passport is issued by the government and it is against the law for a citizen to leave the country without one.

Those applying for a passport must do so in person. You need to have an ID book to apply for a passport. 

To apply for a passport, you must follow these steps:

To apply for a passport, you must follow these steps:

  1. Complete a DHA-73 form at a Home Affairs office
  2. Bring your official ID (or a birth certificate for those under 16 years of age)
  3. Your fingerprints will be taken at Home Affairs
  4. Contact the Home Affairs office to find out if you need to bring passport photos or if they are using the biometric application system
  5. Bring R400 (Estimated, please verify).

Your passport will be valid for 10 years and it will usually be ready between 7 and 21 working days after you have applied.

Applying For A Passport At A Bank

Those who are applying for a passport for a minor will need to bring along the following:

  1. The original ID book of both parents
  2. The child’s unabridged birth certificate
  3. In cases of guardianship, a copy of the court’s appointment letter.

You will need to have your photos and fingerprints taken during your appointment in the branch. The moment your passport is ready, you’ll receive an SMS to collect it. You’ll need to make sure you bring along your green bar-coded ID book when you collect your passport or Smart ID card.


Cost of a Passport

A passport will cost roughly R400 if it has expired or R800 if it has been lost or stolen (Estimated, please verify).

Get In Touch

082 313 2061

gauteng, south africa

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