If you have been spared trouble so far, we strongly recommend applying for a SA ID book, just to avoid the problems we mentioned in the previous PR sticker article. You can not apply immediately for the Smart ID in credit card format; first you have need of the green ID book.


Applying for a SA ID book

First a review of your PR certificate is necessary, for this purpose you can recently send a scan of your PR document to [email protected].

Please always inform Home Affairs at which office/branch you are applying for. This is very vital. Home Affairs will then inform you about the details of your contact person at the branch you are applying for.

For Paarl: Please copy the only responsible lady in: [email protected]. This will save you a trip and hopefully get you an answer right away.

Refer in your email that you wish to apply for the ID. A verification and also a initial application of the ID can only be made in Paarl or Cape Town, but no longer in Somerset West or Stellenbosch. Once the verification is done, you can apply for the ID book.

You will need both an original and a certified copy, and when necessary a certified translation:

· Passport

· PR certificate

· Birth certificate (Your best bet would be to request it prior at an international register office)

· Marriage certificate (also of previous marriages, even when you are a widow/widower or after divorce!)

· potential divorce decree(s)

· 2 passport photos

· Application form, available at Home Affairs office

The processing time is about 6 months and the initial application is free of charge. Home Affairs will inform you about the progress via SMS. „Swallows“ should please give a mobile number that even works in winter, and especially 6 months later. After about 2 months Home Affairs already defines the ID number.

For our Johannesburg clients please feel free to contact our Johannesburg office: 011 568 1470

Follow-ups at the Home Affairs Call Center at 0800-60 11 90 are trouble-free.


by Dirk Meissner