An Identity Document “ID book” is important to get as soon as you are eligible as it is a form of identification when dealing with public and private institutions.

south-africa-643456_640-1In order to apply for your South African ID book you will need to have been issued with a Permanent Residency certificate, only once you have a Permanent Residency certificate and your residency status has been verified by the Pretoria Head Office, will you able to begin the process.

Please ensure that you apply for your ID book within six months of receiving your Permanent Residency certificate as the processing times are currently 3 – 6 months or even longer.

All Permanent Residency certificates that were issued as of 1 October 2014 will have a verified copy of the certificate attached which will be used to apply for the South African ID book. The verified copy contains an original verification stamp and an original signature of the verifying officer.

With regards to older Permanent Residency certificates, once the results of the Permanent Residency verification have been received, the Department of Home Affairs will supply you with an application form which they do not allow to leave the premises.

Due to this restriction, the applicant will need to ensure that they have sufficient time and the necessary documentation to complete the application at the Department of Home Affairs. The Department of Home Affairs requires all applicants to be present for mandatory fingerprinting.

There are a couple of documents that the applicant needs to furnish the Department of Home Affairs with in order to ensure a timeous and well executed application process. Please ensure that the following documents are submitted along with the application:

– Two recent identical 40mm x 30mm sized photograph of each applicant

– The original passport and a certified copy thereof

– The original, full unabridged birth certificate and a certified copy thereof

– The original permanent residence certificate including the proof or verification and a certified copy thereof

– The original marriage/divorce/death certificate for any current and/or previous marriages and a certified copy of the applicable document mentioned above as well as any applicable translations.

The Department of Home Affairs will issue an ID number to you within six weeks of which you can use to follow up on the status of your application. From this point onwards the rest of the process is in the hands of the Department of Home Affairs.


by Kyle Ernstzen