FAQ: How to apply for a South African passport

3G0A10349SmallPassports are issued for international travelling purposes and to identify you(r) nationality. Any South African citizen who has a South African identity number can apply for a passport and is only issued in Pretoria

Please note: If you do not have a South African identity number you should apply for registration of birth and an identity document in order to apply for a passport.

Applications can be made at any office of the Department of Home Affairs. When an application is made for a passport you and other dependant family members must be present as biometrics must be done. SApassport

The official has to verify if you are the true person and your identity is legal/valid as it’s checked against the National Population Register.

If you do not have a regular passport and you need to travel urgently due to a death, sickness or another emergency, you can apply for an emergency travel document /certificate.

There are six types of South African passports:

Regular passport

These passports are issued to citizens who are 16 years of age or older, and are intended for occasional travel, such as vacations and business trips. They contain 32 pages, and are valid for 10 years. Regular passports are not renewable – when they expire, new passport applications have to be applied for.

Maxi passport

Similar to regular passports, but contain 48 pages to cater for frequent travellers. Like regular passports, they are issued to citizens aged 16 and older, are valid for 10 years, and are non-renewable. (Please see DHA website for requirements)

Child passport

These passports are issued to citizens who are 15 years of age or younger. They are valid for 5 years, and are non-renewable. (Please see DHA website for requirements)

Official passport

These passports are issued to officials attached to government institutions who have to travel on official business. They are valid for 5 years, and are issued to officials free of charge by the Department of Home Affairs. (Please see DHA website for requirements)

Diplomatic passport

Issued to diplomats and consuls for work-related travel, and to their accompanying dependents. (Please see DHA website for requirements)

The following documents needs to be submitted when applying for a passport:

  • The prescribed passport application Form DHA-73
  • Your original identity document and a copy, or your birth certificate and copy if under 16
  • If under 18 years, a consent from parents for issuing of the passport. (please see DHA website for detailed the requirements of child passport)
  • You will need a completed determination of citizenship Form DHA-529  when applying from abroad
  • You need to provide your current valid tourist passport or if you have lost your passport or it has been stolen and you are applying for a new passport,  you must provide a loss of passport report (DHA-335 ) and an affidavit from the police station
  • Two colour photographs (passport and ID photograph specifications)
  • Pay the prescribed fee for the passport as indicated at the DHA.

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Please note: Home Affairs does not issue Temporary passports any longer.

If you filed an application for a passport you can follow up by sending a SMS to Home Affairs on :

32551 with the letter P and your ID number

by Candice

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