Confused About Unabridged Birth Certificates? This Tool Is A Life Saver

Latest update: As of the 4 December 2015 the Department of Home Affairs has put plans in place to assist travellers travelling with minors during the festive season. It will be in effect from December 10 to January 16.

Outbound travellers

Outbound travellers with children are still required to produce:

  • the Unabridged Birth certificate in addition to the passport of the travelling minor
  • affidavits confirming parental consent to such travel in the event that one parent is not travelling.

The Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs, Mkuseli Apleni, has said there is a team in place to rapidly respond to issues regarding the unabridged birth certificate and to ensure that the certificate is issued within the specific period.

“It takes eight weeks to apply for and be issued with the UBC – which is required for each traveling child,” Mkuseli said “Those whose applications have exceeded eight weeks and have not received the certificates are advised to visit their Home Affairs office where they will be given a letter to use in the place of the UBC. This is only in the event that they need to travel.

Children under the age of 18 who already have passports:

The Department has done a pre-modification so that Home Affairs offices are able to issue them with the UBC on the spot.

“Where there are problems with the application, sms messages will be sent to the applicants concerned, encouraging them immediately to go to the office where they had applied, to receive assistance so that officials may issue the certificates timeously,” eTWN reported Mkuseli said.

Going forward:

Details of parents will be printed in children’s passports meaning that parents whose particulars were printed would not be required to carry birth certificates when travelling with their children.

Extended office hours at selected ports of entry during the busy festive season. Find out more here.

Dedicated phone numbers for travellers requiring assistance with the unabridged birth certificates:

072 634 0614 / 072 634 0589 / 073 567 6208 / 073 567 5968.

Good to know:

From April 2016:

The term Unabridged Birth Certificate will be changed to Birth Certificate.

Unabridged_Birth_Certificates

Enter this tool – the Child Visa Checklist App. Developed by Drive South Africa, a subsidiary of The Discover Africa Group, the web app simplifies the complexity of the new South African child visa requirements by distilling 15 different documents and 37 unique scenarios for children travelling in and out of South Africa into an easily digested format. The tool asks three pointed questions to help travellers:

  • Who is the child travelling with?
  • Parental status (married, divorced, legally separated etc.) and
  • Any other special circumstances (adoption, foster care, whether both parents are still alive, etc.)

Have you travelled to/from South Africa with children since 1 June 2015? Please complete our Unabridged Birth Certificates feedback survey and help us monitor the situation.

Non-South African Citizens travelling to SA

It will still be required that original birth certificates and, as necessary, parental consent or certified copies are submitted during the visa application process.

For visa-exempt countries a strong advisory will be issued, with travellers advised to have proof of relationship and consent from the absent parent/s or guardian/s, in case they are asked to provide such on arrival. The status quo will remain until such time the Department of Home Affairs has provided a legal instrument for this category of travellers.

It has been recommended by the US Embassy that US citizens (and other visa-free travellers) should carry an authorisation letter that is notarised. You may not be asked for this but in the meantime it seems like the best possible insurance against complications at the border.

When a child is travelling alone to South Africa the child must carry a letter from the person that will be receiving them in South Africa, containing the person’s address and contact details, as well as a copy of the host’s identity document or passport (in this case it is probable that no birth certificate will be required).

How it works

After inputting the scenario appropriate information users are directed to a list of required documents for that traveller’s specific scenario (e.g. Child is travelling with both parents) is displayed on screen.

The tool works on desktop and mobile devices and provides links to downloadable documents from the Department of Home Affairs, as well as answering frequently asked questions in layman’s terms.

Try the app now.

Unabridged Resources:

Have you travelled to/from South Africa with children since 1 June 2015? Please complete our Unabridged Birth Certificates feedback survey and help us monitor the situation.

Our Readers Comments

  1. Please leave your comment…i want to know what if someone is travelling from zimbabbwe to visit to RSA ith a child ,where do you apply this underbridge birth certificate

    • Hi Mary,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will need to apply at Home Affairs for the Unabridged Birth Certificate.

  2. What happens in a case were child whose parents have never married and the father has had no contact with child and does not pay maintenance stand? The father lives abroad thanx

    • Hi Carol,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If the child’s father details are not on their birth certificate, no documentation will be required from the father.

      I have e-mailed you an official release from Home Affairs of the Unabridged Birth Certificate. If you have any further queries I suggest you contact them direct they should be able to answer any further queries you might have.

  3. That’s a useful app! It doesn’t look like they’ve included the options but apparently people from countries that need a visa don’t have to travel with an UBC because the info was documented on application.

    >> “Department of Home Affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni has issued a media statement that appears to backtrack on the contentious unabridged birth certificate requirement for children travelling in South Africa, which came into effect on Monday 1 June 2015.

    Apleni said the certificate is not needed when both parents are travelling with valid passports and visas for themselves and their children.

    “I must reiterate that where both parents are travelling with valid passports and visas the unabridged birth certificate is not a requirement since these additional documents would have been provided when applications were made for passports and visas,” Apleni said in a statement on the department’s website.”<<

    Does anyone have official information In the case of a single parent with the child's UBC where both parents are on it but the single parent has no contact with the spouse and is not in possession of a court order or divorce papers and cannot obtain a Parental Consent Affidavit (PCA)?

  4. could you please let me know what documentation is needed to apply for the unabridged birth certificate?

    • Hi Robyn,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      See below procedures to follow and documents which are needed whey applying for an Unabridged Birth Certificate:

      1.Apply at your nearest Home Affairs office where your Biometric information will be verified.
      2.Take the parents ID books along, as well as your child’s ID number.
      3.All documents submitted must be originals or certified copies.

      The Unabridged Birth Certificate costs R75. It can take up to 8 weeks to acquire an Unabridged Birth Certificate from the date of application.
      Since last year, Unabridged Birth Certificates have been issued automatically for newborns. If your infant was born after 14 March 2013, you should be in possession of a UBC.

      Certified copies of documents are usually valid for 6 months only.

      Don’t delay applying for Unabridged Birth Certificates as the time frame for obtaining the documentation varies greatly, from a few weeks to several months.

  5. My children, being teenagers, have the older format of the UBC – it is a certificate issued and signed by home affairs, also giving the parents’ details – the ONLY difference is that the details are handwritten by a home affairs official and stamped. Hence it is not a computer generated copy. Apparently these 10 year UBCs are no longer valid – is there truth in this??!

    • Hi Sandy,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid i’m not 100% sure on this and would suggest you contact Home Affairs direct to get the most up to date information.

      They will be able to answer any questions you might have.

  6. I have applied for all 3 my kids’ UBCs on 30March 2011. 2 of them arrived within the time as expected. The 3rd one is still outstanding…… it has been 4 YEARS. I went back many times… i have phoned many times. No one knows anything?
    One lady told me that the archives in Pietersburg is in chaos and that they had water damage there??
    We have moved in the meanwhile.
    Should I just re-apply?? Or try again to get info on my previous application??

    Luckely we didnt need it up to now….
    Thanks

    • Hi Annelize,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      I would suggest re-applying again. As we had someone else post that their child’s records were lost on their data base and they had to resubmit. If you have been waiting so long, it is best to re-apply again as you could be waiting longer if you don’t.

      Yes good thing you have not needed it up until now.

      Best of luck!

  7. Hi there,
    Mozambique has, appart from the UBC, official ID Cards which states the parents name and it’s in Portuguese and English. Can’t we use that instead of the UBC? If so, when we cross the border, can we just show the original with the passport? Or do we have to leave a copy of the ID card (does it have to authenticated? By the SA Embassy or Mozambican Notary?)?
    Looking forward to you reply 🙂

    • Hi Patricia,

      Thanks for the interesting questions.

      To my knowledge the UBC will need to be presented along with the passengers valid passports.

      In staying this I do suggest you contact Home Affairs as they would be able to give the most up to date information on any queries you might have.

      When the original documents are presented, you should not have to leave copies at immigration.

  8. I am travelling in October to J’Burg from London. Both my daughter (10) and myself are South Africa citizens, living in London with indefinite live to remain visas there. Her birth mother (SA citizen) is deceased (I have the death certificate), I also have unabridge birth certificate with mine and her deceased mum’s name on. What documentation do I need, this scenario is not accounted for in the tool. Thank you very much

    • Hi Jose,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I will be e-mailing you the latest official release from Home Affairs where it will provide all information on mail categories of travel cases, parents traveling with children.

      If you have any further questions you welcome to contact SA Home Affairs direct they should be able to answer any queries you might have.

  9. I applied @ Home Affairs for a vault copy of my daughters birth cert-4months ago!! The turn around time for an unabridged birth certificate is 3 months! Its time this government got their act together and reduce the time!! In the UK you can apply for a passport-by mail and get the new passport back in a week to 10days!! About time our Gov Dept got sorted out!!

  10. Do you need to travel with the original UBC or will a police certified copy be sufficient?

    • Hi Canny,

      Great to hear from you.

      All documents must be either original or copies certified as a true copy of the original by a commissioner of oaths or the equivalent commissioning authority, should commissioners of oath not be a practice in the country concerned.

      If you have any further queries you welcome to contact Home Affairs direct and they should be able to answer any questions you might have.

  11. My 16 year old son is going on a school tour to the USA in October, I have obtained the VISA and unabridged birth certificate plus letter of consent from my ex husband and myself. Does my son need to take a copy of the divorce decree with him to (original or certified copy?)

    • Hi Felicity,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Your son might need to produce the divorce decree along with unabridged birth certificate and letter of consent from both parents.

      The documents can be the original or copies certified as a true copy of the original by a commissioner of oaths.

  12. Hello, a week ago i applied for an unabridged birth certificate for my 2years old baby. However i would like to travel in 2 weeks time during school holidays, of which it came to my attention that the documents will not be processed by then. My question is, what other options may i consider when traveling without the unabridged b/certificate. Is there any other document that i may be given that will suggest that i am still waiting for the unabridged?

    • Hi Kholiwe,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      I am afraid there is no other option. You will need to produce the unabridged birth certificate or you will not be able to travel with your 2 year old.

  13. I have a question with regards to a 17 year old who is in foster care . We would like to apply for her passport. What documentationn do we require to apply?

    • Hi Brenda,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      The following documents and papers are required:

      To apply for the passport, you must submit the following documents:

      A duly completed passport application Form DHA-73
      Your original identity document and a copy, or a birth certificate and copy thereof if under 16
      If under 18 years, parental consent for issuing of the passport. Please see Tourist passports: persons under 16 for the requirements
      A completed determination of citizenship Form DHA-529 when applying from abroad
      Present any existing 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 confirmation that you reported the loss to the police
      Two colour photographs that comply with the Passport and ID Photograph Specifications
      Pay the prescribed fee for the passport

      The below link should answer further queries you might have.

      http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/travel-documents2

      The above is just a guideline and we suggest you contact Home Affairs direct for the latest information

  14. Hi Marcelle,

    I made an application for my Unabridged Birth Certificate at Home Affairs, and have since been waiting two months for it to arrive. I returned to the Home Affairs who could only tell me that it was still “in the process”.

    I would like to make an application for a UK Ancestral Visa so the arrival of the Unabridged Birth Certificate is very important.

    To make matters worse, I discovered after the application that upon listing my father’s birth place as Sutton Coldfield in the UK, he was actually born in Lichfield (a neighbouring village) and it is Lichfield that is listed on his UK passport. His passport will be used in my UK Ancestral Visa application along with my Unabridged Birth Certificate, proving my ancestry.

    No documentation – such as my father’s passport – was required for me to submit the application. I simply filled out a form. Additionally, I am adopted from birth and would obviously like the names of my adoptive parents on my Unabridged Birth Certificate. There was nothing on the form to indicate adoption and I was not required to submit any adoption papers. I’m very confused at present.

    Is it perhaps possible to cancel the initial application and reapply for an Unabridged Birth Certificate with the correct details?

    Do you have any advice for somebody in my position? Any help would be much appreciated.

    • Hi Derrick,

      Thanks for getting in touch and for the interesting question.

      I would think it would be possible to cancel the request and submit again. They should be able to cancel it on their system.

      However I suggest you contact Home Affairs direct for this as only they would be able to assist in providing the correct information with regards to your query.

      Their contact details are:

      Department of Home Affairs toll free hotline: 0800 60 11 90

      Best of Luck.

  15. Hi, I need to know if its possible for me to get an unabridged birth certificate for my newborn but the baby’s father wants nothing to do with his baby.

    • Hi Charlene,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      All children born get an unabridged birth certificate no matter what the circumstance is.

  16. Hi Marcelle,

    Are there any specific documents that are needed for the UBC if the father was never registered on the child’s birth certificate. The father is not part of the child’s life at all and is willing to sign over his rights in respect of the child.

    Looking forward to your reply.

    • Hi Mary,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      You would need to get a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights (previously called “sole custody)

      I have e-mailed you a documents on, South African requirements for minors traveling internationally.

      This has all the information required.

      Should you need further assistance or have any further queries you welcome to contact Home Affairs direct and they will gladly answer any questions you might have.

  17. Hi
    I would like to know if I want to change that old birth certificate to an un abridged One ma child is 6 years old…what do they need at Home Affairs we no longer together with the father so what can I do

    • Hi Nothando,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Application process for Unabridged Birth Certificates you will need to apply at your nearest Home Affairs office where your Biometric information will be verified.

      Take your ID book along, as well as your child’s ID number. All documents submitted must be originals or certified copies.
      The Unabridged Birth Certificate costs R75. It can take up to 8 weeks to acquire an Unabridged Birth Certificate (sometimes longer) from the date of application. You would need to get an affidavit confirming you have sole custody of your child (if this is the case)
      If there is joint custody then both parents will need to take their ID books along.

      For the most up to date information I suggest you contact Home Affairs as they will be able to answer any queries you might have on all documentation they require.

      Certified copies of documents are usually valid for 6 months only.

      Don’t delay applying for Unabridged Birth Certificates as the time frame for obtaining the documentation varies greatly, from a few weeks to several months.

  18. Hello,

    I’ve applied for the unabridged birth certificates of all my 3 kids but my ex bf the father passed away 2012 and is not registered on my children’s birth certificates. what documents do i need now? i have his death certificate. our immigrant visa expires soon. please help.

    • Hi Neli,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      I suggest you contact Home Affairs to get the most up to date information.

      To my knowledge one of the documents required would be the death certificate

  19. hello

    i forgot to mention i have received all the unabridged certificates may and june but my last borns was applied for last year. do i need to apply for a new one?

    • Hi Neli,

      I am not understanding your query. If you have received the unabridged birth certificates why are you wanting to apply for new ones.

      Apologies if I have misunderstood. I suggest you contact Home Affairs who should be able to answer any queries you might have.

  20. Hi my new born baby has duel citizenship and the Italian consulate kept the original birth certificate. I however have a certified copy, is this sufficient for traveling abroad?

    • Hi Franco,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      All documents must be either original or copies certified as a true copy of the original by a commissioner of oaths or the equivalent commissioning authority, should commissioners of oath not be a practice in the country concerned.

  21. Hi Marcelle, I would be extremely grateful if you could answer my query. My husband, myself and two children are travelling to Moz in November. I have UBCs for both kids. Thing is, my daughter’s certificate shows my maiden name while my son’s shows my married surname and to complicate things, my passport is in my maiden name. Can I simply take my marriage certificate to prove I am the mother of both or if not what do I need to do? Much thanks

    • Hi Jeanette,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      As your marriage certificate will have both your maiden and surname I would say yes take this along.

      However please contact Home Affairs to see if this is suffice just to make sure that no further documentation would be required.

    • Hi Jeanette

      Im having the same problem my passport is in my maiden name and on my childs ubc is my married surname. Did you have and issues? Please let me know.

      Or do i need any other paperwork

      Regards Manlie

  22. am confuse .how can I apply for unabridged birth if my partner is foreigner using asluym .we want our kids to travel

    • Hi Thabisile,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will need to contact Home Affairs direct, they should be able to answer any queries you might have with regards to your question.

  23. Hi Marcelle,

    Your responses to everyone’s inquiries have been very helpful. My husband, born in South Africa, but now residing in the U.S., needs to obtain an unabridged birth certificate for permanent residency application purposes here in the U.S.

    The process is not clear – does he need to appear IN PERSON at a South African consulate or embassy here in the U.S.? If by mail, how do we know what fee amount to include with the application, along with certified copies of his passport, A4 envelope, etc? Would one of his parents (who are still in SA) be able to request this certificate at their local Home Affairs office on his behalf – of course he is not a minor?

    Thank you!!
    Liz

    • Hi Liz, to the best of my knowledge you have to appear in person for the application of your own child’s unabridged birth certificate. I would think you’d need to go to the closest Embassy/Consulate in the US to do this. To double-check this I would call the consular office closest to you and get it from the horse’s mouth. Unfortunately the DHA in SA is being extremely vague with the finer details and ‘exceptional’ situations such as yours. They’ve only really communicated some procedures for people in SA applying for the birth certificate in a regular way (in person at their local DHA office).

      Best of luck!

  24. My sister-in-law and her husband from the USA are visiting SA in November with their two kids, one of whom she had with her previous (divorced) husband. After the divorce she married her current husband, and the son’s surname was legally changed. So the son has a passport with his current dad’s surname, but a birth certificate with his biological dad’s surname. They have their son’s legal name-change document, and their marriage certificate. Will that be sufficient?

    • Hi Lawrence, very good question, it’s actually one I don’t know the answer to. Usually when a child’s name is changed it involves the new parent adopting them, in which case the birth certificate gets changed to reflect the adoptive parent. If the birth certificate doesn’t reflect the current father, the border agents will be wanting to see permission from the parents on the birth certificate to allow the child to travel without them. So the birth certificate will either need to be changed, or possibly if they’re able to bring along some sort of court order showing that current father is now the legal guardian of the child, then that might work.

      I wish I could give more definitive advice, unfortunately I just don’t know for sure.

  25. I am traveling with my 6 year old. His birth certificate does not have the fathers details because we only got married 2 years after the child was born

    What other documents do we need for trAvling with my son? The father will be traveling with us

    • Hi Judith, if there is only one parent listed on the UNABRIDGED birth certificate, to our knowledge then only that parent’s permission would be needed, unless that parent is travelling with the child. If the unabridged birth certificate show’s the father’s name then that person will need to give permission in the form of an affidavit for the child to travel without him, unless of course he is travelling with the child. I hope this makes sense!

  26. My husbands son has been living with us since age of 3 months and is 7 years old now, we would like to travel and apply for UBC, we have no idea where his mother is and have not seen or heard for her since,what would our next steps be to apply.

    • Hi Theresa, thanks for reaching out. If the mother’s name is still on the birth certificate, you will need to get a sworn affidavit from the mother allowing the child to leave the country. If this cannot be attained and you can show that you have tried everything to attain it, you may be able to go to court to get a court order allowing the child to travel. In the long term though it would be in your best interest to have the child formally adopted and the name changed of the mother changed on the birth certificate, otherwise you could have to do this court order thing every time you want to take the child overseas.

  27. I need some advice on this matter.
    My ex-wife has disappeared without a trace and have not been involved wit my son in over a year.

    My wife and I are planning a trip through Botswana and Namibia as our annual holiday.
    How do I go about in getting an unabridged birth certificate for my 16 year old son with one parent missing?
    My ex will most probably stay missing as there was a warrant of arrest issued to her for not showing up at the maintenance court.

    With thanks,
    Louwrens

    • Hi Louwrens, I’m afraid the solution isn’t a simple one. You’ll need to take this matter to court so that a court order can be issued giving you permission to take the child out of the country.

  28. I applied for an unabridged birth certificate for my daughter but it only has my details but not my husbands details….I don’t understand…

  29. I am travelling in USA and UK and have lost my son’s UBC en route. Will I be allowed back into SA without it? I have his passport and fathers letter of consent still. Otherwise what do I do? We fly back next week. Thanks

    • Hi Tamara, that’s a difficult one. I would get some sort of police affidavit where you swear to something like this. Other wise I would suggest that you contact your local SA embassy in the US to ask their advice.

  30. Hi Nick,
    I am in possession of a settlement agreement giving me full time residency of my child as well as a report from the family advocate emphasizing this. Will this be of any help?
    Louwrens.

    • Hi Louwrens, without either a signed affidavit, a court order or the mother travelling with you, you won’t be allowed to take the child out of SA. That settlement agreement and the report may help you get the court order, but it won’t help you take your child out of SA unfortunately directly. Like I say, I suggest you get the court order to take this further to being allowed to take your child out of SA.

  31. Good day,
    I have applied for two of my kids at the same time on 18/06/2015. Within a week I’ve got one of the unabridged certificates. But still waiting for the other one. Is there some way I can track the application without going into Home Affairs? Or do I have to reapply?

    • Hi Jorina, you shouldn’t need to reapply, I would call 0800 60 11 90 and speak to the department of home affairs for clarification.

  32. I would like to know if my daughter’s UBc only has my name and not the fathers name, would I be ale to travel with her. Its bcos we were not married nd he passed away in march this year

    • Hi Patricia, if the birth certificate is unabridged and doesn’t have the father’s name on it, then you won’t need his permission for the child to travel. Most UBCs will have both parents names on them. If yours had the father’s name on it, a certified copy of his death certificate should suffice.

    • hi are you sure that if the dad is not on the UBc that i can still travel with my child? are you 100% sure? Dad is not on but traveling with. We want to make sure this is fine and where do i get signed conformation for this

  33. I went to Home Affairs this morning to apply for my daughters’ unabridged birth certificate, she’s 9. I’m not married to her father, but we have a friendly relationship and she sees him regularly. He lives in Cape Town and we live in KZN. She has my surname, but I would like to have his name appear on the certificate, but was told by the clerk at the DHA that my daughter would have to change her surname to his in order for this to happen. Surely that can’t be right?

    • Hi Sonne,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      For the Unabridged birth certificate to my knowledge it should not matter which surname your daughter would take.

      I would suggest you get a second opinion on this, as I am not entirely sure if that is correct or not.

  34. I would like to ask if l can travel with my daughter abroad;l m currently holding an unabridged birth certificate for her.lm also holding a valid work permit here in SA.

    Another thing is that she is learning inSA so will this unabridged certificate allow her to complete her education here?

    I was told to go to my embassy with this unabridged birth certificate l don’t know why only if u can help me with information.

    • Hi Dorothy,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      I’m afraid I will not be able to answer your question with regards to completing her education here.

      You will need to contact Home Affairs with any questions you might have and they should be able to assist.

  35. I’d like to know can I get a re-print if I lost my unabridged birth certificate’s if I got certified copy of them or do I have to go and re-apply?

    • Hi Thaufat,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you have a certified copy and get an affidavit that the originals have been lost you should not have to re-apply.

      In saying this I suggest you contact Home Affairs as they should be able to give the most up to date info of this.

  36. Just want to know how this works if the dad is working in Dha Qatar would he have to fly to South Africa to apply for this with the mom?

    • Hi Cindy,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      You might be able to get an affidavit stating the father is out of the country and he is the child’s father.

      However I am not 100% if this would be accepted and suggest you contact Home Affairs as they would be able to answer your query and provide you with the most up to date information.

  37. Hi i urgently need to change my mother’s name on my birth certificate as i need it for an immigrant visa. My grandmother had registered herself as my mother and on the immigrant form i put my mother’s name down. I emailed the embassy and they said that i need to correct the birth certificate. What do i need to do, and more importantly how long will this take? Please help.

    • Hi Debra,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will need to get an affidavit confirming your grandmother had registered herself as your mother.

      I suggest you contact Home Affairs as they will be able to give the most up to date information and the correct procedures to follow.

      With regards to how long it will take, only they will be able to confirm this as they have access to their data base and should be able to give an estimate on time.

  38. My daughter had to renew her SA passport two years ago, a couple of months before her 16th birthday as she was travelling the day after her 16th birthday. She was given an adult 10 year passport but it is marked “Too young to sign” under the signature block. Is this still a valid adult passport?

    • Hi Linda,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge this is still an adult passport as it’s valid for 10 years and she should still be able to travel with it.

      In staying this, I do suggest you contact Home Affairs just to make double sure as they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  39. I have applied for my two boys unabridged birth certicifates on the first of june 2015 but till now have not recieved them

    • Hi Jane,

      Yes that does sound like quite a while to wait for their unabridged birth certificates.

      I would suggest doing a follow up to see how far along. There could be a back log. Hopefully Home Affairs will be able to shed some light.

  40. What happens in a case where i am married now but have a child outside of my marriage and would like to put her under my married surname does my husband go on the underbridge certificate or how does it work

    • Hi Tammy

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      I’m afraid I would not be able to answer your question. It’s best you contact Home Affairs they will be able to give the correction procedures to follow in your case and answer any queries you might have.

  41. Hi
    my husband is in Germany does he need to fly to SA to apply for the daughter UBC. If the German embassy approve the visas there won’t be a need for the UBC at the airport?.

    • Hi Rostalina,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Any minors under the age of 18 flying internationally in and out of South Africa will require to produce an Unabridged Birth Certificate (showing the particulars of both parents) along with their valid passport and visas if required.

      I suggest you contact Home Affairs to see if you can apply for the UBC here in South Africa and get an Affidavit or will he need to be present confirming he is the father.

      Home Affairs will be able to answer any queries you might have.

  42. If me and my husband are foreigners and my baby is born here?is it possible for her to take south african papers?pliz answer me

    • Hi Ruth,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If both you and your husband have all the legal papers to reside in South Africa the correct documentation then your child could get South African papers.

      However I do suggest you contact Home Affairs as they will be able to give you the most up to date information.

  43. Hi.
    My husband and I are currently residing in Australia. We come from South Africa and to apply for our permanent residency we need an unabridge birth certificate. Is it possible for my mother which is still in South Africa to apply for my unabridge birth certificate?

    Thanks
    Beverly

    • Hi Beverly,

      Thanks for getting in touch and the interesting question.

      I’m afraid I wont be able to answer this question and suggest your mom contacts Home Affairs to see if she would be able to apply for your unabridged birth certificate on your behalf.

  44. Hi, am a foreigner in south africa,and i have a two month old baby,what type of birth certificate will be issued for her and how do i go about it……thanks

    • Hi Rosemary,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will need to go to Home Affairs present all your legal documents showing you have the correct papers to reside in South African.

      They will then be able to assist with the papers then of applying for an Unabridged Birth Certificate.

  45. Hi,
    We are travelling on the 18th of December and I went to apply for an UBC only last week. I asked them if I will have it on time, The Guy at Home affairs told me “Maybe” but they said they can print out proof that I applied and I can Use that, Should I trust them? I do not want to be send back at the border on the day with this proof of application.

    • Hi Lerato,

      Thanks for the interesting questions.

      I’m not sure if you can use a print out of a copy saying you have applied for an UBC.

      I suggest you contact the airline you are flying with to see what they say. To my knowledge you need the actual UBC in order to travel.

  46. Hi

    I am planning to go to South Africa in about 2 months.
    I am South African but live in the UK on a indefinite leave to remain visa.
    My 5 year old son was born in the UK
    and has a British Passpprt.
    His birth certificate and passport does NOT include his fathers details.. although I have given him his fathers surname (double barrelled with mine)

    What do I need to do ?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Vanessa,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      This is quite a tricky one. Do you have sole custody of your son? If so to my knowledge you would need an affidavit / Court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights (previously called sole custody) or full legal guardianship in respect of the minor, along with a valid passport; valid visa, if required and a UBC.

      I suggest you contact the South African Embassy in the UK to see what further information they can provide as they should be able to shed more light and give the most up to date information and advise what all documentation you need.

  47. Good Day , I have Vault copies for both my sons as this is what was required to get their British passports , do I still need to get unabridged birth certificates or will the vault copies be good enough ?

    • Hi Alan,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      For this you would need to contact Home Affairs direct they should be able to advise if Vault copies are suffice or if you need to apply for an Unabridged Birth Certificate.

  48. Hi Marcelle, I am a teenage foreigner who has to travel to Mozambique with my school next year and my birth certificate has my details as well as my parents details, but not their passport numbers. Does this count as an UBC or do I still have to apply for an UBC? And what other documentation will I need to travel?

    • Hi Vanessa,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      On the Unabridged Birth Certificate both parents names and passport or ID numbers will need to reflect. If only the name and surname I don’t think this would count. I suggest you contact Home Affairs direct to see what information they can provide you with.

  49. Hy am i cant say im a foreigner or south african my mother is a south african i dont know about my father now i have a child of about 2 years what can i do if i want her to travel with mi family her card clinic has only mi name n surname

    • Hi Disebo,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I suggest you contact Home Affairs directly. They will need to ask you a couple of questions in order to assist you best by answering any questions you might have.

      There are so many different reasons eg:

      Minor accompanied by one parent where parents are neither divorced nor is travelling parent widowed
      or
      Minor travelling with one parent who is divorced or legally separated and who has been granted full parental responsibilities and rights (previously called ―sole custody‖) or full legal guardianship in respect of the minor
      or
      Minor travelling with one parent who is divorced or legally separated and who has been granted specific parental responsibilities and rights (previously called ―joint custody‖) or legal guardianship in respect of the minor
      or
      Minor travelling with widow or widower parent

      It’s best you contact Home Affairs to assist you further.

  50. Hi, Can you please find out for me if I can apply for UBC for my daughter at Tembisa small office , Gauteng and are they doing applications on Saturdays or only Monday to Friday?

    • Hi Nomthi,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I am not sure if this is possible. You will need to contact them and they will be able to advise accordingly.

      Best of luck.

  51. I am taking my nephew on holiday to Italy. We are still waiting for his UBC and Home Affairs have stated that if the UBC is not issued in time for us to get his Schengen Visa, they (Home Affairs) will issue an Official letter authorising his travel. Is this possible? Will the Italian Consulate accept this?

    • Hi Catherine,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      This is the first I have heard of this, where Home Affairs are able to write a letter saying the UBC was not issued in time.

      I am not sure if the consulate and more important the airlines will accept this letter at check-in.

      You would need to contact the official visa handling agency who you are applying through to see if they would accept this letter from Home Affairs and then contact the airline you are traveling with to see and see if that letter is suffice.

  52. I’ve appied for a unabridge but my father’s details don’t appear on the certificate. I was born 1980 and my parents got married in 1983. They both passed away. What do I need to put my father’s details on it. I was at Home affairs but they couldn’t help me

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Only passengers who are 18 years and younger need to travel with a Unabridged Birth Certificate.

      If you are older 18 years old and traveling abroad you will not need to present this at the check-in counter.

  53. Hi
    I am single parent who is unable to be locate the father of my child. His not been seen since the birth of my child. my child is registered under my surname but now is prejudiced to travel since the biological fathers name appears on the unabridged birth certificate. I am unable to obtain a court order in terms of section 18(5) of the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005), may be presented in lieu of such parental consent. I have been advised that I can get my lawyers to write to DHA directly and physically submit the paperwork. Are you aware which office do I drop the paper work at in the Johannesburg area. Some others have advised that special consent is only given for to recent death, or mental or physical disability. This has all been very stressful and tedious.

    • Hi Samiha,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      I’m afraid I am not able to assist in answering your query as I’m not sure where to drop the relvent documents off.

      I would suggest contacting your lawyers or Home Affairs direct they should be able to shed more light and answer any questions you might have on this.

      Best of luck, I can believe this whole procedure is quite stressful and hope you manage to sort it out soonest.

  54. Hi Marcelle

    I have a maiden name, a divorced surname and was married again. Which surname is acceptable on my Child’s unabridged birth certificate? Thank you for your feedback.

    • Hi Marinda,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      The name and surname which is in your passport will need to go on the Unabridged Birth Certificate.

      When applying for it, you welcome to ask at Home Affairs they will be able to answer any questions you might have.

  55. Hi Marcelle! I would like you to help or explain something for me, see I raised an abandoned child from the age of 5 until now he is 16, she has a birth certificate but I don’t know the id number of a parent that registered her so she is unable to apply for an id! So what can I do to know get to apply or find out the id number of her mother? If I apply for unabridged birth certificate will it show the id number of of the person that registered her? Thanks

    • Hi Lerato,

      Thanks for contacting us and the interesting.

      I’m afraid I wont be able to assist in answering your question. I suggest you contact Home Affairs direct they should be able to assist and answer any questions you might have.

  56. My husband and I are both foreigners, and our son was born in South Africa in 2014. When we went to DHA to get a UBC we were given a handwritten one on the spot. But I know there is also a printed version. Are foreigners eligible to get the printed version? If so, what must I do to get one? And is the handwritten version still considered to be an official birth certificate even if a printed version is available?

    • Hi Catherine,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      To my knowledge your son if he was born in South Africa should be entitled to a printed UBC.

      However you would need to contact Home Affairs as they would be able to give the most up to date information, as they are the ones who are issuing them.

  57. I am the father if 6 year old twins in South Africa. I’m from the United States. My details are not on their birth certificates. I’m in the near future planning on applying for a relatives permit to move to S.A., obviously I’m in the U.S.A. now. How can I have my details placed on their certificates?

    • Hi Theo,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Best you contact the Home Affairs for this, they will be able to advise on the correct procedures to follow as I am not sure if you can do it from abroad.

  58. good day, i have applied on the 16th of october for my 17 year old son’s unabridge certificate already, i phoned/emailed/faxed and was at the offices (Akasia branch) twice already to enquire about my sons unabridge, i even emailed the minister for DHA, for assistance but no joy.. what can i do to get this certificate, we have to make travel arrangements from the 9th of December..

    • Hi Dina,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not have access to Home Affairs records so we not able to see what the back log is.

      All you can do is go back in and speak to someone, and hopefully they should be able to advise on what the delay is or give a rough indication on how long until you receive the Unabridged Birth Certificate.

  59. Hi I just heard abt this new system today when I wanted to book tickets, I’m origionally from Swaziland and my first born has an unabridged certificate from swaziland plus an abridged one in SA, I’m married and my husband is SA citizen, seeing that its already too late to apply for the UBC, can I use the Swazi certificate instead and produce proof that I have applied for the UBC in SA. We wanna go in two weeks

    • Hi Philile,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      It’s best you contact the airline you thinking of traveling with to see if they would accept a Unabridged Birth Certificate issued in Swaziland. Check first before booking your tickets.

      They should be able to shed more light and give the most up to date information. You welcome to contact Home Affairs they should also be able to answer any questions you might have with regards to your query.

  60. Hi.what if you haven’t applied for an unabridged certificate and want to travel with a child under age?

    • Hi Caroline,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      Are the passengers South Africa and where are they wanting to travel. Is it within South Africa or Internationally?

      If its internationally they will need this Unabridged Birth Certificate or they will not be permitted to travel.

  61. Hi Marcelle.

    Please help. My password is in my maiden name and its still valid. On my our child ubc is my married surname. Will i be ok if i take my marrige certificate to proof its me.

    Best regards

    Manlie

    • Hi Manile,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      Yes you will need to take your marriage certificate showing your maiden surname and married surname. I think you might also need to get an affidavit confirming this.

      I would suggest contacting Home Affairs to confirm this.

  62. Hi Marcelle

    My daughter of 17, still being a minor, will be flying alone from CT to JNB and back again before Christmas to visit her best friend for a few days. She has a smart ID card and Valid Passport as well as an Unabridged Birth Certificate. I alone will check her in from CT, as her dad is on a business trip. Back from JNB her best friend’s mom will check her in for her flight back to CT. In previoys press releases I have read that letters of consent to travel from a parent/s is not required for minors on domestic flights. Please could you advise?

    • Hi Petra,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid I would not be able to advise on this. As the blog we wrote on was for International travel with children traveling abroad.

      Suggest you contact the airline she is traveling with direct, they should be able to answer any questions you might have and give the most up to date information.

  63. Hi!
    I have been trying to see how this will affect the mother or child if the father can not be specified on the birth certificate as the identity is unknown / donor. What to do then when wanting to travel?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      Minor accompanied by one parent where parents are neither divorced nor is travelling parent widowed:

      * Valid passport;
      * Valid visa, if required;
      * UBC or Equivalent Document; and
      * PCA; or
      * Court order granted in terms of section 18(5) of the Children’s Act, 2005; or
      * Letter of Special Circumstances.

      Note:
      – In the case of single parents, where only one parent’s particulars appear on the UBC or Equivalent Document, no Parental Consent Affidavit is required.
      – In the case where parents were never married but both parents’ particulars appear on the UBC or equivalent document, the consent of the non-travelling
      parent is required;
      – In the case of same sex parents appearing on the UBC, it may be accepted (e.g. 2 mothers or 2 fathers).

      We do suggest you contact Home Affairs to get the most up to date information.

  64. Morning Marcella,

    My daughter has flown regularly to SA on her own with Emirates. She holds a SA passport as I am SA’n – and we last travelled to SA last year April 2014.

    She is due to travel to SA alone next week from London – how on earth do we obtain her unabridged birth certificate in such a short space of time (if needed). Her father and I have written a letter with our personal details and copies of our passports for her to take with her.

    Although she was born here in London in 2003, and has had a passport since then – our birth certificates in the Uk hold our maiden names and married names… is this all needed?

    Sincerely
    Jacquine

    • Hi Jacquine,

      I’m a little confused on your question as you said your daughter was born in the UK. Does she not hold a UK passport?

      The latest update we have received was:

      [4:28:37 PM] Rebecca Houston: In the meantime non-South African Citizens travelling to SA:
      Will still be required to submit an original birth certificates and, as necessary, parental consent or certified copies during the visa application process.
      For visa-exempt countries a strong advisory has been issued, with travellers advised to have proof of relationship and consent from the absent parent/s or guardian/s, in case they are asked to provide such on arrival. It has been recommended by the US Embassy that US citizens (and other visa-free travellers) should carry an authorization letter that is notarised. You may not be asked for this but in the meantime it seems like the best possible insurance against complications at the border.
      When a child is travelling alone to South Africa the child must carry a letter from the person that will be receiving them in South Africa, containing the person’s address and contact details, as well as a copy of the host’s identity document or passport (in this case it is probable that no birth certificate will be required).

      I suggest you contact the Home Affairs as they will be able to give the most up to date information.

  65. Hi. My children have their passports now for at least 10 years. We just renewed them last week. We have applied for the UBC as well. Will the new passport have the details of the parents in it or will the ubc still be needed or can the dept home affairs issue it straight away if we ask them to do it?
    Thanks

    • Hi Willem,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      The new passport will not have the details of the parents in it. If you are traveling abroad all passengers will need to have their valid passports and children 18 and under will also need to travel with their UBC. If both parents aren’t traveling with the children other supporting documents will need to be shown at immigration. When applying for your child’s passport if you do not have their UBC you will need to apply for it.

  66. I already applied in August for my son’s UBC….but nothing untill today. He already has a passport
    What should we do please

    • Hi Janine,

      thanks for contacting us.

      I’m afraid we do not have access to Home Affairs data base to see if they have a backlog or how far along is the process for his UBC.

      You will need to contact them direct and they will need to check on their side.

  67. Hi.
    My husband is leaving RSA to go and work in Namibia permanently. What documents will he need to go. He already have his passport. My son of 6 years and I will only join him end of next year what documents will we need to go. Thank you.

    • Hi Yolande,

      The company which is employing him and doing his work visa will need to assist and advise what documents are required.

      You also welcome to contact the Namibian Embassy they will be able to answer any questions you might have on the correct procedures to follow and what documents are needed when applying for the work visa.

  68. My sister is late and she left a daughter. We don’t know who the father is and my brother was given power of attorney over the child. What do we do in terms of travel requirements. The birth certificate does not indicate the father.

    • Hi Malaika,

      Please find below a few options which might apply. However I do suggest you contact the Department of Home Affairs and they would be able to give you the most up to date information:

      Child in alternative care

      Valid Passport; Valid visa, if required; Letter from the Provincial Head of the Department of Social Development where the child resides authorising his or her departure from the Republic as contemplated in section 169 of the Children’s Act.

      or

      Minor accompanied by a person who is not his or her biological parent

      Valid Passport; Valid visa, if required; UBC or equivalent document; PCA; or Letter of Special Circumstances. Where a PCA is presented,
      o copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the minor; and
      o contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the minor; and contact details of the person in whose care the minor will be in South Africa.

      or

      Minor accompanied by his or her adoptive parent(s)

      Valid Passport; Valid visa, if required; UBC or Equivalent Document; PCA or Letter of Special Circumstances; Letter from the person who is to receive the minor in the Republic, containing his or her residential address and contact details in the Republic where the minor will be residing; Copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the minor in the Republic; and Contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the minor. (This may be contained in the PCA – Parental Consent Affidavit)

  69. Good day
    I am quite an avid traveller, and quite concerned. On my son’s unabridged certificate there is no father listed. However, when we recently travelled, my son almost wasn’t allowed in the flight. We will be on holiday again soon, and I just hate the stress to wonder what might happen this time around. Would u be able to send me some documents or something that stipulate that no documents of the father is needed in the case of no father listed. Please!

    • Hi Riana,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      I have e-mailed a PDF document from urgent@travelstart.com listing all the main categories of travel cases when a child traveling needs an UBC.

      Please read through this it is very informative and gives quite a bit of information. If you have any other questions I suggest you contact Home Affairs who specialize in this area they should be able to answer any further questions you might have.

  70. Hi I got an unabridged certificate but the father’s name is not on it. My kid has his last name. Will it be a problem to travel?

    • Hi Chantelle,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      You will probably need to get an affidavit stating that your child has his father’s surname and that you have sole custody if this is the case.

      Best to contact Home Affairs with your query, they should be able to answer any questions you might have and advise what further documents you might require.

  71. My ID and Passport have my married surname and on my sons’ unabridged birth certificates my husband’s details appear and my details but they have my maiden surname where asked for surname/maiden surname. Will this cause any problems? I can always take along my marriage certificate and old identity book that reflects my maiden surname. Just to make processing run smoothly

    thanks

    • Hi Renate,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Yes you would need to take your marriage certificate along with old identity book which reflects your maiden surname.

      To get the most up to date information on what all would be required in your case I would contact Home Affairs direct.

  72. Hi my daughter will be 18 in june and will be traveling with me in march.She has a smart ID.Does she still need a UBC.

    • Hi Hallima,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      If the passenger is 18 years of age at the time of traveling they are no longer a minor and do not require to travel with their UBC.

      If they are traveling out of South Africa they will need a valid passport if they are traveling within South Africa they can travel with their ID book.

  73. Hello Marcelle,
    Please help me… I am a UK citizen living and working in SA and have a temporary residency permit. Both my children were born in RSA and have UK passports. They only have South African unabridged birth certificates though.

    I am planning on travelling to the UK in March with the children on my own.

    Will it be ok for my children to travel to the UK and back on their UK Passports and SA unabridged certificate?

    • Hi There,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      This will all depend on if it is just you traveling with your kids or if your kids father will be traveling to. This will depend on the documentation required.

      I have e-mailed you a PDF document on: South African requirements for minors travelling internationally

      If you have any further questions you would need to contact Home Affairs as they specialize in this area and would be able to answer any further questions you might have.

  74. Hello I’m Mozambican I have 2 kids with a south African and my boys were born in south Africa I’m now staying with my kids in Mozambique but the father does not help with anything want should I do I still have their birth card and that’s all can your law help me.

    • Hi Angela,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialize in that area. For any queries on this, it’s best to contact Home Affairs direct, they should be able to assist with any questions you might have.

  75. Hello, I’m trying to get a visa for my daughter. I have all the documents apart from my ex-husband’s consent. We have a bad relationship and he is refusing to sign. I can’t afford the charge of going to court to get an urgent court order. Do you know how I can get around needing my ex-husband’s permission? (apart from getting sole custody – as this is also expensive).

    • Hi Emily,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid not. As we do not specilize in this area. I would suggest maybe contacting Home Affairs they could point you in the right direction and make shed some light on if there is way to approach this.

      Best of luck.

  76. Hi iam 49 year old woman wich my mom disappeared when I was 2 years old I don’t even have her I’d number to find out if she is stil alive or to trace we’re she could be but if I go for a unabridge certificate I use find her detials there and what documants should I carry only my I’d document.Thanks

    • Hi Colleen,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I am not sure what your question is. I would suggest you contact home affairs for any unabridged related queries.

  77. The document re the unabridged birth certificates would be more credible if the dates supplied were correct!
    We are only in February 2016 and your article states that from 4 December 2016 the following applies!!

    • Hi Graham,

      Thanks for spotting this and letting us know.

  78. Helli. My airline ticket was issued in my maiden surname. SAA. I recently went and renewed my passport wich is now in my married surname. Should I get my passport changed or will a marriage certificate suffice.

    • Hi Nicole,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Every airline is different, I would suggest contacting the airline direct which you will be traveling on as its up to their discretion if they will accept you showing your old passport, your new passport and your certified married certificate.

  79. HI, I HAVE A BOY HOW IS 10 YEARS OLD AND I NEED HIS UNDERBRIDGE, BUT HIS FATHER IS NO WHERE. HE IS ALSO NOT NOTED ON THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE WHAT DO I DO?
    0833259874

    • Hi Melissa,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      You will need to get a affidavit stating you have sole custody of your son.

      Please contact your nearest Home Affairs as they will be able to give the most up to date information on the correct procedures to follow.

  80. Good day,

    My son now 14 has got a birth certificate with no detail of the parents. He is registered on my surname. The father is not in the picture for the last 9 years he does not make contact or pay any maintenance/child support. We don’t even know were he is. Will i be able to get a unabridged birth certificate without the biological father?

    • Hi Monya,

      To my knowledge this is possible. You will need to get an affidavit stating you have full custody of your son. And when applying for his unabridged birth certificate your name will only be stated on the birth certificate.

      However I do suggest you contact Home Affairs as they specialize in this area and will give you the most up to date information.

  81. Hi,
    I was given an Equivalent document in lieu of unabridged birth certificate by the immigration here in south africa and it clearly states the child bears my surname and i am the only registered parent of the child. Do i need a court order as i want to travel with my daughter? I dont know who the father of the child is and have raised the child by myself.

    • Hi Sam,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge you would not need a court order if the father is not on the unabridged birth certificate.

      I am not sure what document they have given you in lieu of the unabridged birth certificate so we do suggest you contact Home Affairs as they will be able to give the most up to date information.

  82. Hello I’m mavis ,I jst want to know if is possible for any1 2 collect the birth certificate of their child what document do they need in DHA

    • Hi Mavis,

      To my knowledge you would need the receipt you were given when apply and your ID or passport.

      However I do suggest you contact the DHA to get the most up to date information from them as what documents they would require.

  83. Hi

    My husband and i want to go to Botswana and take his 10 year old daughter (my step daughter) with. We have applied for the UBC and her passport. As far as i know she cannot cross the boarder without her passport, UBC and a affidavit from her mother. Am i correct?

    • Hi Angela,

      That is correct.

      Your step daughter will need a valid passport, (visa if this is the case) UBC and an affidavit. With out this she will not be able to travel.

      To get the most up to date information please contact Home Affairs they will be able to give the most up to date information on what documents are required.

  84. I am flying with my two daughters from Maputo to Namibia on holiday, with a stop and change of planes in Johannesburg. Since it’s only a transfer in South Africa, do I need their UBC etc.?

    • Hi Pernilla,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge you would. However as we do not specialize in this area and laws could have changed I suggest you contact the South African Embassy in Maputo to get the most up to date information.

  85. Hi,

    I applied for my sons UBC on the 17 February 2016, as soon as we found out that we need to travel to Swaziland on the 18th March 2016. I have been following up with Home Affairs regularly as I know it can take up to 8 weeks to receive the UBC. What if I don’t receive the UBC in time? Is there a letter I can obtain from Home Affairs stating that the UBC has been applied for. My son has a valid passport and will be travelling with both parents. I already have an original of his normal birth certificate, but not the unabridged one. Please can you assist me with what I can do.
    Thanks

    • Hi Ric,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge your son will need his UBC to fly across the boarder.

      It’s best you contact Home Affairs direct they will be able to give the most up to date information if he is allowed to travel outside of South Africa with us original birth certificate.

    • Will do thanks

  86. Riana
    December 29, 2015
    Good day
    I am quite an avid traveller, and quite concerned. On my son’s unabridged certificate there is no father listed. However, when we recently travelled, my son almost wasn’t allowed in the flight. We will be on holiday again soon, and I just hate the stress to wonder what might happen this time around. Would u be able to send me some documents or something that stipulate that no documents of the father is needed in the case of no father listed. Please!

    Reply
    Marcelle Fenix
    December 30, 2015
    Hi Riana,

    Thanks for contacting us.

    I have e-mailed a PDF document from urgent@travelstart.com listing all the main categories of travel cases when a child traveling needs an UBC.

    Please read through this it is very informative and gives quite a bit of information. If you have any other questions I suggest you contact Home Affairs who specialize in this area they should be able to answer any further questions you

    Can u please resend information as I never received it

    • Hi there

      Thanks for contacting us.

      If you would like to receive this document please inbox me at urgent@travelstart.com letting me know which e-mail address you would like to receive this PDF document.

      I do advise that you contact Home Affairs direct to get the most up to date information as this could have changed at anytime.

    • Good day
      Can u please send this document again. Did not receive it. Thanks!

  87. Hi, My husband and I are travelling into South Africa from the UK with our two children. The eldest child’s full Birth certificate details my maiden name. Do I need further documents? I have a certified copy of my marriage certificate (by a uk bank) as the original is lost. Thank you.

    • Hi Caroline,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      You would need his Unabridged Birth Certificate.

      I do suggest you contact the South African Embassy to get the most up to date information so you do not experience any problems at check-in.

      They will e able to provide you with the relevant and most up to date information.

  88. Hi Marcelle, I was adopted when I was 6 months old,I am now 2m. Now my family and I want to emigrate to Australia. For visa purposes,they now want an unabridged birth certificate from me. My question is,when I apply for my unabridged birth certificate,do I put on my birth parents info or my adoptive parents info? I have no info of my birth parents,only a adoption letter and a abridged birth certificate.

    • Hi Esre,

      Thank you for the interesting question. I would have thought your adoptive parents and they are your legal guardians. However for this it is best you contact Home Affairs direct. They will be able to advise on the correct information to put when filling out the documentation.

      Best of luck.

  89. Hi Marcelle,

    My wife and I will be visiting South Africa along with our (biological) children. Our children’s U.S. birth certificates have both of our names exactly as spelled in both of our passports. However, my children last name is not same as mine or my wife. I use my grandfather’s name as last name, my wife uses her father’s name as last name and our children use my family name as last name.

    Do you think different last names would cause issue at port of entry/exit even though children birth certificates have both of our names listed exactly as in our passports?

    Thanks for your help.

    Murad

    • Hi Murad,

      Thank you for the interesting question.

      For this you would need to contact the South African Embassy they would be able to provide you with the most up to date information. It would also be up to the immigration officials discretion.

      Best you check with Home Afraid if you need to get any other documents like an affidavit.

  90. Why south african home affairs does not print the fathers name on the unabridged certificate? why they leave that part blank?

    • Hi Ezra,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Both parents names will show on the unabridged birth certificate if both parents have requested it.

  91. There’re two types of questions that have been raised before but not fully answered here:
    1. Whether the old handwritten Full Birth Certificates, issued and stamped by Home Affairs, are accepted as “Unabridged Birth Certificates” when travelling with minors; and
    2. When an UBC has been applied for but doesn’t arrive before the travel date, you can apparently get an exemption letter subject to certain conditions – has anyone provided feedback on the efficacy of these letters? Has anyone experienced any problems travelling with them?

    Do you have any answers / feedback on these two queries? Is it possible to find out from others who have raised queries how they eventually resolved these issues?

  92. I have to apply for my late fathers unabridged marraige certificate in order to re-apply for my *lost* German passport.

    Can this be done without my parent being present at Home Affairs and what would I need? I do have my parents abridged marraige certificate.

    • Hi Erika,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      For this it is best you contact Home Affairs direct. They specialize in this area and would be able to answer any questions you might have on what documentation is required.

  93. Hi Marcelle,
    My son is 7 years and he is born here in South Africa. Both his parents are foreigners. Do you know if he does still need a study permit for school?

    • Hi Sandra,

      Thanks for the interesting question. I am not sure. If you have sole custody and he is on a South African passport he should not require a study permit for school.

      As we do not specialize in this area it is best to contact the relevant department who will be able to give you the most up to date and correct information.

  94. What happens where the mother is a single parent and the father is not contactable to apply for an Unabridged Birth Certificate ?

    • Hi Cheryl,

      Minor travelling with one parent who is divorced or legally separated and who has been granted full parental responsibilities and rights (previously called ―sole custody‖) or full legal guardianship in respect of the minor:
      Will require the following:

      Valid Passport; Valid visa, if required; UBC or Equivalent Document; Court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights (previously called sole custody) or full legal guardianship in respect of the minor.

      It’s best to contact Home Affairs to let them know your exact circumstance and they will be able to advise accordingly on what documentation is required and the correct procedures to follow.

  95. Hi,

    Please can someone HELP me. My story goes: I came over to South Africa with my family in 2009 from the UK. I gave birth to my child in 2014, my Visa expired when i was in high school in 2011, due to my mother not renewing it (I was unaware of this at the time). I moved in with a guy after school, and lost contact with my family, fell pregnant a year later and gave birth at Germiston hospital (I have proof with the hospital letter). The father has nothing to do with me or my son. When I tried registering my son, they refused, as i don’t have a valid Visa. I have received my Letter of Good Cause from Home affairs last year, and am applying for my Permanent Residency on Tuesday, however, I cant wait any longer to register my son as i am worried my Permit is going to take another 8-10 months after applying, as opposed to 3 months like home affairs & VFS offices told me. (I have been told) This process has already taken 19 months to get me to where I am today, but the worry of waiting for another year is concerning for my son’s and I’s sake.

    My question is, HOW can they refuse giving me a birth certificate of my now 19 month old son, surely that is against his rights? He is an “alien”, and if he was abducted tomorrow, I have NO proof that he even exists!??

    Is there any other way around this??? It just doesn’t sit right with me.

    Please give me some advice someone???

    Thank you
    Rene

    • Hi Rene,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      I’m afraid if Home Affairs is refusing your son a birth certificate you will need to take this up with them direct. It could be due to you not being a legal citizen in South African with the correct documentation, however as we do not specialize in this area it is best you contact them direct or maybe seek legal advise.

      Best of luck.

  96. Can the name of the father appear twice from different mothers? Will the system pick up the name of the father that it’s appear more than once with different surnames of the mothers?

    • Hi Dineo,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I am not quite sure if I am understanding your question correctly. If I understand correctly, it is possible for a father to have children from separate women where his name will appear on each of his kids birth certificates.

      I do suggest though you contact Home Affairs as they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  97. Hi there,

    I am a South African citizen living in the USA, and my husband and our son are both US citizens. My son and I are traveling to SA in May and I am worried about our documents – mostly because our case is quite complicated, as he can not get a birth certificate form the US, because although he is a citizen, he was not born there.

    My son was born in South Korea, where he got a birth certificate in English, stating his name, place and date of birth, as well as my name and my husband’s name as his parents. Then he also has a Consular Report of Birth, with the same information. Within the US, this documents counts as a birth certificate as he was not born on US soil, this document is proof of registered US citizenship.

    So I am wondering if you think these two documents will be sufficient? (Especially as ‘The term Unabridged Birth Certificate will be changed to Birth Certificate’ – although it is not directly from the country of his citizenship?)

    And thanks for helping everybody – it is much appreciated!

    • Hi Vionne,

      Thanks for getting in touch and the interesting question.

      For this I would suggest you contact the South African Embassy direct they would be able to answer any question you might have and point you in the right direct.

  98. Hi

    I wonder if you can help. I want to apply for my son’s UBC. His abridged birth certificate only has my details on. His father has had no contact with him since I told him I was pregnant which is over 7 years ago. I have three questions: Can I go and get my son’s UBC if the father is listed as unknown on the birth certificate? Will I be able to get a passport for my son if his father is stated as unknown? Will I be able to travel with my son as a single parent?

    I hope you can advise.

    • Hi Shalene,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      To my knowledge yes this is possible however you need to contact Home Affairs direct as they specialize in this area and will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  99. Hi there, i just want to find out. I was adopted when i was 2 years old. I was registered with my adoptive surname and got a birth certificate with the adopted surname on. I need to apply for an unabridged birth certificate. Can i just use my adoptive parents details or do i have to use biological parents details as well.
    Many thanks

    • Hi San-marie,

      Thanks for getting in touch and the interesting question.

      For this you would need to contact Home Affairs they specialize in this area and will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  100. Hi Marcelle,
    I have just received my children’s unabridged birth certificates and the information is not consistent. On the one, my married surname is listed and my maiden name on the other. Their father’s place of birth differs from one to the other too – city & country on one, and country in both fields on the other. Will this affect us at emigration when we fly out?

    • Hi Kim,

      Thanks for contacting us and for the interesting question.

      You will need to please contact Home Affairs direct as they will be able to advise if this could be a problem. I would also call the Embassy just to get as much info as possible.

  101. Hi I did everything right I got my chilrens unabrideged certificate long ago. I went to my local Home afairs and was issued one for each child as I have two I thought I was safe to travel, The one UNC is hand written the other is computer generated. I have been told by a friend in the same situation that the hand written one is unacceptable for leaving SA. I went back to home affairs today and was told it was never even uploaded to the computer system and I would need to PAY AGAIN and reapply it would take between 5 and ( months. I am leaving in 4. Is the wriiten one acceptable ?

    • Hi Suzanne,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid I would not be able to advise on this.

      As it is up to Home Affairs discretion what they accept. Their rules could change at anytime. Only they would be able to give the most up to date information.

  102. Hi,

    I am a single mother with a child born out of wedlock, I applied for a UBC as we will be travelling and filled in the ‘fathers’ details on the application, however when I received the UBC, it only had my details on it and not the fathers.
    Do I still need his consent to travel? What additional documentation would I need?

    Thanks

    • Hi Dominique,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      I would advise you contact Home Affairs for the most up to date information on this. They will be able to advise accordingly.

  103. Im a foreig er with pass&permit so the father of my child is south African. He went nd applied for an an abridged birth certificate with his name but when lm searching for it in Internet it says ID number valid but no records l don’t know what this means

    • Hi Jessica,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      For this you will need to contact Home Affairs as they specialise in this area. They will have access to this information and answer any questions you might have with regards to locating records.

  104. Good day.

    I have a client who’s visiting he’s brother in Australia for he’s wedding. My client is 27 years of age. For the VISA application he’s brother in Australia need proof that they are blood related. Does my client have to get an unabridged birth certificate for that or is there a specific form or document to be completed or to be produced by the Department of Home Affairs.

    • Hi Martin,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      For this you will need to contact the Embassy direct to see what documents they will require when a passenger applies for an Australian visa.

      They will be able to advise on the cost, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required.

  105. Hi,

    I have applied for an unabridged birth certificate for my eldest son through an agency as I am no longer in the country. The problem I’m having is when I registered him, I put his father as unknown and now the lady I am dealing with says that home affairs with not give her the certificate without his fathers details (which I do not have).

    I phoned the consulate in New Zealand and they have said the certificate should be done without the fathers details.

    I am so confused as the lady now wants me to fill in late registration forms for my son but I am not happy to do this as he has been registered and has a birth certificate!

    Please tell me if I am correct or should I fill out the paperwork she is requesting?

    • Hi Chantelle,

      If you do not have the fathers name to my knowledge you can get an affidavit confirming this.

      However I suggest you contact Home Affairs as they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information which they will be requesting.

  106. I have applied for unabridged certificates as we are going on vacation. Upon application I mentioned that we require these certificates as our vacation is booked and paid for. The lady assured me that it won’t be a problem if the certificates are not ready, I can just come into the offices and get a letter stating that we are waiting for the certificates. Now a week before our vacation we are told that we cannot get such a letter, unless it’s an emergency or death in the family.
    Please can someone assist me, I just need a letter stating that we have applied for the new certificates but have not received them as yet.

    Thanking you

    • Hi Lorraine,

      Thanks for getting in touch and I’m sorry to hear of the situation you in.

      I’m afraid we do not specialize in that area or have any contacts at Home Affairs.

      Did you take the ladies name and surname who advise you of the information previously and go back and speak to a supervisors

      We do wish you best of luck and hope you have received them.

  107. Please leave your comment…hi I applied for an unabridge certificate for my child.im from south Africa n her father is from Zimbabwe.he had all the documents including Dna documents n affidavits.but the child’s certificate doesn’t have fathers name n surname n place of birth it only my details.but the confusing thing is that the child is using father surname

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      For this you would need to contact Home Affairs direct to see as to why they have only printed your details on your child’s Unabridged Birth Certificate

      They will be able to advise and answer any queries you have with regards to this.

  108. Hi

    My daughter is 16 and traveled before to Zambia . Want to know if she needs this unabridged -birth – certificate before she can go again

    • Hi Liza,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      And child 18 and younger traveling across our boarders will be required to present their unabridged birth certificate along with any other necessary documents (depending on who she is traveling with)

  109. Hi Marcelle

    Im the father of posthumous baby and i need to do a birth certificate in my surname for my baby but mother inlaw force me to register on her surname. I feel like i dont have rights as the father of the baby

  110. My son is born out of wedlock and is registered on my maiden surname? He as an abridged certificate which seems to be the norm for children born out of wedlock. Be that as it may I would like to apply for an unabridged certificate and passport for my son. He is also staying with me and I’m the principal caregiver.

    Do I need to put his father’s details on the unabridged certificate or can I just add my details? And can I then be the only signatory on the passport application.

    • Hi Eureka,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you have sole custody of your child to my knowledge only your name will need to be on the unabridged birth certificate.

      However we do recommend you contact Home Affairs direct as they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information on the correct procedures to follow and what documents are required.

  111. Good day

    We have applied for unabridged certificate for our child, we received it but now the problem is that only one parent’s name is appearing on the certificate. Home affairs is telling me that I only gave them details of one parent when I gave birth, which is all new to me. But when I applied for unabridged certificate I gave them details of both parents and now only one name appears. So now when we travel with our child, will it not be a problem for us to cross the border with him with only one name on the unabridged certificate?

    • Hi Rhoda,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge you would need both parents details on the unabridged birth certificate. I would suggest you contact Home Affairs direct as they would be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  112. Hi

    Thanks for responding. Clearly home affairs has messed up and I’m traveling in 2 days, what’s the alternative?

    • Hi Rhoda,

      I would suggest contacting the airline you are traveling as it is them you will be presenting the documents to. I would also give Home Affairs a call.

      There might not be any issues. However as we do not specialize in this area so I suggest you contact the airline and Home Affairs soonest to try avoid any disappointment at check-in and immigration.

  113. Does unabridged mean original? What if we have all of the information required but on a copy of the birth certificate? We are American citizens hoping to travel to SA this December.

    • Hi Becca,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Unabridged Birth Certificate has the mother and fathers details on it. I know for South Africans they need to present the child’s Unabridged Birth Certificate at check-in the same will apply for foreigners traveling into South Africa. I would suggest you contact the South African Embassy to get the most up to date information.

  114. Hi.
    i applied for a Unabriged birt certificate in December 2014. After the period of eight weeks we had received no sms for the collection of the certificate. For the duration of 2015 we would check up on the certificate, but get an excuse saying it has not arrived.

    December 2015 when we went, they told us the certificate is not in the system anymore so we should apply for a new one.

    In 2016 We have after eight weeks not got a sms for the collection of the certificate, however we do regularly check up on it at the home affairs. We were given a toll free number for assistance.

    The assistant told us the certificate had been delayed, therefore we must fill in 2 additional forms( DH244 etc) to escelate it. We filled it in and submitted it. We have called again and apparently the escelation forms were not found in the system.

    This is after two times of application… And we are going to germany next year and need the documents asap.
    Is it possible to fill in new application forms at a different home affairs , or what is advised?

    kind regards
    Natasha Baloyi

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid I would not be able to advise on this as we do not specialize in this area. I don’t think this is possible to apply at different Home Affairs at the same time as they will pick this up on their system.

      I suggest you would need to go in again and ask to speak to a supervisor and show all the receipts that you have paid for the previous Unabridged Birth Certificates.

  115. I am an American and my husband is South African. Our 3 children were born in South Africa. We are now emigrating to the USA. All of the children have been issued American consular reports of birth abroad (essentially an original American birth certificate), as well as unabridged South African birth certificates (which were needed to get the CRBA’s). In the craziness of preparing for our move, we have misplaced the South African certificates. We are doing everything possible to find them, but the kids and I have flights booked for October 20th and we may not have time to get new unabridged certificates. My visa is expiring just days after we leave, so we can’t stay longer to wait for them. Would the Reports of Birth Abroad (their American birth certificates) count as valid documentation, since they are American citizens and will be traveling with both American and south African passports?

    • Hi Hannah,

      thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge you will need to original Unabridged Birth Certificates. However you welcome to contact the Embassy and Home Affairs direct to see what information they will provide you with.

  116. Sorry I forgot to mention my kids and I are british citizens although my children were born in South Africa in case that has any affect

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Sorry I am not understanding your full questions. However for any queries on Unabridged Birth Certificates please contact Home Affairs they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  117. Hi,
    I’m traveling with my grandson from South Africa to the U.S. My grandson is a U.S citizen by birth and I have the required affidavit from his mother and other paperwork as required. The U.S does not assign unabridged birth certificates. I have my grandson’s original birth certificate which only listed his mother and not a father. Would this be sufficient to travel with him ?
    Thanks.

    • Hi Nick,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      I would suggest you contact Embassy as well as airline direct to get the most up to date information on a U.S citizen / passenger who is travelling on an American passport.

      They will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  118. Hi Marcelle,
    you mention in one of your posts that if the fathers details are not captured on the birth register, they do not need his consent – when child is born out of wedlock – is that correct?

    • Hi Leah,

      As this information is always changing, we suggest you contact Home Affairs direct to get the most up to date information.

      They will be able to answer any questions you have and they specialize in this area.

  119. Hi. I am wanting to travel from the UK to South Africa with my 3 children on the 19th of October. My partner is a South African citizen living in the uk. He is not able to accompany us, due to work commitments. Please could you advise if I need both copies of the children’s birth certificates. Also do I need to travel with any other documentation. Many thanks in advance

  120. haai. im married adn my first child is not my husbands child. the real father does not pay maintence and is not in contact is name is not on birth certificate. want to know how does it work to travel with my husband and child my husband was there from the birth of the child.

    • we want to travel from namibia to south afrika

    • Hi there Christelle,

      Thank you for getting in touch with us, regarding the quotation you require please can you complete the additional information below :

      Exact dates of travel
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      Amount of passengers + ages

      Once completed please email :travelbar@travelstart.com .
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    • Hi there Christelle,

      Thank you for getting in touch with us, as this information is always changing, we suggest you contact Home Affairs direct to get the most up to date information.

      They will be able to answer any questions you have and they specialize in this area.~Charlene

  121. Hi

    one of my colleques at work, has been looking after her sons child from 3 months old, the child is now 6 months old and was never registered, she now need a birth certificate to register the child in a school, but was told by home affairs that the father could not apply for a birth certificate with out the childs mother, the childs mother where abouts is unknown as she left the baby with the father and grandmother and move to Natal, how can they go about getting a birth certificate for this chaild

    • Hi Lameez,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      With regards to your query you will need to contact home affairs in order to assist you.~Stacey

  122. Hello everyone,my grandfather left south africa in 1949,i don’t have his id number to apply for an under bridge for my dad,i have my dads birth certificate but it doesn’t show me my grandparents id number can anyone help on how to get the id number from the old birth certificate from 1940s,i also need my grandfathers id to find out what really happened to him.Please advise me on going to the department of home affairs because they are useless,i have being down that path and i was just brushed aside.

  123. Good day. a friend was asked to write a letter to Home Affairs to enable include his names into the Childs birth certificate. He resides in the Uk. What is the way to go about it. A sample letter would help on what to include on the letter. for now we are stuck with. I request to include my names into my sons birth certificate.

    • Hi there Teto,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Please contact home affairs directly as we are not able to advise on the information you require.~Stacey

  124. haai. Im a south african citizen and have a child with a foreigner,my son was using my surname then we did partenity test to change his surname now he is using his Dad’s surname the problem is his father’s details are not on the unabridged certificate/ we applied for passports my son and I. they text me to come and collect my passport within 6 days. but my son’s still not out its over a month now, should i be worried?

    • Hi There Nontu,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      With regards to your query you will need to contact home affairs in order to assist you.~ Charlene

  125. Hi, I am travelling to Dubai with my husband and 2 kids under 18 in December just before Christmas. All 4 of us have valid passports. I have submitted an application 2 weeks ago for the UBC. Home Affairs have confirmed that it might take 2 to 3 months. What happens if I don’t get it on time. Do I need it when applying for my Visa.

    • Hi Nalini,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You would need to contact the Embassy to see if the Unabridged Birth Certificate is required when applying for your visa.

      However you would need to present your children Unabridged Birth Certificate at the airport check-in when traveling overseas, if they are 18 years and under.

  126. Hi there
    Please assist I am travelling next year with my son , his father is in the US he is not on his unabridged do I need to do the affidavit stating that he is not with us or does he need to apply for it in the US.
    Second question my daughter who is not his child what do I need for her I have no idea where her father is , can I do the affidavit stating that we have no contact with his father since she was three months and on her unabridged there are no details of her father.

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