How To Renew Your South African Passport

The secret to avoiding queues and making your South African passport renewal relatively painless is to get there early. That way, you won’t be left standing in the queue, wondering what happened in the 10 years since you last applied for your passport.

Note: visa and passport information is not guaranteed. Kindly confirm details with the relevant government authorities.

That said, I’ve just got back from renewing my South African passport and it was easier and more pleasant than I could ever have imagined. This is the story of my application …

Take One: South African Passport Renewal

Things got off to a sour start when I went to the Reserve Bank Building in the Cape Town CBD. The Home Affairs website lists the Reserve Bank Building in St Georges Mall, Cape Town as a place to get your South African passport renewed. Please note this is NOT the case. The Cape Town Home Affairs office is located in Barrack Street in the lower Gardens area.

South African Passport Renewal

After making this initial error, I decided to wait a while before trying again.

Take Two: South African Passport Renewal

Fast forward a few weeks and I was ready to go to Home Affairs and get my new passport. I took the following things with me.

What to bring

  • South African ID document
  • Passport photos – usually come in sets of 4 and cost about R35 though you can get these taken at Home Affairs.
  • Your old passport
  • Cash – R400 (March 2012) + R10 to buy a Coke from the vending machine in Home Affairs
  • A pen
  • Your patience and a good attitude (if you get there on a particularly busy day)

Like I said, I got there early and this was definitely key in helping me get in and out of there as quickly as possible. The Cape Town Home Affairs opens at 8am so I made sure I was already queuing by 7am – there were already 20-30 people in front of me.

When the doors opened sharply at 8 we all filed straight in and got given numbers. It seemed that everyone in front of me was there to do other Home Affairs related stuff as they just dispersed into other sections of the building as soon as we got inside… not that I was complaining.

I proceeded to passport applications in the back on the ground floor – there’s 4 stages apply, pay, fingerprint and another biometric process which wasn’t working when I went and officials told me not to worry about it.

Cape Town Home Affairs

Location of Barrack Street Home Affairs in Cape Town:

View Larger Map
Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday: 8 – 15:30

Saturday: 08:00 – 12:30 (Only for collections)


Faircape Building 56 Barrack Street Cape Town, 8001


021 468 4500/5 or 0800 60 11 90 for national enquiries

Cape Town Home Affairs Office

Collecting your new SA Passport

I can’t tell you much about collecting your new passport as I’m yet to collect mine; it has only been 5 days since I applied. However, the friendly lady at Home Affairs told me the new South African passport can take up to 6 weeks to arrive but I think they just tell you this to be on the safe side as friends I’ve spoken to have gotten it in as little as 2 weeks. Take the receipt you received on applying + your SA ID book to collect.

Can third parties collect passport on applicant’s behalf?

If you’re unable to collect your new South African passport yourself then you can send someone on your behalf. Just provide them with the following documents:

  • A letter of consent, signed by you, stating that you’re giving your friend permission to collect on your behalf and a reason why you can’t collect it yourself
  • Your friend must take your original ID book with as well as his/hers
  • The proof of payment you received on applying for your new SA passport


  • If you’re travelling overseas and you only have 6 months left on your passport then it’s a good idea to renew it well before you leave. Most countries will only grant you entrance if you have at least 6 months left on your passport before it expires, so don’t let this little bureaucratic oversight become a hindrance to you and your travels
  • The same goes for the lucky folk that have passports that are nearly full of stamps. Rather renew your passport and have lots more empty pages to fill
  • If you travel a lot, then get a Maxi passport. The Maxi passport has more pages than the normal one and costs R600
  • If you have to renew your SA passport, but you still have a Visa that’s valid on your old passport that you want to use, then don’t worry. Simply take both your old and new passports with you when you travel
  • The latest version of the South African passport looks a little different then what it did in the past. It’s a security enhanced booklet with some new features that aren’t visible to the naked eye – I’ll report back on this as soon as I’ve taken a look at mine

Contrary to popular belief, renewing your South African passport isn’t the painful hassle it once was. If the Cape Town Home Affairs Department is anything to go by, then government has done remarkably well in cleaning up their act. The whole process seems a whole lot more efficient than it did when I last went in 2002.

Joburgers, Durbanites and everyone else, we’d love to hear about your South African passport renewal experiences. Please leave comments below; every tip helps.

Simply enter your ID number to check your passport application status.

Postscript: 27/03/2012

So my new South African passport arrived, ready for collection, exactly 2 weeks after applying for it. I got an SMS from Home Affairs saying Home Affairs: Passport for #MY-ID-NUMBER# is ready for collection at the office of application

Once again I was pretty much in and out when I went to collect the little green book. The new passport features 32 pages plus the biometric card at the back; and it’s handed to you in a little brown envelope. Make sure all your vitals are correct before you leave the department. All in all a positive experience, but I’d still get there early if you want to save time.

Our Readers Comments

  1. What if you’ve lost your old passport?

    • I applied for my passport last year in August…I never heard a word ever since…what should I do?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I would recommend you contact the Home Affairs Department that you applied through to do a follow up.

      They should be able to track on their side how far along your passport is. When speaking to the agent, I always recommend you get the persons name who you spoke to, so you know for next time, should you need to call back.

      Best of Luck!

    • Idid apply for the visa after that .homafairs send me sms that I can come nd collect my passport .I went to collect my passport when I get to homafairs .They told me they can’t find my passport .so how do I track my passport.

    • Hi Paul,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You would need to follow up with Home Affairs again. You would need to take the receipt you received on applying + your SA ID book.

      They would need to check on their side in their records, only they would be able to assist on tracking passports from their side.

      Best of Luck!

    • I just received my new passport from Benoni Home Affairs SIX days after i applied for the renewal!Amazing!

    • Hi Donny,

      Thanks for this awesome feedback! That’s great to know. Looks like Home Affairs really have upped their level of turn around time.

    • Went to go collect my husband’s passport with signed letter from him and his old passport and ID. I was not allowed to collect it as he has to provide fingerprint verification to collect. The only time when one can collect for someone else is when they are abroad. Proof of their stamped passport via email/scanned copy is needed.

  2. Hi Ans,

    You don’t need your old passport to apply for a new one. I just put that in there because I tend to be a bit thorough. The most important things are the cash and your ID, and photos 🙂

  3. I applied for my passport just before the cost increased last year. The biometric process (which you mentioned in your article) wasn’t working on the day that I applied as well. That made me panic as well. My passport took exactly a month before it was ready for collection and again, to my surprise the passport looked very different to other passports I had seen. The photo is black and white. The “page” on which all your personal data is stored is now plastic, slightly thicker than your bank or store credit cards.

  4. I’m always happy with the service I receive from ZA government institutions, be it home affairs, the licencing department or even the traffic department. SIX days after applying to renew my passport I received an sms saying the new passport was ready for collection.
    Proudly South African

  5. On the biometric process: It’s when they take a live-capture picture of u and electronically scan your fingerprints.

    Those ID pics that u take and hand in with your application, that’s just for their records – if u had a live-capture picture taken then THAT is the pic that ends up in your passport.

    I applied for my daughter’s passport last year shortly before the price increase, took 2 weeks to be processed.

    She didn’t even come with me – i had her ID pics with me (as advised by a Home Affairs official) and that was used for the passport (she was only 4 months old and unable to sit up by herself so would not have been able to take a live-capture picture).

    The only other requirement for applying for her passport was a notarised letter of consent from her dad (even though we’re married, he still had to give a letter of consent for her to get a passport since he didn’t appear with me at Home Affairs when i handed in the application). Although i had the letter, nobody bothered to ask for it – go figure. Maybe it was because he had already signed the passport application beforehand?

    All in all, the passport process is a LOT smoother than what it used to be. And, since the price increase last year, the queues are a lot shorter.

  6. Hi Muneerah,

    Thank you for your comment. I guess the general consensus so far is that one doesn’t have to stress if the biometric process isn’t working, and our Home Affairs departments have jacked themselves up.

    That’s great information for anyone needing to apply for a child passport. If you don’t mind me asking, in which region did you apply?

  7. As far as I recall,when applying to renew your Passport,the form to be completed,called for the (OLD)existing passport number. If this still pertains,and some one has lost their passport,then there will surely be a problem in applying to renew a passport.?

  8. Hi Robert,

    In my recent experience I didn’t have to fill out my old passport number, nor was the old passport required in order to apply for the new one.

    Cheers 🙂

  9. Thanks Russell and other contributors, for this site – just what I was looking for!
    My passport has nearly reached its 10 yr expiry. I would like to revert to my maiden name before applying for a new passport and I understand this firstly requires a letter of confirmation from HA via the NPR (National Population Registrar), then a new ID and finally the passport. I’m wondering how long it would take. Any info on this, anyone?
    Also, can one apply at any HA office for a new passport, for example if you live in Joburg, can you apply in CT or any other province? Would you say the CT HA is faster/more efficient than others?

  10. Can one apply for passport renewal at any HAffairs office in the country?
    For example, I live in Joburg. Can I apply at Cape Town HAffairs? Or in any other province?

    • Hi Hannah! You can apply at any home affairs office in the country. This article was just written from the perspective of someone in Cape Town who went to apply for their passport there.

  11. is it possible for a third party to do a passport renewal for you or are you required to be there in person. (This is given that one has already filled in the necessary documentation, photos and fingerprints)….Are fingerprints necessary for passport renewal?

    • Hi Adrian,

      You’ll have to be there in person for the application. Third parties can collect on your behalf as per the above.

  12. Wow you guys are lucky in South Africa ur passports are ready for collection within 2 weeks,I renewed mine (london SA E mbassy)beginning of April and was told that the process takes 3 months, guess what I checked with Home affairs in Pretoria,my application has not been submitted at all its not in the system,what does that mean????????????????????.everything these days is done electronically.

    • Hi Babam,

      I’m experiencing the same thing, but from Germany. I applied for my passport 6 months ago and when I called yesterday to ask about it there was no definitive response. Something along the lines of “Ya we will need to contact South Africa and find out”. Im so worried coz my Student visa expires soon and I can’t renew it without a new passport. I’m so worried 🙁 How did your situation turn out?

  13. Nice article.
    I’m not so lucky – I applied for renewal in January from the UK and still haven’t received my passport back. Was told it would take 4 months. Ha! As a result, I am losing money on flight and other bookings.

  14. I reside in East london ,in Mdantsane township. I never travelled beyond South African Borders and I am interested in attending Olympics in London to give support to our local boxers who have made it to these games . I need assistance as to what do I need to do and what documents are required for one to apply for a visa.

  15. Vusumzi – you will need a valid South African passport and a UK visa to travel to London. Your passport must have at least 6 months left on it after your return date to South Africa. If you need a new passport, then apply in East London.

    For the UK Visa (Visitor) you’ll need the following:

    Your valid SA passport
    2 passport sized photos as per UK Visa
    Valid return air ticket
    A letter from your employer saying you’re gainfully employed and intend to return to work after your trip to the UK
    3 months bank statements from your bank showing you have sufficient funds for your trip
    Invite from a friend living in the UK to say that you have accommodation cost covered while in the UK
    If you’re not staying with friends/family the you must include your confirmed hotel booking with your application
    Proof of address in South Africa (recent utility bills will suffice)

    Apply for the UK Visa online and please don’t take my advice above at face value. It’s always better to do your own research as your application is specific to your needs.

    Did you know? If you book your London flights with Travelstart you can take advantage of our Visa insurance policy. Just what you need if you’re worried about your UK Visa application being rejected.

    Read our UK Visa guide for more.

  16. I Live in the West Indies and want to renew my RSA passport how can it be done without me having to take a flight and doing it from the island that I live on?

  17. This post was is amazing. I renewed my passport this morning and applied everything I read in the above. It went so smoothly.

    • Hi
      My mum was to go to Hong Kong with us on 17th October.Her SA passport has expired.She has indefinitie leave to remain, and resides in the UK. My sisters are in Johannesburg.Whats the quickest way we can do this? Can she send stuff to my sisters and they go in for her?Please help?

  18. Thanks Russel, this was the most useful hit I got when googling how to renew my passport!

  19. Without an ID book I applied for a passport renewal in Wynberg (Maynard Mall), Cape Town, a month ago. A couple of things I learnt that may be useful to others:

    1. Prior to applying, the Home Affairs call centre is friendly but useless. I received three key pieces of incorrect information.

    2. Your ID book is not necessary for application if you don’t have it (mine was lost overseas) but you have to submit an application for a new ID book along with your passport application (not an actual new ID book).

    3. If you have lost or mislaid your ID you don’t actually have to get a police affidavit about whether or how you mislaid it. I did all that (thanks lovely people at Wynbery Police) and Home Affairs didn’t need my document.

    4. If your passport is current you have to pay double for a new one unless you can explain by affidavit why you no longer have it. Your passport belongs to the government.

    If your passport is expired you neither need to present it to Home Affairs nor pay extra to renew it. This is now clear to me, hope I’ve explained it properly.

    5. The “missing” biometric process mentioned above may be HANIS (Home Affairs National Identification System). HANIS happens in Pretoria and I think it’s great. From the little I know, photo bio-images are analysed and databased and it’s all good.

    It’s been a month since I applied for a new ID and passport and my ID was issued early, while my passport is not yet issued.

    6. Keep track of passport and ID processes by texting your ID number preceeded by P or ID to this number: 32551

  20. Wow Ann, that’s excellent info. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  21. After reading the article and all the comments, I also want to share!! It is great when you can get to a Home Affairs and have the patience to stand there, but it’s not that easy when you are already out of the country and have to get a travel document in a hurry. I had a situation where I was stuck overseas with no close by embassy/consulate near me! I didn’t know where to go or what to do and was pregnant at the time as well. In my desperation I searched on the Internet for companies that could help me but all the posts always said the same thing: “phone/find your nearest consulate/embassy” or the companies were all in SA and did not cater for SA’s abroad. It was a true miracle that I found SA Fast Track and I truly want to share this with everyone because you never know when you will need help which would not normally be available to you. This company helped me get a passport within 15 working days and all I had to do was print off the application documents, fill them in, scan and email them back to check, and then they sent a courier to me to pick up the documents! Within 15 working days I got my new passport. Instead of stressing and running all over the show and standing in queues and all that, I had the time to finalize the rest of my plans and get a plane ticket.
    Since then, I’ve been travelling a lot with my daughter and have used SA Fast Track’s services exclusively. This truly might help other South Africans abroad or in a hurry for a quick and reliable passport service.

  22. Hi there I already applied for my passport, but lost the number I need to phone to check if it is ready for collection, and I need it because they said if I waited too long, it would be destroyed? Can anyone help me?

    P.S. I totally agree about the painlessness involved in applying. I was at Wynberg and it was very smooth

  23. Hi everyone

    Very interesting to read the posts.

    I have found myself in a bit of a dilemma, I am currently on holiday in the UK and Europe and then heading off to Thailand to teach English. I decided to check my passport this evening and I noted that I only have 3 blank non-consecutive pages left in my passport which I am afraid will not be enough for all the visas I will need to obtain in Asia as I will need a tourist visa initially for Thailand, then I will need to do a border run in order to convert to a working visa. (I think this is how it works). And I will need a stamp in Hong Kong as I am flying via HK.

    Does anyone know if I could get my mother to apply for a new passport for me in SA on my behalf if she has my ID book, passport pics and fingerprints from me and a letter of consent? Or is it vital that I do it over there? I am just worried that since I am in the UK on a tourist visa I will not be able to do it here and after reading some posts it sounds risky as it takes too long and my visa wouldve expired in 4 months from now.

    Please help if you can 🙂

  24. Hi Russell,
    Thank you for an informative article, which I am sure will save many people a lot of time.
    You mentioned that renewing your passport did not require you to bring your old passport (Optional) when applying. How do they renew something that they cannot see, and how do they renew it? I was under the impression that they have to put something in your old passport to indicate that it is “renewed”. Can you please clarify. Thanks!

  25. My husband (UK Citizen) applied fo a visa.Left SA and got FINED,because it showed up on the system that he left SA over a 3 month period…This happeded 2 years ago and is STILL showing up on the airport.This was a mistake from home affairs and it was written in his passport.PATHETIC!!!!!!!We dont even live here?????????Although I’m South African!!!!!

  26. Hi
    Renewed my RSA passport which expired in 2009, today.
    I down loaded the forms from the Home Affairs website, filled them out at home.
    Arrived at the Pinetown Home Affairs office at 12h20 with the forms,a colour copy of my ID, money and photo’s.
    I walked out at 12h45!!!
    Did not expect that.
    Hoping the issuing period is that quick.

    • Hi Tristan;

      So you need to certify your ID?

  27. The new passport price of R400 is outrageous!

    I have a passport that expired but guess what the”renewal fee” is also R400, the same as a new first time application. They might as well say no renewals only re-application.

    How are the poor supposed to afford this. There’s no mention of your first passport being free or a discount if you are renewing.

    I’m sure if someone investigates who is benefiting from this they will find corruption.

  28. I am enquiring on behalf of my daughter, Jean, about applying for a renewal of her SA passport. She lives in Weybridge, Surrey, and has a problem getting into London due to large work pressures. Is there a service where the application can be done in England please? Your reply would reach her at the above e-mail address. This is rather urgent and your reply at your earliest convenience would be very much appreciated!

  29. Hi Jean’s Mom,

    I have replied to your daughter with the email specified above.

    While Travelstart does not offer this type of service to South Africans living abroad, I did find some info which I have sent her.


  30. hey ive got a prob wi that my passport has only got 4 months left on it,my question is can i travel use my passport 2 travel 2 south africa wi ma british boy 4 holidays and hopefully while im there apply 4 a new passport and can i be able 2 travel back using ma old passport with probably 3 months left on it?

  31. Hi Dan,

    It’s not advisable to travel on a passport that has less than 6 months validity left on it.


  32. Hi I’m living in Ireland and lost my passport on a night out if I apply for a new one here how long will it take to get it ?

  33. Hi,

    I’ve just had a mild heart attack, the gov site says R850.00 for a passport, is this right???? I’m renewing.

    • Hi Vee,

      I don’t think R850 is correct. Have a look here for updated prices

  34. I need help for a friend who requires a re-newed passport but has a small window of time before she is due back in afghanistan due to travel plans. How can we go abot sending in all the correctly filled in forms without her being here so that she can just pick it up when she is in SA which is only for almost two weeks? This is urgent. I need to help her. And if she can rather apply for a temp/emergency one is it then a computer generated document? because if it is then she can rather use that and await her passport in the normal fashion. Please HELP urgetnly.

    • Hello Nidia,

      To my knowledge you cannot apply on behalf of your friend as she will need to be there to complete the Biometric process (fingerprinting etc.), however, you can collect the passport on behalf of your friend.

      Maybe she should think about getting a temporary passport (takes about 5 working days) and then apply for her standard adult passport when she has more time.

  35. Hi thanks great website.I am a “dual-national”brit/sa living in the UK,and a grandma too. Can you please tell me, Why cant I simply visit SA on my BritPassport?,my SA Passport has expired, and its SUCH “a Mission” to renew it!!makes me feel I dont really want to if its SUCH a hassle. But I would like to visit SA for a week or two. I was treated quite rudely when I made inquiries at the desk here in London’s SA House.Hope you can help/reply??thanks,baie dankie/n’kosi.

    • Hi Annie,

      As far as I know you don’t need a Visa to visit South Africa if you’re travelling on a UK passport.

      If you’re living in the UK and travelling to SA on a UK passport I believe you can visit us down here for up to 90 days provided you have a return ticket (to the UK) booked.

      Hope this helps 🙂

  36. Wish renewing SA passports in Zimbabwe was as efficient. My wife applied in Harare 9/9/12 was told to check online in two months to track progress. I checked after two months to be told application is not in system yet. When I phoned Harare, I was advised that the application was sent to Pretoria 13/9/12, and that it could take 5 or 6 months. That doesn’t seem like good service. Any idea how I can find out what is happening. Harare don’t appear to be interested.

  37. Thanks for the post so that I could verify directions and timing. I’m heading off to CPT home affairs tomorrow morning to get a birth certificate. I’m expecting it to be a long and painful process. Passports, however, have become way faster. Took 6 months to get my last one back in 2009 and it rocked up with the wrong name! Now, as you said, they can take two weeks, great improvement. Wish me luck.

  38. Hi,

    I had to renew my passport as I ran out of pages. I was issued with a brand new passport, with new passport number and expirey date etc. as apparently Home Affairs no longer renews passports but just issues you with a new one. I was given my old passport back as it has a valid 10 year US visa – the old passport was not visibly voided in any way. So I now have the old passport, which has not expired and has 2 blank pages (so I can technically term this a valid passport) and a new passport. I have travelled only on the new passport for the last year or so but now need to use the US visa. I know that if your visa is in an expired passport you just take both with you; however I am nervous that because my old passport has not expired and has not been voided, presenting both passports may not go down well…some over zealous customs official may take issue that I have two ostensibly valid passports. I can’t apply for a new US visa as they won’t issue a new one unitl old one has expired.

    Does Home Affairs ususally ‘void’a passport in a visible manner? Does SA immigration systems naturally hold only one valid passport number per ID number, thereby making my old passport void even if it hasn’t visibly been voided?


    • Hi Rochelle,

      That’s correct. Home affairs issue a brand new passport with enhanced security features.

      To answer your questions – I am not aware if Home Affairs “visibly” void your passport, however, when I travelled to the UK and Europe this year I was in the same situation as you – I carried my old “invisibly voided” passport with my valid Schengen Visa, as well as my new passport and I didn’t encounter any problems. That said, I would contact Home Affairs directly to make sure.

      I would assume your theory of “one valid passport number per ID number” sounds about right, however, I would advise to check directly with the embassy for your own peace of mind.

  39. Very informative article.Thank you.
    I will be going to Home Affairs tomorrow. Not sure whether Wynberg or CPT city will be better…I’ll decide in the morning. 🙂

  40. Thank you so much. Everything I needed to know. Going to renew mine this week.

  41. Hi

    Thank you for the very informative article. I would like to know how soon can I renew my passport if my present one only expires in September 2013, I am presenly resident in Oman.Thanking You Kindly

    • Hi Ahmed,

      If you carry an SA passport then I’d put getting a new passport one of the priority items on your New Years resolutions list. Most embassies require you have at least 6 months left on the passport (before expiry) to travel across borders, so that means any time between now and March will be a good time to apply for your new passport.

  42. I have been out of the country for over 10 years and have a british passport. Would I be able to renew my old SA African passport
    Please advise

    • Hi Brenda,

      The Department of Home Affairs website contains relevant information regarding citizenship:
      I suggest taking a look at the sections pertaining to dual-citizenship.



  43. I have trouble with the fingerprinting machines. This has happened with my visas for both UK and USA, and now my driver’s license as well. I suspect it will be the same when I renew my passport as well. What’s the solution??

  44. I hold a SA passport, live in the US(California/ Nevada) and need a Schengen visa for Italy.
    Can you give me the information I need to do this and where the interview will take place?
    Thank you

  45. How do I revert to my maiden name when applying for a new South African passport?

    • Hi Stacey,

      Please contact Home Affairs for the relevant information: 0800 60 11 90

  46. Although taking your old passport is listed as ‘optional’ you’ll need your passport number so it’s probably a good idea to take it along.

  47. OK heads up – you do, in fact, need to take your old passport with you.

  48. I have applied for a new south african passport from Australia and it has still not arrived, however my existing passport expires in july of this year. South africa neither australia require the 6 month validity period. BUT heres my question, south africa has issued me with a new passport but it has been despatched and no-one can tell me when it will come, so is my existing passport still valid????

    • Hi Nicci,

      You should check with the South African embassy you are renewing your passport with before travelling.

  49. please i need help, my aunt wants me to visit her in canada in three weeks(21days) maximum time i have to live SA.i dont want to pass through the hussle and tassle of getting passport in our home affairs,can somebody give me information to get a fasttrack SA passport in less than 21days without me going to these home affairs robot offices.i need a fast tracktrack agent to help me please!!

  50. My SA Passport expierd on 08-06-1994, must I start all over again or can I just renew it. also can I get the forms in ZEERUST? Is there a Home Affair’s office in ZEERUST? I do need a valid SA passport like yesterday! Thanks

    • Hi Rita,

      Here is the contact information for the Department of Home Affairs District Office, they will be able to provide you with all relevant information:

      Zeerust District Office
      Tel: (018) 363 3853/648
      Fax: (018) 363 3179

      Mr. L. Reader
      Lobatse/Zeerust Road,

  51. How do i track the status of my new passport online. At home affairs in Malmesbury they gave me a number to sms which does this but i have had no response sio would like to know online where to do this. Thanks. Russell Blair

  52. Hi there. Not sure if Aaron actually works for the department of Home Affairs, but i have a long story of potential woe to share with you. Being the good mother that I am , i went into the Dept of Home Affairs in Wynberg [ Cape Town ] to renew my daughter’s passports. My one daughter who is currently 15 yrs old is going to Thailand end of June, and as her passport was expiring in Dec this year, i thought i would renew it. When I was there, i was informed that once she is 16 [ she turns 16 in Mid April ] she would not be able to use her child passport and it would be invalid, even though date wise it is still valid. I was told that I could however, get permission to get an adult passport before she turned 16, but they could not guarantee this, so i renewed her child passport anyway. I have now phoned the Dept of Home Affairs toll number 5 x and each time i get a different story. 1st person told me that i can only apply for an adult passport once she is 16 and the next person said I could ask for special permission from a Supervisor, but they could reject it at Head Office etc etc. BUT I can only apply for an adult passport once she had an ID, and can only do this when she is 16. It takes 2 – 3 months to get the ID, by which time it would be too late to get the adult passport. I was then told I could apply for a temp passport , as no ID is needed, but Thailand Embassy said they don’t always accept Temp Passports. So now feeling stumped and seeing all that money paid for Thailand flying out of the window, I phoned the Belgium Consulate as my daughter has a EU passport with them. They said that the EU child passport only expires with the date of expiry, and suggested that as the dept of Home Affairs is being so unhelpful, to travel out of SA on a temp SA passport and enter Thailand on her EU passport and the same on her return. All good and well, but how on earth can the dept of Home Affairs be so inflexible ? What if my daughter never had an EU passport ? What do people do if their child turns 16 the day before they travel overseas ? How can a valid passport which only expires in 5 yrs be rendered invalid just because of an age ? Surely there must be some leeway with this ? I am so frustrated and feeling totally let down by my own bloody country. If anyone has some valid or useful input here it would be highly appreciated.

    • Hi Kathi,

      I’m part of the Travelstart family – not employed or associated with the Department of Home Affairs in any way.
      Sorry to hear the problems you encountered, unfortunalety when dealing with many government agencies we often encounter ridiculous regulations and red-tape.
      It is a good thing your daughter has an EU passport – have a great trip to Thailand!

    • Hi Kathi

      Sorry to hear that you experienced this. It is very peculiar. I traveled with my child passport to Switzerland and Germany after turning 16 (I actually traveled when I was 18 and had obtained the passport at age 15). Unfortunately it expires today and so I have to get a new one before my travels to Turkey next month.

      Are you dead certain that this is the case? I am sure I have understood you correctly, but I had absolutely no issues obtaining a Schengen Visa and spending two months in Europe with my South African child passport after turning 16.

      Anyway, best of luck. I hope all goes well.


    • Age is based on application (ie. if she is 15 at the date of application she applies for a child passport regardless if her 16th birthday is in a week or two). If it is still valid (current as far as expiration) then she can use her child passport for the trip (even though she turned 16 by the time she leaves). A passport has nothing to do with the person per se, it is simply a document that gives a country abroad permission from your home country to have you, the Visa is the opposite, giving permission from the country abroad to have you there. The key is the expiration, as long as that is valid, that is the permission time frame the government has granted. She can apply for an adult passport when she returns and once she has her ID.

  53. I got my passport in 2 weeks when I applied in Cape Town for it, it was a breeze! They sms’d me to tell me it was ready for collection. Originally when I lived in Joburg things took FOREVER, anything official was a hassle and it took ages. So far everything I have applied for in Cape Town – passport, Driver Licence, police clearance has been painless and very quick. Just one of the many reasons I love living in Cape Town 🙂

  54. My 15yr old daughter needs a renewal passport. Any special notes that we should be aware of. her previous passport was issued when she was 3years old. it expired about 6yrs ago.

    • South Africa do not renew passports, they re-issue them (brand new application). If she is still 15 when she is standing in home affairs, then she would apply for a new child passport. If she has turned 16 by the time she applies, then she would have to apply for an ID first, get the ID and with that apply for an adult passport valid for 10 years.

  55. I applied for my passport at Pretoria and it took exactly one week. This was without using an agent. Yay

  56. I have a new passport with a new number. I still have my old passport which I want to use till its full(about 3 pages left). If I go abroad with my old passport and I’m refused to use it somewhere during my travel abroad, can I just change to my new passport whenever I want to as I travel with both. Its a bit confusing as the old one expires 2016 and I have two different passport numbers now. I was told that both passport is valid.

    • Hi Tino,

      As far as I know when you renew your passport your old one is cancelled. When I went to apply for a new passport last week that is what I was told at Home Affairs in Cape Town.
      Although your old passport could well be accepted when you are travelling I strongly suggest that you ensure you have your new one with you to be safe.

    • If it has not expired it is valid. Entry and exit stamps must be in one passport (ie. you cant exit on the old and enter with the new). Personally that would be too much trouble for me, I would just use the new one and throw the old one in the drawer, then all bases are covered if you come across an official that woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day and refuses to stamp the old one.

  57. Hi, Is it easier/quicker to go to Malmesbury for a possport renewal. Any idea if those offices are open on a Saturday?

    • Hi Theiyba,

      According to the Western Cape Government website they are open on Saturdays from 08:00-12:00.
      I cannot say whether it is quicker to renew your passport there – all applications are sent to Pretoria for processing.

  58. Thought I’d share my secret re home affairs. The best time to go is 15 min before closing time. There’s no queue at all, in and out in 5 min! I am forever indebted to the passport photo guy for this gem 🙂

  59. Why are u so nice russel ? Just read all these comments and glad to hear about SA fast track. Gonna try this from Cali hope it works as I don’t have an SA Id besides my passport.

  60. Hi, im turning 18 this year and still have a passport from when i was about 4, i want to renew it…but think its been expired for quite some years. i live in Boksburg Gauteng. please let me know is anyone knows anything about this asap please>>>> 🙂

    • You will need to apply for a new Passport with your current ID.

  61. Does home affairs in Johannesburg (Plein & Harrison Str)open on a Saturday?

  62. Hi, I’m from the Netherlands and stay now 9 years in South Africa. I had a lot of delayed temporary residence visas. Most of them took 2months more than just the 30 days. But I had never problems with lots applications etc.
    My last application was done on the 15 th of jan 2013 at Cape Town office. After a week of application still no SMS so I went back.they told me there is a delay and I must be patient. On the 13 th of Feb I received the SMS en on the 28 they smsed me that the outcome of the visa is ready for collection. (Temporary spousal permit with attached work permit)

    Now I just got one problem and maybe someone has experience with that.
    I just had major surgery and am not able to travel until mid April.
    Is there a time limit within you have to collect the visa?
    Can someone else collect it for me?

    I tried to phone cape-town office. Can’t get through to find out.
    Their free toll number advices me to contact office of application to speak to the office supervisor. They can’t even give me a name or email address! They say it private information (no really). Anyone a direct number to immigration or the name of the office supervisor?

    Great thanks

    Ps the new number system works great. If there are a lot of people in front of u just take a walk outside…

  63. How do i go about getting my son 5yrs old onto my SA passport? What documents do i need and where do i go? how much will it cost?

  64. My passport has expired last year, untouched like a virgin, do I also need to re-apply or get a new number even if I’m planning to go visit Namibia and do I also need to pay a fee? Sounds like Home Affairs a pleasure, looking fwd to. Thanx

    • Yup, you need to get a new one unfortunately.

  65. Great article, thank you!!!

    If I’m traveling overseas for an extend time (to one country) and my passport only expires 2016 but I may be there longer, do I need to get it renewed and will they renew it now even although it’s only 2013?

    • You can apply for a new one at the South African Consulate in that country. (it costs a lot more though).

  66. Hi

    I need advise please. I have a US tourist visa in my old visa and now need to renew my visa. Can I just take my old passport and new one into the US? They are a bit of a sticky nation?
    Any suggestions would be great.
    PS. This blog is fantastic.

    • My husband has a new passport with US visa in the old passport and has travelled to the US numerous times without any problems carrying both of the passports.

  67. Hi!

    My boss is going to Tailand in June, his passport expires in May. How long does it take to renew? Would he need to get a temporary one?
    He lives in Rondeboch in Cape Town, where is the nearest place he can go?


    • He can apply for a temporary passport if he has to travel within one month (it’s a certificate)… countries are starting to refuse temporary passports so best to find out from the Thai Consulate if they would accept that.

  68. Hi, I am planning a trip to Thailand in August and my passport expires 25 September this year. Do I need to get another passport or will this be good enough? Where is the offices located for Pretoria?

    • Hey Devaksha, I would suggest getting a new passport. Never a good idea to travel with a passport that has less than 6 months left on it.

  69. Thanks for the info, was looking to call them and you answered my question.

  70. HI , I live in canada, my passport is expire in the end of April. the web page say it take from 6 month to a year for a new one. My sister is vising me in canada, Can i send her my old pasport with the apication forms and id book to hand it in her self in south africa and bring it back to me in canada. Please help me with advice
    THank you.

  71. Has my passport arrived yet it’s been more than 3 weeks and i have not yet recieved any reply or sms or even a letter through the post. I did my application in MITCHELLS PLAIN.
    ID NUMBER 7804195173081.

  72. Hi i hope you can help me…
    I have my passport on my old surname and when i got married i changed only my id and drivers license to my new surname but I’m also divorced and not yet re-married but engaged.
    My passport having my old surname stated on it is still valid for more than a year. Should i have a problem if me and my fiance want to travel in June to Pakistan? Can i still travel on my passport? I have never traveled overseas before, this will be my first time. Please help, it’s really urgent because the only time we have this year to go is June.
    I would really appreciate if someone can reply.

  73. Does Joburg Home affairs do passport applications. If so where is offices.

  74. Just renewed my passport at the Randburg office and it took me just an hour (including Computer down time. They are situated om Malibongwe Drive. Midday seems to be quiet.

  75. Hi

    im sibusiso, i applied for a passport on, friday the 17th of may 2013, so i lost my reciept i got at the home affairs, so im stressing if, could i still be able to colect my passport vvithout the reciept but jst my ID. Please Help!.

  76. Regarding Kathi’s quandry with her daughter travelling on a child passport, incase any others have the same query – my daughter also applied for a passport just before she turned 16, which was valid for 5 years, being a child passport. She has travelled to Mauritius, the UK and done a European Contiki all on the child passport and now at almost 21years has just applied for her adult one. She had no problems travelling on the SA Child passport from 16 to 20 years of age.

  77. Thank you for your amazing blog on passport renewal. You should really get into blogs for travel. I think you’d do a brilliant job. It was almost exciting getting my passport this time. thanks again

  78. Quick question.

    Does anyone know the expected processing time for SA passports applied for outside of SA? I’m applying for mine from Thailand.

    Thanks in advance!

  79. Hi,

    I am currently working in the Caribbean and we do not have a consulate on island. I have a few questions please:

    1) New York is a good option as i can courier everything and get the renewal done there. They do however suggest that it takes 6 months. Some information indicates that you have to submit your passport with your renewal application. I cannot do without my passport for that period for a bunch of reasons. Can anyone confirm if you do in fact have to send your passport with the application and if the processing time is really 6 months?

    2) Can i have a family member submit my application in Cape Town and then have them collect my passport once complete. I would complete all the required documentation as required for a overseas renewal?


  80. Hi there. Great post!!
    Is it true that you have to hand in your old passport when collecting the new one?

    A random person at Home affairs Centurion told me that, but i believe it to be a lie?

    Thank you

  81. Pp photos : colour or black & wh?

    • Color, glasses off, don’t smile.

  82. i apply my travel decoment in cape town when i send my id no to this num 32551 they send me back no current application what can i do?

  83. Hi

    Do I need to wait for my passport to expire before I get a new one or can I apply for a new one before it expires so it doesnt expire while I am away?Can you book a trip for a date after your passport expires and then apply for a new one once its expired and use it?


  84. hi I live in the u.k my passport expired in 2008,anyway I have send my application form to an agent in s.a on the 11 of june, today 24 june im still waiting hopefully it wont be long as im planning to visit s.a after a long time,the s.a embassy in London told me it will take 6months that’s when I decided to use an agent!

  85. Hiya, I’m currently in SE Asia now and about to run out of pages in my passport (FYI – even small countries now use two pages in your passport, one for a full page visa and another for entry & exit stamps – this was new to me!)

    Has anybody had experience in applying for a new passport overseas? How long does it take?


  86. Hi travel start team, your blog post is so helpful!! Thank you! I just wanted to find out if you can get a rush on a maxi passport? I’m only in SA for a month and need a new passport asap so I have enough time to get a UK, schengen, czech and croatian visa (all of which i need in my new passport) and each visa might take a while. Any hope this can all be done in a month? Thanks!

  87. We applied for my son E.A.N. Torres-Mercado ID 921023 525 0087 passport three weeks ago at Home Affairs Centurion. We want to know if the passport is ready but if we phone the number 012 664 5820 that we were given it says that this numer does not exist. ???? Please Help

  88. I need a new I’d with my names spelled correctly, how do I go about this

  89. I apply my passport on the 28 june 2013 for the visit to Netherlands at Potchefstroom home affairs, still i hevent receive it yet. Am have to leave next month and i still have to apply for visa and Travel health insuarance on time. I try to track my application status but i cant go through. Please help me to find out, what is going on with my passport because its been 6weeks now.

  90. I am currently living in the UK, but am visiting SA in September. My passport expires 14 Jan 2014, but it takes 4 months to get a new one over here.
    Can I renew in September, fly back to UK on my old passport, and then get my parents to collect and DHL the new passport back to me?
    I.E. Do they cancel old passports which have not expired?

    • Hey Ryan,

      I think they cancel passports when you apply for a new one. Also, you’re usually restricted from travelling unless your SA passport has at least 6 months validity remaining on it.


  91. Thanks Russell, Im not travelling, Im a resident in the UK. Can anyone confirm Russell’s comment? I did email a company Q for you, and they said that HAs wont necessarily cancel my old one, particulary as I have a very good reason for holding onto it.

    • Hi Ryan. I’m in a very similar situation and was wondering whether you were able to find the answer about travelling on your “old” passport while the renewal process is underway. I’m visiting SA right now (Sept). My SA passport expires in March. I have EU dual citizenship so entering the UK isn’t an issue. However, if I try to renew my SA passport now while in SA, will I still be able to exit SA in 10 days time using my current SA passport?

    • Your old passports are not cancelled. I have 2 “active” passports and travel on either one.

    • As Mandy says, passports aren’t cancelled, they expire. If it’s valid it’s usable. They may refuse passports with less than 6 months left only if you borderline the stay (ie. if you have six months left and will only travel for a week or two you should have no problem)

  92. This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about, how to renew your South African Passport. Thank you for sharing!

  93. Hi there

    I am wanting to renew my passport in durban- does anyone know where to go?


    • You can try 031 308 7900
      Or just ask people in your area, I’m sure you will stumble on someone who has applied in Durban 😉

  94. Hi there, is there a way to speed up my passport I have one week until I leave and my passport is still “being processed” as per the dha website. I am desperate here. Thanks in advance for your advise

    • Hi Michele,

      If it’s getting too close for comfort then you should apply for an temporary/emergency passport.

  95. Hi there,

    My passport has expired and I urgently need to book an international flight. I am only leaving 2 December, so I’m sure my renewed passport will have arrived by then.

    However, I need my new Passport number to book the flight. Can I renew my passport, and also ask for an emergency passport at the same time. So I can go and book my flight so long?

    Thanks so much for your help and answering all our questions – such a relief to know there’s someone who can help. Thanks Travel Start!

    • Hi there,

      My passport has expired and I urgently need to book an international flight. I am only travelling next year April, so I’m sure my renewed passport will have arrived by then.

      Can I book a flight with my old number and then change it once I get my new passport?

    • You can apply for both at the same time, pay for both but use the temporary / emergency one for flight. Note though that temporary / emergency passport (travel certificates) are being phased out. To apply for a temporary / emergency passport you need to provide proof of emergency (death, illness, etc)… vacation or ordinary visits are not seen as an emergency.

  96. Thank you !!!!!!!!

  97. I just want to leave a msg to say how amazing the Home Affairs Office in Durban is. I went at around 11 o’clock, presumably the busiest time of the day! But I was in and out in an hour! All done with no help of an Agent. They also have a tracking service (free of charge) and said it will only take about two weeks!!! Felt I should share some good news, instead of complaining!

  98. I’m dissapointed about Home Affairs, I have applied for a Passport 4 weeks back and I didn’t receive it yet. And I must laeve this weekend to Botswana and they said I won’t get it these weekend. Please help me what must I do.

  99. where can i download an application form for a South African passport (NOT a renewal). it won’t let me download one from the gov web site.

    • Printed online forms are not accepted. You will get the forms at home affairs (takes 5 minutes to fill them in).

  100. Hi

    I’m 16 and moving to my mom in the U.K in Feb. I don’t have a passport yet and my mom needs my passport number for the visa or something.

    Is there a way I could speed up the process when I apply for my passport? Maybe pay a bit extra?

  101. i have applied for ID 3 weeks ago since then i have not heard anything from the department of home affair in limpopo even a confirmation a sms to show that my application is valid ……please anyone with any information help to find my id application status

    • Go to home affairs – collections, and ask them to check on the system. This is not unusual for ID’s, they do extra checks for duplicates and / or identity theft. My wife waited 3 months, then when she went to collect, they couldn’t find it (lost), she re-applied, we moved, asked them to send it to our local home affairs office… they lost it again, she has applied again.

  102. I have been trying to track my application online. At first it said 60, then 73, now 90. What do these codes mean. Also does anyone know if singapore accepts temporary passports

    • Hi Shaz,when did you apply for your passport and did you do so within S.A?My passport status says the same thing “090”.I wish I had a clue as to what stage this refers to.Did you find out what the code means as yet?

  103. lorna i also hav 2 leav 4 botswana 2moro n im stil waitin 4 my passport. wer did u apply 4 it? kg bsides death n ilnes wat els qualifies s n emergenc? anotha q wat prove is needed?

  104. Hello, I have a question:My SA passport expired a few months ago and I plan to renew ti but I see on this advice blog that one is required to take along SA I.D book? What do I do if I don’t have one? I have been living abroad actually and haven/t had one in about 15 years that I can think of.

  105. When does the home affairs in Barrack street open in the new year?

  106. What does status 090 mean.
    I just want to know how long till I get my passport but instead I get random numbers. Why do they have to make everything so dam hard, when it should be something really simple.

  107. Can anybody assist me with the passport status codes.
    I have applied for a new passport and am trying to track the progress, site give me a status code of 075 ???? What is the use of having this site if one cannot actually get a progress report??? These codes don’t mean anything to the man on the street.

  108. Hi All.
    My daughter is back in SA for a visit from New Zealand where she has permanent residence status. Her passport expires mid March and I have been informed that she can’t leave SA without at least 6 months validity on her passport. The Home Affairs website gives this period as 1 month. Given the time of the year and the short time available till she is due back (mid Jan) to continue her studies here, I am getting very nervous! Any comments/advice would be most welcome.

  109. I have tried calling Home affairs to find out what code 075 means and nobody can tell me or they have no idea what I am talking about. Short of making a trip to home affairs office can someone help.

  110. Hi there,

    Just a quick question. Did they do anything to your old passport when you went to renew it? Clip it, punch it?

    I have a valid US visa in my current one, but badly need a new passport, but I read online that if they damage the US visa in any way that it is no longer valid.

    Thanks for your awesome post!

  111. Can anyone give me an idea of how long their passport application in the Cape Town area has taken recently?

  112. If my passport expires in August, I understand i do need to apply for a new one, When I go to apply, will I still be able to keep my old passport to use , while the new one is being processed. As I am traveling to Serengeti in April. regards rory

    • Hi Rory,

      To be safe, for all international travel your passport should have at least 6 months remaining on it from date of return to SA.

      You are able to use your old passport while your new one is being processed provided the old one is still valid. In other words, Home Affairs won’t cancel your passport just because you are applying for a new one.


  113. I applied for my passport in 2011 at the Pretoria main home affairs. Up to this day it still hasnt come out. I am even put off to apply for a new one.

    • What happens if you do not have the receipt for the passport that was ordered. Can you collect it by furnishing your original ID booklet?

  114. I’m flying back to South Africa at the end of this month and want to renew my expired SA passport. I have dual citizenship so flying back is not an issue. Will i be able to do the DHA-9 finger print form at the Home Affairs Offices on the day i plan to go on, or is this something you need to have ready and done before you arrive.

    • Hi Drew, I have the same problem, my SA passport expires while I’m in the States. I also have dual, so I can get back home (heading home in June), but was wondering if the process of renewing my SA passport would be more complicated if it’s already expired. I’d be really interested to know if you have any more details. Thanks, Kim

  115. I renewed (got another) my latest passport in 2011 at the Potchefstroom Home Affairs office. There wasn’t much of a queue (maybe I was lucky haha) but it was a painless morning. They did also ask me to add my mobile number for a notification by sms and said it would take 6 weeks.
    This was going to cut it fine as I was due to start a solo expedition in 7 weeks – I got the sms 3 weeks later that my passport was ready! Awesome! I could now apply for visas in 2 embassies at the same time haha
    Soon, I’ll have to be applying for another one again.
    Thanks for a great blog.

  116. Very 1st passports for us, got it all done in 2 1/2 hours in port Elizabeth. Went in at 2pm, out at 4.30pm.

  117. Hi Russel

    Thanks for this post. When renewing your passport, do you have to hand in your old one and they return it with the new one? Or do they let you keep it?

    Thanks very much

  118. I have about 9 months left on my current passport before it expires. I need to apply for a visa asap before travelling, however once I get to Canada I need to apply for a work permit. Am I better off applying for a new passport now and pray that there are no major delays, or shall I take the risk and apply for the visa with current passport. I have read that applying for new passport from abroad can take up to 6 months…..Phew!

  119. I am travelling back home to the natal I have a temporary sa passport. Where can I go to get a permanent passport I will be kliving in pennington natal

  120. I applied at Maynard Mall just over six weeks ago. I have checked my status and it seems it is “received, being processed”. So six weeks is the minimum and don’t try phoning for any information as they do not answer their phone or respond to e-mails. Chaos! My husband applied in Edenvale, Joburg, and got his within two weeks.

    • Hi there. I have been struggling to find the number that you sms to see check the status of your passport!could you please help me out 🙂

  121. I would like to knw if i can apply a passport for my child who was born here in South Africa although iam a Zimbabwean.i already have a birth certficate for him.

  122. Hi Do you know if a mother can apply to renew her childrens SA expired passports withought the kids being with her?

    • No you can’t. they want to see the children and if they’re under 16, you’ll need their father to be present as well. It’s quite a schlepp but that was my experience un a March this year

  123. Hi there,

    Great article! It really helped me when applying for my SA passport. I applied for a renewal of my passport on 24 March 2014 and it has been 7 weeks since then. Sadly I haven’t heard anything from them. Should I just go to Home Affairs with my ID book and try my luck? Do you know of a number I can call to find out how far my passport it? That website you put up at the end of your article was invalid so I am at a dead end.

    looking forward to hearing from you


  124. My passport is valid until 2017 but I have about clean 5 pages left. What’s the deal? Totally new passport… or can they add in pages?
    I travel a bit, so time is of the essence in getting a renewal before I have to travel again… and I don’t want to be told, when I arrive somewhere in East/ West Africa, that I can’t proceed because my current passport doesn’t have enough free pages.

    • The same thing has just happened to me. I took the passport application in for a new maxi passport, paid R600 with 2 photos, in 350 Umgeni Road Durban, was in and out in 5 minutes, and told it will take approx. 4 weeks. I have kept my old passport, but from the day I take delivery of my new passport, my old one is cancelled. However I can still use it when I travel to UK or USA as it has my 10 year visas in it.

  125. Hi. I thought I’d share today’s experience of trying to apply for a passport for my 9-year-old daughter in Pietermaritzburg. We arrived at 7.30am – they open at 8.30am – and we joined the already very long queue. We stood there (outside the actual building) until 12.30. By this stage we were about 15 people away from the entrance. At 12.30 the security guards shut the doors and said no more people would be attended to. 5 hours of standing! Could someone not have come out at 10am and said we’ll only be able to process up to this point in the queue? This sort of treatment makes for very unhappy citizens.

  126. Very helpful and encouraging post. Thank you 🙂

  127. I recently applied for a passport in upington and this was my first time applying for passport. I imagined it would take maybe hours, so I decided to go apply at 10:30 yesterday (22 March 2014). To my luck, there was hardly anyone there. So they sent me to pay and collect 2 receipts. Then sent me to a counter that gave me a sticker with the number 21 (assuming I was the 21st person there that day) and after that they took me to a booth for photos. After I accepted the picture, I had to sign a electronic pad, and then headed for the queue. Just as I sat down, my number got called, so I proceeded to the counter. Answering a few questions, giving my personal details and doing my finger prints on this small square box with a green laser, I finally ended with yet another electronic signature. All this in under 10 minutes, with only a damage of R400. And of course a R5 coin for the guard watching my vehicle.

  128. My husband and I went to renew our passports on 13th May (2 weeks ago). We went to Home Affairs in Wynberg, Cape Town. Got there at 7.20am and were out by 9.30am. We both got an sms on 22nd May – 9 days later to come and collect. OMG!!!!

  129. I’ve recently applied for a new passport and I still haven’t received it. My old passport is still valid for another six months. Can I still use my old one to travel or is it cancelled because I’ve applied for a new one.

  130. I’ve applied for a new passport and I still haven’t received it. My current passport is still valid. Can I still use it to travel or is it cancelled because I applied for a new one?

  131. Hi Guys

    I applied for a passport Saturday for the 1st time in my life hahaha… I got offered a job in Dubai and I am kinda scared that time is against me. I need to be in Dubai end of July. They told me at Home affairs that it take 3-8 weeks to get the passport. Only then will be able to apply for a Visa which also takes time… Is the perhaps any way of speeding up the process to get my Passport or do I have to wait out the time given which is 3-8 weeks??? Thanks in advance for much needed info.

  132. Applied for my passport on the 24th March and its the 16th June and no luck.

    Is there a possibility of getting my passport after this long???????????

  133. Must the photos be black and white or can you use coloured ones?

    • Elizabeth, we used x2 colour photographs per passport.

  134. Hi Guys

    I recently got married and am contemplating the right time to apply for a new passport which will expire soon. The new passport will automatically be issued in my married name – as my ID has already changed.

    However, I am traveling to the UK at the end of August and the UK Visa is on my maiden name in my current passport also on my maiden name. My flights are also booked on my maiden name.

    If I apply for a new passport on my married name before I leave will I still be able to travel on my current passport in my maiden name. Is the current passport only voided once the new passport is collected?

    • I’m also in UK, with visa in passport with maiden name but I have a new passport in married name. This has not been a problem (I’ve entered the UK several times with these). Just take both passports and you marriage certificate

  135. What a great post. Thanks, it’s very helpful. I hope things are still improved now, in 2014!

  136. I need to have a new passport (renewed) by March 2015. When is the earliest I can apply for the renewed passport?

  137. I have applied for the renewal of my passport at the Paarl office on 31 March 2014.I did not receive it as yet and is becoming a concern now.On the Home Affair website the status is: Received to be processed. How long can this take?It is scary.

  138. My wife went to Randburg to get forms. She was told by a very nice lady that, if she is in a hurry, she should go to Wynberg where it takes 2-4 weeks as opposed to 6-8 in Randburg. That was very nice of her. So, we went to Wynberg, spent about 45 min to do necessary (my photos weren’t used, I had to take new ones on site). After 4 days I got sms that ID is ready and after 10 days same for passport. Excellent service, very happy with it.

  139. I have recently suffered a stroke and cannot write or stand in queues.Is there an agency of some sort who can renew my passport for me?

  140. I waited SEVEN years for my daughter’s full unabridged birth certificate… Each time I had to fill out new forms and pay the required R20.00. By the time we received it, two of the witnesses had died and one had moved overseas. My daughter received hers in May last year… No apologies from Home Affairs.

  141. hi,ek is by home affairs in belville. ek was beroof en aangerand en het my I.D verloor. ek en Jodine Pekeur het n baba maar wil die kind se van Theron maak maar hulle wil my nie help nie. ek het n sertifiseerde copy van my I.D en n avidavit maar nog steeds wil hulle my nie help nie. hoe kan ek die kind se van Theron maak.

  142. My I.D number is 830622 5127 08 6. How much will it be for the I.D card? My cellphone number is 062 064 9380. My address is 22 Blesbok Street,Kleinvlei,Eerste River 7100.Cape Town. Buron Jaco Theron. Jodine Pekeur number is 074 246 1192. I will await for your reply.

  143. My wife who is South African left SA 14 years ago but returned to live here permanently earlier this year. She is trying to import the car she had in the UK and we are told that unless she can produce her passport exit stamp from 2001 (!) she will not be allowed to do so. She no longer has that passport. It expired and was in her maiden name. So how can she prove she left the country on that date???

    • Hello Terry, thank you for contacting us! We are unable to answer your question as we only have limited knowledge when it comes to Visas. It would be best to contact Home Affairs to assist with this – Almene

  144. You don’t need to get passport photos anymore, as they have digital cameras and take their own photos. No charge.

  145. Hi,
    Thanks for the article
    What would take process be if I would just like to change my surname as I am now married
    What is the waiting period for that.

    Thanks a mil

  146. Well I have applied for my Official passport on the 10th of October 2014, I pray that I get it within next week… Which will be the 2nd week since I’ve applied for it. Wish me luck… My sister applied for hers and got it within 3 weeks. SA is making travelling more convenient. Thank you @HomeAffairsSA

  147. Hi Guys

    I need HELP

    My ID and My passport were stolen. I have an affidavit for the crime as well as certified copies made for my ID and passport my only HARD copy of identity is my drivers.

    I am going to india in 3 months time and need to urgently go and apply for a new passport and ID. Will my certified documents be ok as well as my drivers.

    I am stressing as I feel like I have “no identity” now.

    Any advice would be grand.

    Thank you

    • Hi Jenna, this should be okay, so long as you have the affidavit and all those certified copies with you. At the end of the day though, it’s up to Home Affairs, but I don’t see what else you could bring with you.

  148. Hi, i am traveling to Namibia tomorrow morning, i cant find my new passport, but my old one has not expired yet, can i still use it?

    • Hi Jacques, so long as your old passport still has at least 6 months validity beyond your date of return to (arrival in) South Africa, it should be fine. Just double-check that home-affairs hasn’t cancelled your old passport when you applied for a new one.

  149. My ID, Passport and other documents were stolen in March. I have since gotten a new ID. I took all the needed documents as well as an affidavit explaining the theft. They told me that I had to pay R400 extra as my passport, even-though it was stolen along with other valuables from my person was stolen, but not in from a bolted safe- literally their argument. It was negligence. I payed R800 for my new passport. This was at Stellenbosch Home Affairs. About an hour after I had left to attend my lecture (I am a student) at Melomed Mitchells Plain they phoned me, because they had to retake my thumbprint. :/ major shlep.

  150. Urgent question, what date do they use on your passport if you have applied. my date i have apply is on the 29/09/2014. Will it be the date you applied for your passport or when it was process? How many days different from the date you apply to the date that is on your passport?

    • Hi Barend, your valid-from date will usually be the date it’s processed, not the date applied for, to my knowledge. It’s called the “issue date”

  151. Hi!! My passport expires in April 2015 and I’m leaving for USA in mid-December, should I renew my passport now to be on the safe side??

    • Hi Luann, yes I would say renew your passport ASAP to ensure you don’t have any issues at check-in. You will keep your old passport since the visa will be in that passport, make sure home affairs is aware of this when you reapply and bring your existing passport with you.

  152. have applied for my passport on the 13th November this year, is it possible that I will have it before 19th of December?

  153. the renewal passport was applied for in London but as it is not ready an ETC has been issued to travel to SA. I have now been informed that the ETC is only one way and is not valid for the return ticket to the UK, surely this cannot be correct? If the return flight which is already booked is cancelled I will lose my job as well as have to pay double rent for apartments and penalties on the ticket. What is the point of an ETC if it is only 1 way ? If you attend a funeral you don’t move to the town / country where the funeral takes place , you still have to go back to your job and place of residence . Please advise, thank you .

    • Hi Patricia,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      We don’t know an awful lot about Emergency Travel Certificates.

      The airline would not be able to cancel your return ticket, however they are aloud to deny you boarding when trying to fly back to the UK.

      I’m not sure when you applied for your passport and when it will be ready. Will it be ready for collection when you are back home? Maybe you could request for it to be delivered.

      What I would suggest is to get in contact with your Immigration lawyer to see what they would advise.

      I hope you come right, and best of luck!

  154. Good Day. Is there anyway possible to speed up a passport application as we are departing the country in three weeks and one travelers passport has not arrived as yet.

    • Hi Aisha,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      Unfortunately there is no possible way to speed up ones passport application. What I would recommend is to follow up with Home Affairs, letting them know you applied for all travelers passports at the same time and still waiting on one more to arrive. Let them know you are also soon to depart, so they know it is a matter of urgency.

      Being over the Christmas period, this is their most busiest time, where people start applying for new passports from the beginning of October right through to December.

      Best thing would be to go in or give them a call, advise them your receipt number. See if they are able to track it in their system and advise how long until your passport is ready for collection.

      Best of luck!

  155. Hi there,
    I have a passport with an existing USA visa. My passport is about to expire and wondering what i can do with my existing visa once i have my new passport ? Do i just have it added to the existing one ?

    • H Frankie, usually one would just travel with both passports, so when applying for a new passport at home affairs, make sure they’re aware that you still have valid visas in your old passport, though they should not destroy the old passport in any case. The US immigration will just want to see that visa and that both passports apply to the same person. According to the US Embassy’s website:

      “Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, if the traveler has a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport, the traveler may present it, along with a new valid passport, at the Port of Entry.
      Please present the original expired passport, along with a new valid passport, at the Port of Entry. Both of the passports must indicate the same nationality, and the bearer’s name must be identical in both passports.
      Please note: A valid visa is not guarantee of entry into the United States. Final determination of entry is at the sole discretion of the CBP Officer reviewing the documentation.”

  156. Hi there!

    I got married in 2012 and have since changed my last name on my ID-document. Do I need to apply for a new passport (my current passport expires in 2018 only) with my new last name? Or would I be able to travel with my current passport and a certified marriage certificate?

    Can’t find the info anywhere!

    • Hi Hilde,

      Great to hear from you. You will not need to apply for a new passport, however when making your flight booking, the name and surname on your ticket needs to match the name and surname in the passport which you will be presenting at check-in. Airlines like SAA and a few others, are very strict and if the spelling is not exactly as per the passport being presented (even by one letter) you will be denied boarding.

      We also recommend you contact the airline you are wanting to travel with, and see what they advise as they will be able to give you the most up to date information.

      Best of Luck!

  157. South African, with UK passport in Houston on business trip. Passport stolen. How do I get UK visa re-issued and be allowed to re-enter uk? How long does it take to apply for a new SA passport once back in the UK?

    • Hi Narima,

      Sorry to hear of this unfortunate situation. Please can you clarify again. You mentioned you lost your UK passport but wanting to apply for a new SA passport and get a UK visa re-issued. As i’me not sure which passport you have lost and wanting to apply for I am not able to advise accordingly.
      If you lost your UK passport you would need to contact the British Embassy in the States. For a South African passport you would need to go to the South African Embassy, and they would need to advise you accordingly and then liaise with the British Embassy about re-issuing you with a new UK visa.
      However best you contact the Embassy of the passport you were holding and they can advise on the correct procedure to follow.

      Best of luck!

  158. Hi live in the UK and want to renew my SA passport. What is the earliest date from expiry can I do this? I.e can I apply for renewal more than 12 months before expiry?

    • Hi Lauren,

      Thanks for getting in touch! To my knowledge there is no time limit where one can apply for a new SA passport. Why I say this is, some people loose their passport and it is still valid for a couple years or they might have run out of pages for visa’s and need to re-apply. I would suggest you contact the SA Embassy to find out the correct procedures and they will be able to advise accordingly.

      Have a great day!

  159. Hi Everyone, we are meant to be flying to Mauritius on 23 Feb 2015 and my husband applied for his passport two weeks ago, in the hope that it would arrive on time for us to fly…it’s only been two weeks, but we are naturally getting anxious. Is there a travel company you can recommend that is able to let us know how much longer it will be? Does anyone have a contact we can call? We tried home affairs directly and they simply tell us the same thing “received and being processed”. I would appreciate your advice.

    • Hi Callyn,

      The processing time of a passport usually takes about 10 weeks as advised on their website.

      Unfortunately we do not have any contacts at Home Affairs and only they would be able to assist with this information.

      Maybe if you like to go and speak to a manager, its better speaking face to face then over the phone.

      Best of Luck!

  160. Aaron,
    My sons passport expires on 12 Aug 2015. We are going to fly to south africa on the 18th of February and back on the 23 to have this renewed. Consulate in Dubai says it would take 4 months, and we just cannot wait so long as we are moving to Vietnam in April. Question: will the let him travel? as it is a week into the 6 months expiry.

    • Hi Monica,

      Moving to Vietnam, sounds like a great experience!

      To my knowledge if one has purchased a return ticket the passengers passport must be valid for 6 months after date of return or the airline or immigration will not allow the passengers to board. You are welcome to contact the airline you are traveling with to see what they advise, as at the end of the day it is the immigration officials discretion.

      Best of Luck!

  161. Dear All,
    Just read the interesting comments and may get some good advise.
    A colleague of mine had his passport stolen. We did apply for a new one back in November. As he is living abroad we went through the usual process. For the time being – no passport.
    Any idea how we get it faster?
    Would it work to fly to SA to a Home Affairs office with a Power of Attorney and get the application processed and also collect it for him?
    Any advise is more than welcome.

    • Hi Sabina,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Unfortunately not. One can do regular follow ups from that side. The process would usually be longer when applying from abroad.

      Flying to South Africa to Home Affairs office with a Power of Attorney, im not sure if this would help. My best advise would be to contact them directly and see if it will be worth your while.

      Best of Luck and hope this is sorted out soonest.

  162. Can I apply for my passport renewal in say Malmesbury if I live in Cape Town? I’m sure when we were last in Malmesbury to apply for my daughter’s passport, they said she can only apply in the area where she lives. Is this so? Thanks

    • Hi Doros,

      Great to hear from you.

      To my knowledge one can apply at any Home Affairs branch. Its when doing ones drivers license you have to do it in your district.

      What I would suggest is calling before driving all the way out that side, just to clarify what the most up to date rules are.

      Home Affairs contact number is: 021 468 4500

      Best of Luck!

  163. Dear Marcelle,

    Thank you for the feedback. We did try to call Home Affairs, no call was ever answered and no message left on an answering machine returned. Our e-mails haven’t been answered.
    I tried all this via Johannesburg since November. 🙂
    Very sad situation.

    Thank you anyway

    • Thanks for the reply Sabina,

      This is not sounding to positive since Home Affairs are not answering their phones.

      Maybe someone based in South Africa could go to Home Affairs and do a follow up? Arrive with the necessary documents and proof that they are coming on behalf of the passenger who is not able to be presented.

      Best of Luck!

  164. RE: Passport renewal from outside SA.

    Passports in South Africa are renewed by Dept of Home Affairs fairly quickly – around 2 months BUT the problem comes in when it is dispatched from Dept of Home Affairs to the Diplomatic mail Dept because then it sits there until a bag is full and only then are the documents couriered. This can take two to three months and longer. However once it leaves the DHA they do have an FO number (foreign service dispatch no) on their system. They will give you a telephone number to phone which does not work!!!!! 012 3511231 – don’t bother trying. They will also NOT tell you to contact The DEPARTMENT OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS AND COOPERATION in Pretoria (who are extremely cooperative) on 012 351 1000 with your FO number and they will help you to get your passport to you via DHL or another courier service. All you need to do is to supply the courier company with a letter of authorisation and your documents will reach your door within a few days.

    • Hi there,
      Is this assistance you speak of applicable to someone living anywhere abroad? I have lost my passport and am not sure whether I should return to SA to apply for a new passport (I need this processed within 4 weeks in order to return to the UAE for work) or whether to apply for a new passport through the consulate (I have 3 and 1/2 months before I need to travel back home to South Africa for my leave period). Your advice in this regard would be appreciated.

    • Hi Tessa,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you living in the UK and lost your South African passport, I would suggest going to the South African Embassy in the UK to try apply for a new one. I am not sure on the processing time. The processing time in South Africa can be anything from 6 – 10 weeks as mentioned on their website. Sometimes it is quicker but its never a guarantee. I am not sure on the processing time when applying from abroad. I would suggest contacting the Embassy and see what information they can give.

      Best of Luck!

  165. Hi.
    Thanks for all the info.
    I just need some clarity on something before I head off to Home Affairs in Wynberg CT. I need to renew mine and my 2 daughters passports. Do they absolutely have to come along? Or can I take all their docs and apply? Their dad doesn’t need to renew his and he travels a lot so will be away when I apply, does he have to come along to apply for our children or can he just sign the forms?
    One more thing, I need to apply for my 2 daughters unabridged birth certificates. Those of you with experience of this, How long +- will they take to process?
    Thanks so much

    • Hi Taryn,

      Thanks for getting in touch. To my knowledge they would need to be present when applying for their ID’s.

      It can take up to 8 weeks to acquire an Unabridged Birth Certificate from the date of application. However this is just a rough guideline and suggest you contact Home Affairs as they would be able to answer any queries you might have and provide the most up to date information.

      Best of Luck!

  166. Hey
    I applied for my passport exactly 2 weeks ago bt no sms from home affairs. I m starting to panic as I m living on Thursday for Easter holidays


    • Hi Lucy,

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      The processing time of a passport usually takes about 6 -10 weeks as advised on their website depending on the backlog.

      Unfortunately we do not have any contacts at Home Affairs, I would suggest you contact them to see the waiting time.

      Or maybe you can go directly to Home Affairs and do a follow up.

      Best of Luck!

  167. BEWARE !!! If you are thinking of using SA Fast Track!!!
    SA Fast Track is a company based in South Africa claiming to expedite the application process and delivery of South African passport renewals, birth certificates etc. to South Africans living abroad. The company is legit but once you pay the fee you do not get any feedback and all emails get ignored. Phone calls are also not answered. They do not deliver on the services they advertise and also ignore queries for refunds when they fail to deliver in terms of their service agreement. Overall, very poor customer service and an unprofessional company operating a SCAM!!! I was desperate and paid for the ‘premium service’ at a premium price of £450 and surprise surprise the fraudsters did not deliver!! When I paid the £15 joining fee, I received a lot of follow-up emails and calls from them and I very naively completed an application and paid the huge fee £450. After payment, no emails or correspondence received. My emails and calls continues to get no response. I am still waiting for my documentss which they should have delivered a month ago in terms of their service agreement. Im soooooo angry with myself for believng in this scam. I know I will not see my refund in terms of their T&C’s. Do not use them. The testimonials they use are fake and everything they stand for is one big lie!!!!

    • Hi Charles,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Thanks for bringing it to our attention and we will pass this feedback to SA Fast Track.

    • Hi Charles Botha. Thank you for the message you have written here. We have been notified by travelstart of this feedback.

      To be honest “Charles” we don’t have you or your email address in our data base as a client, or as a previous client.

      I would certainly like for you to get in contact with us regarding the experience you write about. Send us an email (You will have our email address) and you can make the email subject Attn Martin and I will then get in contact you.

      I can 100% assure we are a registered vendor with Home Affairs and I would happily discuss this with you if you would give your REAL name for “SCAM” accusations as above.

      Hoping to hear from you soon.


  168. Hi
    We live in Mongolia where there is no SA Embassy/Consulate/High Commission. My son is 10 and his passport expires in January 2016.

    We’re visiting SA at the moment and wanted to renew his passport now, but they said it’s impossible since he still has a valid passport and needs it to go back to Mongolia on Friday. My son and I can come back to SA in June for 4 weeks, but my husband won’t be able to join us. So application then is also not possible.

    And they don’t have any alternative for us. Surely we’re not the first expats with this problem?

    We can go to China for a new application, but according to them, they cancel the valid one before they issue the new one. And we can’t stay in China indefinitely since he attends school in Mongolia.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Clarisa,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      As we do not specialize in renewals of passports for expats living abroad or even for South Africans back home, we would not be able to advise accordingly.

      The information already provided by Home Affairs is what one would need to go by. Yes this is a tricky questions, however I am not sure on the way forward.

      I am not sure if this would work, but if one said his old passport was lost, go to the police station to get an affidavit verifying this, and then while in SA apply for his new passport while the whole family is here. Again I am not sure, if this is permitted so it’s best to check with Home Affairs.

      Best of Luck!

  169. Hi,

    Where can one get the current average waiting time for a new passport application?

    • Hi Karl,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You can go directly onto Home Affairs website where it will give this information.

      It says roughly 6 – 10 weeks. However if there is no backlog it can be much faster.

      However I do suggest contacting them to get the most up to date information.

  170. Hi

  171. I would like to know where must I go by the network if I want to check if my visa is ready for collection please help me

    • Hi Lu, I’m not sure about South African visas I’m afraid, I would suggest that you check with the office through whom you applied for that information.

  172. I went to Wynberg to renew my SA passport. After a four hour wait to get in to the main room, I was told that I had to go to Bellville as I was not born in this country! I’ve only lived here for 35 years. There was a surgeon from Groote Schuur hospital in the exact same situation. There is no mention of it on their web nor are they willing to post the news which came into effect September 2014. Totally rude, incompetent individuals with no respect for anyone’s time.

  173. FYI Cape Town Home Affairs only allows 100 people in on a Saturday. For two weekends I got there at 9am and 8.30am and the security refused to allow me in. And I was only COLLECTING. The website state Saturdays for collections but the staff seems to think different. The posters in front states Saturdays 100 APPLICANTS note APPLICANTS contrary to the website. They will only allow people wanting death and birth certificates. FYI I stood for 1hr 30mins and they didn’t let any other people who were collecting in. Even though at 10am people who came out were saying it was empty inside. We were 30 people outside waiting but we were refused but security and a Manager to be let in.
    So be there very early if you want to collect. Like 6:30am. And note HOME AFFAIRS really does not care about you standing while there is nobody inside. They only do 100 on a Saturday. If 100 poeple are assisted and processed by 9:30… well I suppose they sit around doing nothing for 3hrs until its time to go home.

    • Hi Faizel,

      Thanks for this feedback! It’s really good to know.

      This does not sound positive, even though empty inside Home Affairs, they are not able to assist others waiting outside only there just to collect documents.

  174. Hi,

    I am planing on going to Edenvale Home Affairs tomorrow to renew my passport.

    Are you able to advise what documents I need to take with to renew my passport?

    Also what is the fee one can expect to pay and do you need to take cash or are the credit\debit card facilities?

    Thanks in advance.


    • Hi Brent,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      What to bring when applying for a new South African passport:

      South African ID document
      Passport photos – usually come in sets of 4 and cost about R35
      Your old passport
      Cash – R400 (March 2012 this price could have changed so best to contact Home Affairs to follow up) + R10 to buy a Coke from the vending machine in Home Affairs if you need.
      A pen
      Your patience and a good attitude if you get there on a particularly busy day 🙂

  175. Hi Marcelle – just want to say cost is still R400 – and no ID photos were required. I applied today as my passport expired. I was in and out in Mitchells Plain Home Affairs office in 1 hour (14:30 – 15:30)

  176. If you are thinking of using a company called SA Fast Track for obtaining your civic documents – short answer : DO NOT USE THEM!!! I completely agree with the earlier post regarding their dodgy business. I paid for a 9 working day service costing an eye watering £379, and its now going onto 3 months and still waiting. You get no updates and all emails go unanswered. Furtherore, I contacted Home Affairs last week and they say no application has been submitted for me!!! I feel totally scammed and not surprising all requests for refund also gets igored. They may be a registered company with loads of ‘glowing’ testimonials on their website, but dont be fooled as they will steal your money!!!

    • Just wanted to alert people that SAFastTrack has gone into Liquidation.
      Below is quote from the website:

      29 May, 2015
      by Staff Reporter in OPINION

      “”””SA Fast Track, a Home Affairs document procurement service company, has gone into liquidation leaving many people out of pocket and without vital documents such as passports and birth certificates.

      SA Fast Track, a company that offered Home Affairs document procurement services to South Africans across the globe, have published a story on their website explaining that they have gone into liquidation. This comes as a shock to many South Africans who have paid good money for their services.””””

  177. I am travelling to the UK with my family at the end of the year and my son has dual citizenship with a British and South African passport. His South African passport expires in March next year and we are leaving for the UK in December this year. I read that you cannot renew your South African passport and you need to apply for a new one, but can only do so when the current one expires. Does my son not need 6 months valid travel time on his South African passport in order to travel, or can he just show his British one?

    • Hi Ryan,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You are able to apply for a new passport before the old one expires. If you are departing in December, I would start the application now, as sometimes there is a backlog in waiting for ones new passport to arrive.

  178. i have applied for a new passport as my current one is expiring in 5 months. However the day after i applied for my passport i was informed i need to travel broad next week. I currently hold a South African and a British Passport, so leaving the country and entering the UK is not a problem. Will they allow me back into SA on my current passport with 5 months left on it, seeing as it is entering SA on a SA passport.

    • Hi Geoffrey,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      To my knowledge I was told that passengers with duel citizenship has to leave on their South African passport and enter back on their SA passport.

      I really could not say if this would be ok to travel on a passport which is not valid for 6 months after date of return. It depends on the person at immigration if they will let you through. And up to the passengers discretion if they wish to take the chance. I can’t see it being a problem if the person at immigration is having a good day.

  179. Hi…I live and work in the UK, but am not yet a UK citizen,I will be travelling to South Africa in December and my South African passport expires in my March 2016, would I be able to return to the UK in January without renewing my SA passport….and can I make an online application now for the new passport and still use the old one to fly to SA….and do they post the passports abroad….desperate for this advice please!

    • Hi Chantal,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge your passport needs to be valid for 6 months from date of return.

      Applications for passports made outside of the country can be submitted to the nearest South Africa embassy.

      I would suggest contacting them direct to start the application so you have a new passport for when travelling to South Africa in December.

  180. My child needs to renew a passport but it ask for both parents. What can I do …. Should I wait to renew his passport after he turns 16 so that he can … Please help

    • Hi Mohamed,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      I am not sure what you mean by,”so that he can… Please help”

      If your son needs to travel last minute he would need to have his valid passport at hand in order for him to travel as Home Affairs to not issue temporary passports. I would not leave it.

      If Home Affairs are asking for both parents details you will need to provide these details.

  181. hi, i renewed my passport recently with Home Affairs and was issued with a new passport that has an entirely new passport number. Do you know if I can still use my valid visas for the US and schengen states that are in my old passport?

    • Hi Ana,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Yes you should be able to use those visa’s if they are still valid. You will need to travel with both passports though.

      However I suggest you contact the Embassies direct to make double sure 🙂

  182. Hi, I am in the process of getting a new ID and drivers because I recently got married. We are travelling in August – can I still use my old passport on my maiden name?? Please help! It is still valid so don’t want to get a new one if I don’t need to..

    • Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      As long as your passport is valid for 3 months from date of return, has 2 blank pages and the name and surname on your ticket match the passport being presented at check-in you will be able to travel on that passport.

      However I do suggest you contact the airline you are traveling with direct to make sure.

  183. I will go early in morning to do necessary- just to confirm please – My passport expired 2011 where only 1 page was used -My Previous passports were endorsed for another 10yrs validity after expiry if there was sufficient pages open. Does this apply /not apply any longer – If not I must apply for a new passport – Seen different requirements – believe its dated – so is Cost R400 ? bring along old passport, Id book & aplication form to be completed at counter! Are there any other mandatory documents required – I believe a Digital photograph is taken by DHA so no photos required ! Appreciate any errors and or additions to be pointed out TIA

    • Hi Hans,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      When applying for a new SA passport you will need the following:

      South African ID document
      Passport photos – usually come in sets of 4 and cost about R35
      Your old passport
      Cash – R400 (March 2012) + R10 to buy a Coke from the vending machine in Home Affairs (As this blog was written in 2012 so the cost could have changed this then.)
      A pen

      I suggest you contact Home Affairs direct to confirm if anything else is required from their side they will be able to answer any questions you might have.

  184. Hie,
    my passport will expire next year december, and l have 3yr scholarship to study in america, will l need to apply for a new one and will the HA grant me, since the one l have is still valid for a year and a half.please email me, Thanks

    • Hi Nono, usually what happens if you have a valid study permit/visa for the UK, one valid beyond the date of expiration of your passport is that you will travel with both travel documents: your old passport with the valid visa and a new passport. To double-check this info, I suggest you contact the Embassy on the details on this page:

  185. Hie guys i ‘ve applied for my 2nd passport last week, 1st one got expired. it took me about 20 minutes for the whole process. I was told i will get an sms shortly and will recieve another one after some few weeks. Now i have a problem i never received the 1st sms and i have been trying to track my application by smsing to 32551 but am getting No Passport application for this I.D number. anyone can shed some light to what is happening here ? should i go back to home affairs or should i give it few weeks ? thanx inadvance

    • Hi Terry! If it were me I’d probably try and go back to home affairs to find out what happened. If you have any receipt for the application, bring that with you. you could also call them on 0800 60 11 90 to find out more.

  186. Greetings. I renewed my passport here in S.Korea due to the old one expiring. Will I have to hand in my old one or what do they do with it? I was instructed to bring it along on collection.

    • Hi Peter, you should be allowed to keep your old passport, I know I was the last time I applied for a new one. They will likely stamp it with a void stam and they may cut the corner to indicate that it’s no longer valid, but you should be allowed to keep it.

  187. Hi,

    Thanks for the post.

    I went to get my passport renewed yesterday, following most of your directions as per this article. There have been a few updates to the system, and I am glad to report it was a smooth process for me.

    -Arrive early. I was about 4th. I am certain this helps.
    – I didn’t need any photographs for a passport renewal; they were captured there digitally.
    – I didn’t need a pen.
    – It opened at 08h00.

    All the best.

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for the feedback and inside tips. This will really help 🙂

      Glad it all went smoothly with your passport renewal 🙂

  188. Hi, Got an issue and can’t seem to get hold of someone at home affairs to clarify, maybe you guys have some contacts.
    I have an expired passport with a 10 year valid USA visa (PPA) in my maiden name Paula Erskine
    Have a valid passort in my maiden name Paula Erskine (PPB)
    got a new passport so my husband and I could travel on the same name Paula Elliott. (PPC)
    I want to know if they have canceled PPB as i got a new one (PPC) even though PPB was still valid.
    It would make going to the USA much easier if I was on the same name and don’t have to explain myself and take along marriage certificates etc.
    Please help me clarify and if you have any legitimate contacts

    • Hi Paula,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are unable to get hold of anyone at Home Affairs you will need to go into them. Unfortunately we do not have access to their records or what passports or ID documents are cancelled. To my knowledge if Home Affairs issues a new passport they usually cancel the old one but we suggest you contact them direct as only they would be able to clarify this for you.

      As you are wanting to travel on PPC with your married name you will now have to take your marriage certificate as your USA visa is in PPA with your maiden name.

  189. I am currently living in the UK, I travelled half way across the country to London to renew, mine and my daughters SA passports, the service and the attitude of the staff was terrible and very unhelpful. I had all the correct paperwork, but because of me having dual nationality, and according to her I was missing a proof of registry certificate from Germany, which doesn’t exist, as I got dual citizenship through birth, she refused to help!
    We are visiting SA in December for 2 weeks, my plan is to go straight to home affairs to renew our passports, what are my chances over Christmas time to receive my passport in 2 weeks? How long does it take to get an emergency passport as a just in case?

    • Hi Karin,

      Thanks for getting in touch and sorry to hear for your unfortunate experience when trying to apply for your SA passports abroad.

      Christmas is a very busy period for Home Affairs and we do not have access to their records if there is a backlog or not.

      It’s best you contact them when you are in South Africa and see what info they can give if 2 weeks is sufficient or not.

  190. I am a south african living in belgium, with my husband who is a belgian citizen. My son has a belgium passport as this is where he was born. Is he eligible to a south african passport as well?????

    • Hi Leigh,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will need to check with the Belgium Home Affairs if duel citizenship is allowed. As some countries do not permit this.

  191. Still waiting for my passport after two weeks,today I get told my passport has been printed,and now they’re busy enhancing my photo,then the official starts telling me our finger prints are not all the same,last week I was told my passport should arrive anytime this week,can anyone tell me how many stages a passport goes through before been dispatched to its office(East London)of application.

    • Hi Anthony,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You would need to follow up with Home Affairs direct to see how many stages a passport goes through before they dispatch it on their side.

      They could have various departments which assist in the processing of a new passport, however only Home Affairs would be able to answer this question.

  192. I am leaving for Florence Italy in a months time, everything was approved by consulate, today is 21 September 2015 and I’m scheduled to fetch my visa tomorrow at embassy office. I have just discovered that my passport was stolen who means I have no document besides invoice to proof that the visa actually belongs to me. What am I to do? My ticket & accomodation are booked but it seems that I won’t be able to even leave my country (South Africa). Will it be possible for me to get a temporary passport provided that I already have this visa? Please is there any advise out there? Need help ASAP

    • Hi Elmarie,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      When a South African passport holder applies a Schengen visa they leave their passport at the official visa handling agency or Embassy where they applied at. They will put the visa in the passport and then confirm when your passport is ready for collection.

  193. I struggle with the DS160 for visa application to the US. They ask if you previously went to the US. I went in 1998 to the US but lost that visa and passport after I renewed my passport in 2008. Must I say I lost my previous passport or just say I never was there, because they ask for visa numbers etc for previous visits. Furthermore my child just turned 16 (we travel in Dec). Will he be able to travel on his child’s passport, what we used to buy the plain tickets?

    • Hi Hendrina,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      The difference between a child and adult passport in the validity. A child passport is valid for 5 years and an adult for 10 years.

      Any passenger 12 years an older needs to apply for an adult passport which will be valid for 10 years.

      The name and surname on the ticket needs to match the name and surname of the passport the passenger will be traveling with.

  194. Thanks for answering. When we renewed my child’s passport in March he was 15 and they said he can only apply for another child’s passport, he turned 16 last month. Will they allow him to travel to the US Dec with the child’s passport?

    • Hi Hendrina,

      To my knowledge an adult who is 12 years and older is not allowed to travel on a child’s passport.

      However you welcome to check with Home Affairs and the airlines direct, they should be able to give the most up to date information.

  195. Can anyone tell me how long it takes from application stage to actually receiving your SA passport . My fiancé has to get a new passport as he only has 1 page left in it, but is due to fly to the UK mid November. Will he have it in time?

    • Hi Tracy,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      It will take about 30 – 40 days to process the application and issue the passport. This passport will be valid for for 10 years.

      Sometimes the processing time of the passport varies (can be longer or shorter) depending if Home Affairs have a backlog or not. You will need to ask at the Home Affairs you are applying at and see what they say.

  196. Hi Guys, so an update on the new system of home affairs. Just went to get my passport renewed (so that is the new smart card passport books) and also my smartcard ID at the same time.

    So you don’t need to take any photos with anymore, or at least not at the Home Affairs in Pretoria CBD. They are very well organised and I was so impressed. I took with me: multiple pens, my old passport and enough passport and ID photos, which ended up being a waste of space, as I did not need ANY of them. You don’t need to fill in ANY forms at all, or take photos with, or show your old passport, you just need your current ID book when you pay for the new issues.

    You get given an electronic ticket with all of your info on, and a ticket number, which gets called out electronically and you get directed to a booth, where THEY take your photo and then your fingerprints electronically (no ink, which is supercool). This is the new biometric system. My husband just went for his smart card ID and it took him 20 minutes, but because I was there with ID smartcard issue and the passport renewal, took me slightly longer, but it was hassle free. So they will sms me once I need to go and fetch the items, where I obviously have to take the electronic slip that they gave me a copy of. I think the hardest part was just getting in, we were there only at about 9.30 am (because we stopped to take photos first at postnet in hatfield), and there was about 20 people outside the building in a que.

    They take about 40 people inside at a time, to go through the process, so that took about 45 minutes. There are however a bunch of guys selling pens and taking photos outside, which you DON’T NEED, so please don’t waste your money. Also, the security guard seems to let some people pass through, which seems to be an under the table agreement, if you know what I mean (the car guard said, he has a connection to get us in for a price, so we don’t have to queue, I said NO, I hate bribery and it is totally unfair to all the people queuing, so just avoid that). But all in all not a bad experience, even the officials inside was so friendly.

    So word of advice, please don’t get PASSPORT/ ID PICS to take with, you will just waste your money. I will give you a follow up, on how long it takes to get the documents. 🙂

    • Hi Chené,

      Thanks for this awesome feedback! Wow they really have stepped up and it seems hassle free and an overall good experience.

      I was really impressed reading this and actually looking forward to applying for my ID smartcard. Hopefully its the same hassle free process for all applications, and that Cape Town Home Affairs is also on-baord with this.

      Big thanks for the details info 🙂

  197. Hi,

    I am relocating to Jersey, Channel Islands for 5 years in 2016, however my South African Passport expires in three years. Can I renew the passport before I leave for Jersey or must I wait for 3 years and then apply for renewal? I would prefer to do it before I go but I don’t know if you can renew so long before the time.

    Alternatively, is it possible to renew a South African passport from Jersey or will I have to go to the UK to have it renewed?


    • Hi Maria,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      You should be able to renew your passport before then. As some people do this as they have lost theirs and it was still valid for another 5 years.

      Best to contact Home Affairs and see what information they can provide you with.

      With regards to renewing your South African passport while abroad we don’t specialize in this however I think this should not be a problem you could apply for it through the South African Embassy.

      Best to contact Home Affairs they should be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  198. Was in & out of Home Affairs in 30 minutes flat today.
    Got a ticket stub, paid @ the cashier, had my pic taken, waited for my fingerprints to be taken and received the SMS as I was walking away from the desk.
    I needed my ID, old passport + R400 cash.
    According to them current processing time is 3-6 weeks – I’ll update accordingly once I receive it.

    • Hi Madre,

      Sounds like you had a really good experience applying for your passport and Home Affairs have really upped their level of service.

      Thanks so much for the feedback. Would be great if you can let us know how long the processing time was for you.

    • Which Home Affairs is the most effecient and quickest to go too right now?

    • Hi Jen,

      This depends in which area you are in.

      I know in Cape Town area, Paarl Home Affairs have had some good reviews. But this also depends on the day you decide to go and time.

    • Received the SMS-notification that my passport is ready for collection today lunch time – a week after applying. In 2013 my sister also received her passport in under a week.
      Anyway, picked it up – queued 10 minutes for ticket stub, sat waiting for 10 minutes or so, my number was called (they wanted my receipt and L+R thumb print), and 5 minutes later I was out of there, spanky new passport in hand.

    • Hi Madre,

      Thanks for this awesome feedback.

      Really put a smile on my face reading this. Home Affairs have really stepped up as we have had quite a few great responses.

  199. Need urgent advice. I am currently residing in Namibia on a work permit, but came to SA for work. I applied for a new passport on 6 October 2015 followed up on the status of the application multiple times and the passport has only been transferred to the printing phase on 5 November 2015. I was supposed to fly back to Namibia today (7 November 2015) but could not leave due to not having my new passport. I am writing my final exams in 2 weeks time in Windhoek and am really stressed. My old passport expires 28 December 2015. Do anyone perhaps know if I will be allowed to travel to Namibia with my old passport, given I have a return ticket before the passport expiry date?? And perhaps how long it takes from printing to collection?

    • Hi Elmie,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      Your passport needs to be valid for 6 months from date of return to your final destination. If this is not the case you will not be allowed to travel.

      Unfortunately we do not have access to the data logs on how long a passport can take. You will need to contact them directly and do a follow up to see how long it will be.

  200. My South African friend who is married to a non-South African lives in the UK.
    Her daughter who was born in the UK and is 17 wishes to apply for a South African passport when they visit Cape Town next month.

    Is the daughter eligible for a SA passport and what is the procedure?
    Would she first need to apply for a SA ID card?
    What documents need to be submitted to Home Affairs?
    Do the parents need to give a letter of consent?
    Will both parents need to accompany their daughter to Home Affairs?


    • Hi Steve,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid I won’t be able to advise you on the procedures for a Non South African passport holders wanting to apply for a passport as we specialize in South African travellers.

      I would suggest they contact Home Affairs direct they should be able to give the correct procedures to follow and what all would be required documents needed when applying for a South African passport as a Non South African resident.

  201. I applied for my new SA passport on 10 December, and hadn’t received it by the date I left SA (2 Jan16). Barrack St Home Affairs issued me an emergency passport (a single piece of paper that only allows one to leave), and said I had to apply for this document again to come back in. (I travelled on my Canadian passport once out of SA).
    I’m now stressing about re-entering SA – my passport expired on 2Jan16, the emergency one was only valid to leave the country, and I still haven’t received an SMS to say my new one is ready (I’d get my mom to collect it for me…. hoping that’s allowed).
    You guys have any knowledge of whether one can get back in on an expired SA passport (+ ID book + receipt for new passport application)? Otherwise I could enter SA on my Canadian, but that’s illegal.

    • (Sorry didn’t say that to try get the emergency one again to re-enter is going to be impossible – closest SA consulate is in LA and I’m in Seattle for work, and they aren’t answering their phone, and they are not supposed to issue the emergency ones anymore anyway… Barrack St Home Affairs wasn’t supposed to give me one and I almost wasn’t let out of the country. So coming back into SA on a new emergency passport isn’t an option.)

    • Hi Katherine,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      The new law is that Home Affairs do not issue emergency passports anymore.

      This is up to the immigration officials discretion if they will allow you to enter the country or not on an expired SA passport, you should be able to present your valid Canadian passport. You will need to check if a visa is required or not then.

      I suggest you ask your mom to contact Home Affairs to go in to see if they can give a date when your passport will be ready and if they will allow her to collect your passport on your behalf. If this is possible she must ask what documentation they would require her to produce when collecting your passport.

      For any further info I suggest you contact a South Africa Embassy and speak to an agent they should be able to give further info.

  202. Hi There

    I am moving to Dubai in March and had to renew my passport last week. Is there any way of fast tracking an SA passport?


    • Hi April,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You should have received a receipt when applying for your passport.

      You can contact Home Affairs and give them the receipt number to see if they will be able to fast track in on their side and advise how far along until you receive your passport.

  203. Hi there,

    My passport is ready for collection. Do I have to wait in the big queue when doing this? Or is it an in and out type of situation? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.


    • Cape Town (Barrack St Home Affairs by the way 🙂

    • I drove past Home Affairs at 7:30am the other morning and there must have been about 40 people already waiting.

      Best of luck.

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      One can’t really say how long the queue is going to be on the day you decide to collect.

      Their should be a separate queue for collections. My best advised is go as early as possible like 7am as people are already queuing then.

  204. Hi,

    How long does it take to have a name change and renew ones passport and ID/smart card in South Africa?

    Which Home Affairs office is recommended for fast processing time in the Johannesburg area?

    Does Home Affairs take the old passport?

    If the old passport is still valid for a few months on the date of passport renewal can I still use my old passport?

    My return flights are booked under my old name on the old passport and the airline specified that it will not allow me to board my return flight with a different name.

    Thank you in advance

    • Hi Tandi,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      We are not able to give an exact time frame of how long Home Affairs will take to issue a new passport.

      It can take anything from a 1 weeks up to a couple of weeks depending on their backlog.

      Best to go to a branch which is outside of the city center as they usually (not always) seem to have a quicker.

  205. I went to home affairs in November to apply for my new passport and I. D after getting married and moving over seas. I am however having a horrible time tertiehing them after it has been ready for collection for more than a month. I especially went to the police station with my mother to have two affidavit’s done giving my mother authorization to pick it up for me along with hers.

    She was treated horribly and refused any help.

    I am having no luck via email ano running out of options.

    Any advise?

    • HI Leana,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      I’m afraid we do access to their records or have the authority who is permitted to pick documents up from Home Affairs.

      You would need to contact Home Affairs direct and ask to speak to a supervisor direct and get a name. Hopefully they would be able to assist and point you in the right direction.

      Best of luck.

  206. Please leave your comment…hi my passport will be expiring in two weeks and I need to travel to Mozambique for three days can I be allowed to cross the border thanks in advance

    • Hi Olivia,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Please see link below a which gives further information on applying for an emergency passport.

      You will need to contact Home Affairs direct as they will be able to give the most up to date information how long it will take and if they are able to process an emergency passport within the required time.

  207. Hi,

    Thank you once again for this forum!!!
    I thought I should give feedback on my experience.

    As mentioned in an earlier post I had to renew my passport. I was told it takes 6+ months to do it via the consular. There were many complications with my renewal including a name change & was told I need an unabridged birth certificate & tons of paper work to process my application this side. This 6 months time window which they state it takes would not have worked for me. Anyway I then decided to come to South Africa to renew my passport.

    I went to Randburg, took 2 hours. I was able to change my name, renew my passport & also applied for smart ID. I was told processing time takes 2-6 weeks, however within 7 days, including weekend I got an SMS saying both my passport & smart ID is ready for collection.

    I then retuned for collection which took 1 hour.

    Thank you for the forum.


  208. I have applied for a new passport and received the sms to say it can be collected at my office of application. Only now the office says they cannot find it! How can I track my passport to see where it is?

    • Hi Petra,

      Sorry to hear about this.

      I can believe it is quite frustrating.

      I’m afraid I am not sure as to the what one can do, I would suggest speaking to Home Affairs to see if you can speak to a supervisor to see if someone else can be of more assistance by checking in the data base and trying to track it.

      Wish I could have been of more help.

      Best of luck

  209. when applying for a new passport due to a name change does the new passport use the same passport number as the old passport or is it a different number?

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Every time a person applies for a new passport (even if the name and surname is still the same or not) the passport number changes. This is for security reasons.

  210. This website is so out of date. Why has it not been updated?!!!
    Home Affairs opens at 8 not 7.30am. When getting a passport renewed don’t spend money or hassle with getting photos done because they take their own photos there and won’t use the ones you bring in.
    A website like this should be updated so that it is relative to be really useful, not a few years old.
    Despite all this, the experience went relatively smoothly this morning, although took a long time since I got there at 6.30 and there was already a queue of about 40 people there. I was out by 9.20.

    • Hi Steve, thank you for drawing our attention to these discrepancies, we have updated the article re your comments. Much appreciated. Warm regards, Rebecca, Travelstart

  211. Can I still use my current passport whilst waiting for the new one?? I am going to Botswana next week My passport is still valid for 6 months I have booked to go to Namibia in Oct and therefore would like to go and apply for a new passport before I leave for Botswana so that I have a new passport by the time I come back

    • Hi Nelia,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You should be able to keep your old passport while applying for a new one.

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

  212. can someone else collect your new passport on your behalf?

    • Hi Jono,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge it is not possible for someone else to collect on your behalf as you need to give your finger print upon collection.

  213. Russel, what a legend! I live in China and I’m running out of pages. Can I send my application from here and ask someone to collect on my behalf. No way, too good to be true. Where can I find a list of consulates I can apply from? I’m trying to avoid having to fly home for this.

    • Hi Joanne,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      This blog was written in 2012 things might have changed since then.

      I would suggest you contact the South African Embassy and they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  214. Thanks for the post. Time to update it though as most Home Affairs are now digital so you dont bring photos or complete forms.

  215. Hi Sir & Madam

    I want to know when can I renew my passport it’s expire November 2016 so must I wait for that MONTH to renew my passport? How long does it take to renew a passport and how much is it. Thank you. Please REPLY to my eamil address PLEASE.

    • Hi Ruth,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      On our blog is shows R400 for a new passport however this was posted in 2012 and the price could have changed.

      A new passport can take anything from 7 working days up to a couple of weeks depending on the backlog Home Affairs have.

      You should be able to apply for your passport a couple months before it expires as sometimes the waiting period for a new passport can take up to 6 weeks maybe a bit longer.

      I do suggest you contact Home Affairs direct as they specilise in this area and will be able to give the most up to date information.

  216. Hi how much is the passport this year.

    • Hi Ruth,

      For the most up to date information on how much a new passport costs, you would need to contact Home Affairs and see what they are charging.

  217. Is it true that a child’s passport expires the day he/she turns 16? My daughter is 16 and will be travelling to Europe soon. Her passport’s expiry date is only in November 2017. She got this passport when she was 14. Can she still use this passport to travel in September this year or do we need to apply for a new passport?

  218. Hi I have non consecutive pages in my passport. Can I still apply for a visa for a country in Africa and travel using that passport . There is still open space on other pages

    • Hi Parker,

      For this you will need to contact the Embassy you are apply through. They will be able to provide you with all the information required when applying for a visa through them as they will be the ones granting your visa.

  219. Hi Guys

    Please Help.

    My Passport is Expiring within 5 months,
    I just received a job opportunity for a week in Dubai.

    Someone mentioned I need to have 6 months left before expiration, or I can not re enter SA.

    Does anyone have any more info?

    Thanks so Much

  220. I applied for a new SA Passport at the SA Consulate in London, UK on the 25 April 2016. I was told that it will be ready in 4 months, 25 August 2016. I have been trying to phone the consulate to enquire whether my passport is ready, but needless to say they do not answer their phones (telephone keeps on ringing out), I have sent them two emails already and also to no avail. What can I do to find out whether my passport is ready for collection? Is it possible to go to the Consulate with my application receipt, ID and old SA passport and hope that they would be able to assist me?

    • Hi Ronel,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Yes I would suggest you go direct to the Consulate, to see what the hold up is and why you have not received a reply to any of your mails.

      Maybe they have a backlog but only they will be able to advise accordingly.

  221. I submitted an application through the SA Consulate London, UK on the 25 April 2016. To date I have not had any notification that my passport is ready for collection, etc. I have tried numerous times to phone them, but needless to say nobody answers the telephone. I have also sent three emails to them that has gone unanswered. I have tried to call the passport section of the DHA in Johannesburg, but after numerous tries and holding on for 30 minutes without anybody answering I just gave up. Is it possible to just go to the SA Consulate in London with all my information and hope that they would be able to assist me? If anybody has any ideas please help!!

    • HI Ronel,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Yes I suggest you go directly to the SA consulate where you applied to follow up on your passport. Present them with all the documentation and ask if they could please do a follow up on your passport. They should be able to give you feedback.

      Best of luck

  222. Hi Marcelle

    Thank you very much for responding to my post. Since my post I had a call from the SA Consulate in London on Monday, 12 September advising that my passport had arrived and picked up my passport from their offices yesterday, 14 September 2016.

  223. When you apply to renew your existing Passport before it expires. Do you retain your Passport number of the curren (old) passport onto the new passport ?

    • Hi Rene,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      When you apply for a new passport they will always provide you with a new passport number. It’s not the same as an ID book where you will always keep the same ID number.

  224. 6 months left before expiration, or I can not re enter SA

    is this a true staement ???

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Your passport needs to be valid for 6 months from date of return from your trip. If it is not, they will not permit you to leave the country. For any further queries please contact the airline you will be traveling with, they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  225. hello
    Is it true that after 2 months without collecting your passport they get thrown away?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      They say for drivers licence it’s 6 months. However I am not sure how long they keep a passport for, before they discard of it.

      You would need to contact Home Affairs direct to get the most up to date information.

  226. Hi, my daughter’s passport is expiring in less than 5 months. I applied online for a new passport but need to R 800 (R400 penalty) fee. Should we wait until the passport expires before we can apply? We are leaving overseas within 3 months.

    • Hi Melanie,

      You do not need to wait for the passport to expire before you apply for a new one.

      Please keep in mind she will not be able to travel overseas on a passport which is expiring in 5 months as a passport needs to be valid for 6 months from dates of return as well as have 2 full blank pages.

    • I have a similar problem. I submitted my application online with the required reason as “passport expires in less than 6 months”. However on the payment page it says I have a penalty of an extra R400 to pay with the reason “passport expires in *more* than 6 months”.

      I don’t understand — either it has interpreted my application incorrectly, or either I don’t understand why I’m required to pay the penalty. Does anyone have any experience/advice? I’m hoping if I go to home affairs in person, I may convince them that I should only pay R400?

    • Hi Megan,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      For this I would contact the bank direct who you are renewing your passport through. They will be able to advise as to why penalties are being charged.

      I hope you come right.

  227. Hello my partner is SA and his passport expires 12 March 2017, will he be able to book a one way ticket in March and sort his passport out when he is in South Africa? His 84 yr old mother is ill but not sure if an emergency.
    I am travelling on a valid UK passport, can I book one way and wait until his passport arrives to then both book flights back together.
    Very stressed about this .

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will not be allowed to enter South Africa on a one way ticket when entering on a British Passport.

      I suggest you contact the Embassy direct for both queries, and they will be able to assist in answering any questions you might have.

  228. Hi,

    If I apply for a new South African passport while I am in South Africa for a week, will home affairs hold onto my old passport? The reason that I ask is that I will need to apply for my pass port while I am back in South Africa, but will need to leave with in a week and assume that the new passport will not be ready by the time that I have to leave. Would I still be able to travel with my old passport?


    • Hi Mic,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      For this you would need to contact Home Affairs,they will be able to advise and answer any questions you might have with regards to applying for a passport and the procedures once it is ready for collection, what happens.

  229. Hi

    I hope someone can help. I applied for a new SA Passport in July 2015 at the Cape Town Home Affairs Office. It has been nearly 2 years and nobody at the office (or call centre) can help despite countless visits and emails.

    Does anybody know of a service (e.g. NGO, consultancy, lawyer) that could assist in expediting this process?


    • Hi Claire,

      Thanks for getting in touch and regret to hear of this unfortunate experience.

      I would think that you would need to then start the procedure again and apply for a new passport if you have not received the one you applied for 2 years ago. However as we do not specialise in this area, I would suggest going in and speaking to a supervisor as e-mailing for calling can sometimes delay the process or trying to get an answer.

      Or maybe go to a lawyer who specialise in that area, they should be able to point you in the right direction and advise accordingly.

  230. Thanks Marcelle but unfortunately I am unable to apply for a new one with an application pending on the system. I have tried to get the application canceled on the system but no progress has been made.

    Does anybody know of a lawyer that specialises in ID and passport issues? I can only find ones who assist with visa’s and immigration.


    • Hi Claire,

      Did you managed to sort this out? I am currently in the same boat.


  231. I have to travel to the US tonyt and only now realised that my passport expired 23/03/2017.

    How long does a renewal take to be issued? I am SA Citizen and in joburg

    • Hi Evelyn,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      For this you will need to contact Home Affairs as they are the ones issuing the passports. They have access to their data base and will be able to advise on the estimated waiting time. Sometimes their might be a delay should they have a backlog.

  232. I am a 70 year old born and bred South African. I only have a South African passport. My passport expires in five months time. When I went to apply for a new one today I was told that my application was rejected due to ‘IRN’ on the computer. I have been traveling to the UK once or twice a year for ten years with no problems. Even the Home Affairs officials were confused by IRN. No one knows what this means! Helpful lady is emailing Pretoria and will get back to me. I have a prepaid air ticket to visit children in the UK in August. I am feeling quite desperate. Any one had a similar experience or have advice?

    • Hi Penny,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’ve tried to look up on Google to see the meaning of this, but unable to find any detailed information.

      If it is showing on their system they should be able to give some feedback on this. Alternatively what I would do is contact the Embassies of the countries you have travelled to. Maybe they would be able to clarify this and shed a bit more light on this.

      I hope you manage to come right and able to get the relevant answers.

  233. HI i just want to know if home affairs will keep my old passport when applying for a new one , mine is full and hasn’t expired yet but i need to apply for a new one but while waiting i need to take a trip back to hong kong is it possible ? please help

    • Hi Bongi,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If your old passport is full you would not be able to travel on it. There needs to be minimum 2 black pages when travelling.

      When you travel to Hong Hong you would not be able to travel on a passport which has no blank pages. You welcome to contact the Embassy direct to see what they advise.

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