As you may remember, last year on the 1 June 2015 the Department of Home Affairs introduced a number of requirements for parents travelling with minors into and out of South Africa. There was an outcry over the negative impact these requirements would have on tourism to SA as well as the added headache of obtaining an unabridged birth certificate for children born before the 14 March 2013. If your child was born after the 14 March 2013 you will already be in possession of the unabridged birth certificate, henceforth known only as a birth certificate.
Thankfully the Department of Home Affairs has officially replaced the name “Unabridged Birth Certificate” with “Birth Certificate,” effective 1 November 2016. This eliminates some confusion as there is only one type of birth certificate required now.
In summary this means if your child is under 18 (born from 1998 onwards) but born before the 14 March 2013, they will need to apply for the new birth certificate. The new and final birth certificate that is now being issued contains details of both parents.
The Parental Consent Affadavit is now valid for longer than previously stated
Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni has also stated that the parental consent affidavit is now valid for 6 months, not 3 months as before.
Let Travelstart simplify matters for you:
What to do if you are travelling with a child under the age of 18 born before the 14 March 2013
Firstly, if your child already has an unabridged birth certificate (which will include details of both parents) you do not need to apply for the new birth certificate. However if you are planning to travel and your child only has an abridged certificate (or a certificate issued at birth before the 14 March 2013) then you will need to apply for the new birth certificate.
How can I tell if the certificate is abridged? It only includes details of the mother, not the father.
Apply for the new birth certificate as soon as possible at your closest Home Affairs (it usually takes about 8 weeks to obtain, however there have been reports of it taking up to 12 weeks).
- Apply at your nearest Home Affairs office where your Biometric information will be verified.
- Take your ID book along, as well as your child’s ID number.
- All documents submitted must be originals or certified copies.
- The Unabridged Birth Certificate costs R75.
If your child is travelling with only one parent, the other parent needs to fill in and sign the parental consent affidavit. This affadavit needs to be signed by a Commissioner of Oaths (a Commissioner of Oaths can be a magistrate, postmaster, a bank manager, lawyer, members of the South African Police Services (SAPS), and certain priests and social workers).
Find the affadavit form here.
What to do if you are travelling with a child born after the 14 March 2013
You can relax as your child’s birth certificate already includes details of both the mother and the father.
However, if your child is travelling with only one parent or a guardian you will need to obtain a Parental Consent Affadavit and have it signed by a Commissioner of Oaths.
Find the affadavit form here.
In the future the Department of Home Affairs plans to include parental details in children’s passports thereby eliminating the need to carry the birth certificate.
Department of Home Affairs toll free hotline: 0800 60 11 90
Home Affairs resources: http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/index.php/birth-certificates1
Please contact Travelstart should you have any questions or concerns.
The information on this page is a guide to assist people with new South African immigration laws. The information was correct at the time of publishing; Travelstart.co.za takes no responsibility for any of the information being out of date or incorrectly noted.