New Birth Certificate Issued By The Department Of Home Affairs

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.

child-with-camera

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

mom and kid having fun
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.

little boy with father at the sea on holiday

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.

Important contacts:

Department of Home Affairs website

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.

Our Readers Comments

  1. hi. what if the father is no where to be found if the child wants to travel to South Africa? What do you do?

    • Hi Delia,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You would need to get an affidavit confirming this then apply for the Unabridged Birth Certificate.

  2. If your child is under 18 and over 16 years but already has an identity card, is a birth certificate required for travel?

    • Hi Sonja,

      If you child is traveling regionally or internationally (crossing over the South African boarder) yes they will need the Unabridged Birth Certificate.

  3. What happens when the mother does not know who the father is or where he is. My grandson is in foster care with me for the past 5 years. His mother( my daughter) is in and out of prison. Would love to adoped him and have a letter from his mother saying that she will place him in our care permanent. John. F. Carney. Cel. 0733812554.

    • Hi John,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialize in this area.

      To my knowledge you would probably need to get an affidavit confirming your daughter is happy to put your son in your care permanently and that you do not know who the father is. I would suggest contacting a lawyer and they will be able to provide you with the correct information and steps to follow.

      Best of luck.

  4. So why are our unabridged birth certificates taking so long its 6months later and 3 of the 5 are done and we applied for all on the sameday. When you call in they say contact head office its still there.

    • Hi Warren,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I regret to hear you have experience difficulties in receiving the other 2 Unabridged Birth Certificates.

      As we do not have access to Home Affairs data base / records we are not able to say what the hold up is. We had someone mention to us on Facebook saying they expereinced the same problem and called and asked to speak to the supervisor on duty and that seemed to help.

  5. We have applied for an unabridged birth certificate for our son (currently 14) in December 2015 already and it is still not issued. When you phone the Department it is always the same old story that it is not ready. I eventually gave up phoning and haven’t received any usable feedback from them. How do one go about this?

    • Hi Liza,

      Sorry to hear of this and can understand this is very frustrating.

      I would suggest going into Home Affairs and speak to someone face to face. Maybe a supervisor. Some people have said they have been told to re-apply.

      I hope this is not the same for you and hope you manage to come right.

      Best of luck.

  6. I applied for my sons unabridged birth certificate September 2015. Over one year later, we are sill waiting… We have contacted home affairs numerous times. It appears I must start the process again. I am so irritated.

    • Hi Shereen,

      I can understand the inconvenience and frustration caused.

      And they did not give a reason? I hope you receive it soonest after having to apply 2nd time around.

  7. I applied for unabridged birth certificate in 2015 still waiting

    • Hi Adreienne,

      Sorry to hear of this long wait. I would suggest contacting Home Affairs and ask to speak to a supervisor and see what the hold up is.

      I hope you manage to come right and receive the Unabridged Birth Certificate soon.

  8. Hi, I have the original unabridged birth certificate,which I applied for when my son was born(2005) but it is the handwritten version and was told by home affairs it was invalid. I then applied for the new one and I am still waiting 2yrs 10mths later,to complicate matters I applied in JHB but have since relocated to Cape Town, we have been to 3 different home affairs branches and it is on the system but no one can tell me why it is not finalised.I have made more phonecalls than I care to remember.I even requested that we restart the process but they said it’s not possible as it’s already on the system. Any ideas??? Thank you
    Vicki

    • Hi Vicki,

      Sorry to hear this. I can believe this must be so frustrating and having to go back each time to do a follow up and still not receive any answers.

      Maybe it has been lost in the system and you would need to re-apply. I am not sure, as we do not have access to Home Affairs data base, you would need to ask them direct.

  9. Hi there, do both parents need to be present when applying for the new certificate? I’m divorced and ex lives in JHB while I’m in CT.

    • Hi Angela,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge both parents need to be present at the time when applying for their child’s Unabridged Birth Certificate.

  10. Do these rules apply only to SA nationals?

    • HI Rhelda,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      This is for South African passport holders applying for New Birth certificates / Unabridged Birth Certificates for their children.

      However if you have any queries, please contact Home Affairs direct as they will be able to provide the most up to date information and answer any queries you might have

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