The South African Department of Home Affairs has introduced a process to take the frustrating queuing and waiting out of acquiring an ID card. The new approach can be completed online and only requires a short visit to a bank instead of queueing for hours at a Home Affairs office.
There are, however, some requirements for those wanting to apply. You have to be older than 16 and a South African Citizen by birth. If you apply for the first time, you will have to present certain documents. These include your birth certificate, your parents’ IDs (or a death certificate for a deceased parent).
Once you have the necessary documents, you should
- visit the eHomeAffairs platform on the net and register. Fill in the required personal details and create a password. To do this, you may have to answer some security questions.
- Once registered, you will receive a one-time pin to confirm your cell phone number, one to log in to your profile and complete your application form for a Smart ID card.
- You can also schedule an appointment at the bank. You will receive a confirmation letter; you must go to the bank with the letter. If you have the green, barcoded ID book, take that along as well.
- You are now ready to book an appointment for your visit to your Home Affairs office or bank. Booking is necessary to avoid waiting in a queue. FNB, Absa, Standard Bank, and Nedbank can all assist you with the application process. It would help if you took the originals of the additional documents listed above along to the bank. You must be an existing client of the bank you choose. Bank officials are friendly and willing to assist. This service is not available at Capitec as this bank concentrates on smaller branches to keep costs low. As a result, they cannot accommodate the service desks for Home Affairs transactions.
- During your appointment, your photo and fingerprints will be taken using a biometric kit.
- You will receive an SMS from the bank when your new ID card is ready to be collected.
If you prefer, you can get your card the old-fashioned way without using the Internet. You do that by going to a Home Affairs office and wait in line. This method may take slightly longer but is just as effective. The two main points to keep in mind are that you have to be South African-born and older than sixteen years, whatever method you use to apply.
The card costs R140. Applicants can make payments on the eHomeAffairs-platform or when they visit the bank or Home Affairs.