A birth certificate is an official document given to every person born in South Africa. Births are registered at the Department of Home Affairs which is responsible for registering every person born in South Africa.
In terms of the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992, all children born in South Africa must be registered within 30 days of their birth.
Requirements for Birth Certificate in South Africa
As a parent you need to do the following as required by the national Department of Home Affairs:
- Both parents must do the notification of birth. Remember that your fingerprints will be used as part of the registration process.
- The palm, foot or fingerprint of the child whose birth is being registered is required. Records will be archived.
- Notice of birth must be given by the next of kin or guardian if the parents are dead.
- You’ll need to pay a required application fee If you register your child’s birth after 30 days. Please contact the Department of Home Affairs for the fee amount, which may change from time to time.
- You’ll undergo a screening and may pay a higher application fee If you only apply to register after the first year of your child’s birth.
Getting copies of birth certificates
Birth certificates are issued upon request to persons who are:
- South African citizens, whether in the Republic or outside the Republic, including persons who are not South African citizens but who sojourn permanently or temporarily in the Republic, for whatever purpose.
How to apply for birth certificate South Africa
Newborn babies will receive an unabridged certificate free of charge. However, if you want to apply for an unabridged certificate, visit any Home Affairs office and take:
- your ID (If you take copies, they should be certified),
- an application fee (please confirm the cost of this service with the Department of Home Affairs ), and
- your child’s identity number if you’re applying with the abridged certificate.
This process will take 6 – 8 weeks.
If you’re waiting on the unabridged birth certificate and need to travel, consider asking a Home Affairs office for a letter that provides the details of both parents. Your child will be able to travel when you receive this letter.
Replacing lost birth certificates
If you’ve lost your birth certificate or need another copy, you can apply at your nearest Home Affairs office.
If you’re outside the country, you can apply at a South African mission, consulate or embassy.