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How to Apply for Birth Certificate in South Africa

This is a comprehensive guide on how to apply for a birth certificate in South African at the Home Affairs.

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As a law, all children born in South Africa must be registered within 30 days of their birth. A parent, parents, guardian or any other person legally responsible for the child must complete Form BI-24 (with black ink only) and it must be submitted to the nearest office of the Department of Home Affairs if you are in South Africa, or the nearest South African embassy, mission or consulate if you are overseas.

Once the child’s birth has been registered, an unabridged birth certificate is issued free of charge, usually a day or so after the registration application has been submitted.

This certificate specifies both parents’ details, including their ID numbers, full names, city of birth and citizenship. This measure is aimed at preventing incidences of fraud and human trafficking.

Requirements for Applying 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.

Applying for Birth Certificate in South Africa

According to the Births and Deaths Registration Act, all births must be registered within 30 days of birth. If childbirth is not registered within 30 days, it is considered a late registration of birth.

Births reported after 30 days have additional requirements. These types of registration of births are divided into three main categories:

  1. 31 Days up to One Year
  2. One Year up to Seven Years
  3. Seven Years and Above

1. 31 Days up to One Year

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Apply at designated offices with the following requirements: 

  • DHA 24/LRB (notice of birth)
  • Children born at a health facilities: DHA 24/PB (Proof of birth) / Children born at home: DHA 24PBA (Proof of Birth Affidavit)
  • DHA 288 /A (Affidavit giving reasons for LRB)
  • Biometrics (palm, foot or fingerprint) of the child to be registered
  • Fingerprints of parent/s
  • ID/Passport of parent/s

2. One Year up to Seven Years

Apply at designated offices with the following requirements:

  • DHA 24/LRB (notice of birth)
  • Children born at a health facilities: DHA 24/PB (Proof of birth) / Children born at home: DHA 24PBA (Proof of Birth Affidavit)
  • DHA 288/A (Affidavit giving reasons for LRB)
  • DHA 288
  • Biometrics (palm, foot or fingerprint) of the child to be registered
  • Fingerprints of parent/s
  • ID/Passport of parent/s

3. Seven Years and Above

Apply at designated offices with the following requirements: 

  • DHA 24/LRB (notice of birth)
  • Children born at health facilities: DHA 24/PB (Proof of birth) / Children born at home: DHA 24PBA (Proof of Birth Affidavit)
  • DHA 288/A (Affidavit giving reasons for LRB)
  • DHA 288
  • Biometrics (ID-size photo and fingerprint) of the person to be registered
  • Fingerprints of parent/s
  • ID/Passport of parent/s

Birth Certificate Processing Time in South Africa

This process of birth certificate application takes about 6 – 8 weeks.

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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.

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