For South Africans, applying for a smart ID or passport is now easier than ever. This is all thanks to the online application platform created and launched by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) in 2013. Applicants can now access passport and smart ID application forms online, thus avoiding the irritatingly long queues that were synonymous with the DHA. How do you do ID and passport application at banks, what do you require, and how long does the process take?
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The DHA partnered with several banks in South Africa to facilitate smart ID and passport application and collection. These banks have numerous branches across the country, making it simple and convenient for applicants to access the services.
Smart ID and passport application at banks
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Here is a look at the requirements, processes, and timelines for modern-day online applications.
The South African smart identification card, commonly known as the smart ID, is a personal identity document used as the primary means of identification in the country. The new generation of smart IDs was rolled out in 2013, replacing the old barcode identity documents.
Smart IDs are used by South African nationals or permanent residence holders aged 16 years and above. The document includes personal information such as one's date of birth, country of birth, identity number, nationality, gender, first name, surname, citizenship status, signature, and photo.
The South African smart ID also has the capacity to capture and store additional information, such as evidence of votes cast during various elections.
How to apply for a smart ID
Today, the easiest way to apply for your smart ID is through the E-home Affairs portal on the Department of Home Affairs website. This involves creating a profile, uploading supporting documents, and making the requisite payments via your bank.
You will then be required to visit your bank for the capture of biometrics such as your signature, fingerprints, and photo. When your smart ID is ready, you will be notified to collect it at the same branch you had your biometrics captured.
Which banks do smart ID applications?
When making your first-time online ID application, here are the banks to consider.
- Discovery Bank
- Investec Bank
- Standard Bank
Passport application in South Africa
The South African passport is a travel document issued to citizens of South Africa for international travel. The document allows the bearer to travel to foreign countries per visa requirements. It is also a valid proof-of-citizenship document according to South African nationality law.
The South African passport application process is quite straightforward and can be done without having to visit the DHA. Here are some essential tips when figuring out how to apply for a passport online.
1. Determine the kind of passport that you need
While applying for a passport may not be a difficult task to embark on, it is imperative that you determine the type you need. There are various passport types based on the information published on The Department of Home Affairs' official website.
- Tourist passports: These are usually issued to people who are 16 years and older.
- Maxi tourist passports: Usually issued to South African citizens who travel frequently and are from 16 years and above.
- Child's passport: Issued to children who are below 16 years.
- Official passports: Issued to officials who work with government institutions and need to travel on an official basis.
- Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC): Usually issued to citizens who do not have a valid regular passport yet and need to travel urgently.
- Diplomatic passports: Issued to citizens who are travelling abroad on diplomatic missions
- Crew Member Certificates: Issued to airline flight and cabin crew members to facilitate their movement at airports in ICAO member states.
2. Register for online banking
Among other things, you must be registered for online banking with the bank that you use. If you have not done this, you will need to visit your nearest branch and settle that. Keep in mind that not all banks offer DHA services. The specific banks and branches where you can complete your application are outlined later in this article.
3. Create a personal account with the DHA
Before you begin the process for your passport application online, you will be required to create a profile on the Department of Home Affairs portal. The essence of this account is to help you further your application process.
Also, with this account, you can apply for your passport and those of your children. Then, when you need to renew your passport, you will do it through the same profile.
4. Fill in the necessary information
Once you have determined the kind of passport that you want to apply for, the next line of action is to log in to the official website of the Department of Home Affairs for your registration.
5. Upload the supporting documents
Once you have entered all the necessary information that you would be asked to, you will be asked to submit several documents depending on the type of passport that you are applying for. For instance, if you are applying for your child(ren), you will need to upload your identity document along with your spouse's and child's birth certificate,
If your spouse is deceased, you will be asked to upload the death certificate. Comprehensive details of the documents that you need are discussed later in this guide.
6. Choose your bank and the branch nearest to you
In the process of filling out your details, you will be asked to select your bank and the branch from where you would like to collect it once it is ready. Apart from the branches of the Department of Home Affairs that are all over the country, you will be given options to choose from various banks that are registered with DHA.
7. Make payment via your online banking platform to complete your application
Log in to your online banking profile with the bank that you are registered with and make your payment to complete your application process. After you have made the required payment, you will be given a payment confirmation reference number which you are expected to keep in case there is a need for it later.
Please note that there is no bank that is authorized to accept payments by cash. Additionally, making payment for another person is not permitted except for parents applying for their children.
8. Book an appointment with your bank's branch
Once you get your payment confirmation reference number, the next thing that you need to do is book an appointment with your preferred bank branch. You will dot this on the page you are directed to in the form-filling process.
The essence of the appointment is to have your fingerprints (biometrics) scanned and your picture captured. You will receive an appointment confirmation from the branch you have selected.
9. Take all the necessary documents with you
When going for the appointment, do not forget to take your identity documents with you. For instance, if you are renewing your passport, it is important to take the old one with you.
10. Wait for notification
Once you have completed the whole process with the bank, you will receive an SMS and email immediately your passport is ready. This will typically be between 3 and 8 weeks.
Documents needed for passport application
When carrying out the application process, you will be expected to avail the following documents.
- A duly filled application form DHA-73.
- Your original identity document as well as a photocopy. If you are under 16 years, you will be expected to provide your birth certificate and a photocopy.
- If you are applying from abroad, you will be asked to submit a duly filled determination of citizenship Form DHA-529.
- When applying for a child under 16 years, the consent of both parents will be sought. Both parents also must be present when the application is being made. However, if one of the parents is deceased, a death certificate will be required.
- If you are applying for an official passport, you will be required to provide a letter on the official letterhead of your organization confirming that you need the passport for an official trip. The letter must be signed by the head or owner of the organization.
Which banks do passport applications?
Here is a look at the current list of banks for passport application in South Africa.
ABSA is one of the banks authorized by the DHA to facilitate passport and smart ID application and collection.
Here are the Discovery bank branches where one can apply for and collect their smart ID and passport.
- Discovery Bank Sandton: Located at 1 Discovery Place, c/o Rivonia Road & Katherine Street, Sandton
Here are the 7 branches where the FNB passport application can be made.
Applicants can use Investec Bank Sandton, located at 100 Grayston Drive, Sandown, for their passport applications and collection.
Here are the 5 Nedbank branches that offer the DHA services.
Here are the Standard Bank branches open for smart ID and passport applications.
What is the waiting period for receiving your passport?
According to the Department of Home Affairs, it can take between three to eight weeks to receive your passport.
How much does it cost to apply for a smart ID?
The entire application is free for first-time applicants. It will cost you R140 to replace a lost one.
What is the passport application fee in South Africa?
Here is a breakdown of the fees for different South African passports.
- Child passport: R400
- Replacement of new format South African tourist passport that runs out of blank visa pages before the expiry dates: R400.00
- Document for travelling purposes (BI-105): R400
- Emergency Travel Certificate (BI-123): R140
- Temporary Passport: R180
- Maxi Tourist Passport: R600
- Crew Member Certificate: R350
The smart ID and passport application at banks have made it extremely simple and convenient for South Africans to obtain these documents. In addition, the online application platform eliminated the delays that resulted from long queues and network outages at the DHA.
Briefly.co.za recently published a guide on registering as a voter in South Africa. Elections in South Africa follow a five-year cycle. After every cycle, citizens elect new leaders or give a fresh term to the existing ones based on numerous factors.
The national election is among the most important activities one can participate in. The elections determine who will lead the country at various levels in the next five years. How do you register as a voter, and what is required?
Source: Briefly News