General information about South African passports

A passport is a document issued by a national government for international travel and it certifies the identity and nationality of the holder.

Applicants should note that In terms of section 26(B) of the South African Citizenship Act, 1995, it is a punishable offence for a South African citizen of 18 years and older to leave or enter South Africa on a foreign passport.

South African passports and travel documents are issued in terms of the South African Passports and Travel Documents Act, 1994, and the related Regulations.

Permanent South African passports  and travel documents (machine-readable documents) are printed only in Pretoria, South Africa, from where they are dispatched to the offices of application. Applications made within South African borders can be submitted to any office of the Department of Home Affairs; applications made outside of the country can be submitted to your nearest South Africa embassy or mission.

 

It is important to know that when you apply for a passport, whether in South Africa or overseas, you must apply in person because: 

  • The passport officer must be satisfied that your identity is legal and valid
  • The passport officer must check that your photograph is a true image of yourself; and
  • Your fingerprints must be taken (for people who are aged 16 years or older) and checked against the National Population Register

 

You must also note that:

  • All documents required for passport applications should be completed in black ink
  • Husband, wife and children must all complete separate application forms.  Both parents and the children concerned must be present when applying for passports for children. See exceptions under Tourist Passports:persons under 16
  • Passports are issued in accordance with your names as they appear in the National Population Register (NPR) at the time of your application.  Any changes to your names must be applied for, finalised and recorded in the NPR before you submit your passport application

 

You must have a South African identity number when you apply for a passport. In the event that you do not have a South African identity number, you must apply for the registration of your birth and for a South African identity document, as the case may be, first.

If you do not have a valid regular passport and you need to travel urgently, you can apply for a temporary passport or an emergency travel document/certificate subject to the requirements below. Remember that some countries do not accept temporary passports or emergency travel documents/certificates. You must check this with the relevant authorities of the country you intend visiting before applying for a temporary passport or emergency passport/travel certificate

Except for official and diplomatic passports, fees are applicable for all types of passport / travel document applications. Applications to replace lost, stolen or damaged passports will be double the normal fee if the incident was as a result of the passport/travel document owner’s negligence.

A regular tourist passport contains 32 pages, but frequent travellers can opt to get a maxi tourist passport with 48 pages.

Tourist passports: persons16 years and older and maxi tourist passports are only issued to SA citizens 16 years or older. These passports are valid for 10 years.

Tourist passports: persons under 16 years are issued to SA citizens who are aged 15 years or younger. These passports are valid for 5 years.

Passports cannot be renewed. Once the validity period of a passport expires you will have to submit a new application for a passport.

Passports must be valid for at least 30 days after the intended date of departure. Passports should also have at least two blank pages for entry stamps. The blank pages cannot include the “endorsement” page at the back of the book. If you need a visa, you must ensure that your passport has two blank facing pages – one for the visa and one for an entry stamp.

 

South African passports include the following information:

  • A photo of the passport holder
  • Type of passport
  • Issuing country
  • Passport number
  • Given names and surname of the passport holder
  • Nationality of the passport holder
  • Gender of passport holder
  • Birth date
  • Birth place
  • Issue date
  • Expiry date
  • Issuing authority

 

Applying for tourist passports: Persons 16 years and older

These passports are issued to SA citizens who are 16 years and older. 
The passports are valid for 10 years from the date of issue, and are not renewable. When your South African passport expires you have to complete a new application to get a new passport. 

 

To apply for the passport, you must submit the following documents:

  • A duly completed passport application Form DHA-73
  • Your original identity document and a copy, or a birth certificate and copy thereof if under 16
  • If under 18 years, parental consent for issuing of the passport. Please see Tourist passports: persons under 16 for the requirements
  • A completed determination of citizenship Form DHA-529  when applying from abroad
  • Present any existing valid tourist passport or if you have lost your passport or it has been stolen and you are applying for a new passport,  you must provide a loss of passport report (DHA-335 ) and confirmation that you reported the loss to the police
  • Two colour photographs that comply with the Passport and ID Photograph Specifications
  • Pay the prescribed fee for the passport

 

Applying for Maxi Tourist Passports

Maxi tourist passports are 48-page documents meant for frequent travellers. They are the same as regular tourist passports except that they contain more pages for visas.

They are issued only to SA citizens  aged 16 years or older. The documents are valid for 10 years and are not renewable. Once the validity period of a passport expires you will have to submit a new application for a passport. 

 

To apply for a Maxi tourist passport you must submit the following documents:

  • A duly completed passport application Form DHA-73
  • Your original identity document and a copy, or a birth certificate and copy thereof if under 16
  • If under 18 years, the prescribed consent by parents must be furnished. Please see Tourist passports: persons under 16 for the requirements
  • A completed determination of citizenship Form DHA-529  when applying from abroad
  • Present any existing valid tourist passport or if you have lost your passport or it has been stolen and you are applying for a new passport,  you must provide a loss of passport report (DHA-335 ) and confirmation that you reported the loss to the police
  • Two colour photographs that comply with the Passport and ID Photograph Specifications
  • Pay prescribed fees

 

Applying for Tourist  Passports: Persons under 16 years

These passports are issued to SA citizens who are 15 years or younger.  The passports are valid for 5 years and are not renewable.  Once the validity period of a passport expires you will have to submit a new application for a passport. 

 

To apply for the passport you must submit the following documents:

  • A duly completed passport application Form DHA-73
    • If the parents are married, the passport application form must be signed by both parents and the child and both parents should be in attendance when the application is submitted.
    • Please note that the child and both parents should be in attendance when the application is submitted to the nearest Home Affairs office or SA Mission/Consulate. If a parent cannot be in attendance, a letter of consent and copy of ID will no longer be accepted.
    • If divorced and sole parental rights and responsibilities in regard to guardianship have not been granted to one parent, the child and both parents should be in attendance when the application is submitted and both must sign the application form.
    • If a parent is deceased, his or her death certificate and a copy thereof must accompany the application for the passport
    • In the case of minors born out of wedlock, the biological father ’s consent will also be required if any of the circumstances as outlined in section 21 of the Children’s Act, 1995, are applicable, the child and both parents should be in attendance when the application is submitted.
    • If the applicant is in the care of a guardian other than the parents, proof of the High Court’s appointment must accompany the application.
    • If a parent cannot be located or refuses to consent, or a dispute concerning consent arises, the matter should be referred to the Children’s Court. The Court’s decision must be submitted with the application for the passport.
  • The child’s South African birth certificate and a copy thereof
  • Two colour passport photographs that comply with the Passport and ID Photograph Specifications
  • Payment of the prescribed passport fee 

 

Applying for Official passports

Official passports are issued to officials attached to government institutions who have to travel on official business. These passports are only valid for a period of 5 years. 

 

To apply for an official passport you must submit the following documents:

  • A duly completed passport application Form DHA-73
  • Your original identity document and a copy
  • A letter on the official letterhead and signed by the head of institution or his or her delegate confirming that the passport is needed for an official trip and that you are employed by the institution
  • Two colour  photographs that comply with the Passport and ID Photograph Specifications
  • Submit your existing valid official passport or if lost or stolen a lost passport report (DHA-335) as well as confirmation that the loss was reported to the police

 

You will also have to sign an undertaking

  • To use the official passport only for duly authorised trips
  • To keep the passport in safe custody
  • Hand in the passport to the Department of Home Affairs if you leave government service or you will no longer require an official passport
  • To return your passport to a designated person in your department or organisation for safe-keeping on return from your official trip
  • To report the loss of an official passport to the SA Police Services and the designated person in your department or organisation as soon as possible after the loss.

 

Applying for Diplomatic passports

Diplomatic passports are administered by the Department of International Relations. Enquiries should be directed to the Protocol Section in the aforesaid Department.

 

Applying for Temporary passports

Temporary passports are issued to South African citizens who have applied for a regular passport and who need to travel urgently but have not yet received their regular or ordinary passport (i.e. the passport is  still being processed). Temporary passports are valid only for one year. 

Remember that some countries do not accept temporary passports. Before you apply for a temporary passport, and before you confirm your travel arrangements first check with the authorities of the countries you intend visiting whether they will accept a temporary passport. 

 

To apply for a temporary passport you must submit the following documents:

  • A duly completed passport application Form DHA-73
  • Your original identity document and a copy thereof
  • If under 18 years, the prescribed consent by parents must be furnished. See requirements under Tourist passports for persons under 16
  • Written motivation for the issuing of a temporary passport
  • Your birth certificate (if under 16) and a copy thereof
  • Two colour  photographs that comply with the Passport and ID Photograph Specifications
  • Pay the prescribed fees

 

Applying for Documents for Travel Purposes

Documents for travel purposes are issued to South African permanent residence permit holders who cannot obtain travel documents from their countries of origin. These documents are only valid for a period of 5 years. 

 

To apply for a document for travel purposes, you must submit the following:

  • A duly completed passport application Form DHA-73
  • Written confirmation by your country of origin that the country cannot issue you with a passport, except in the case of refugees that have been granted permanent residence as a refugee.
  • If under 18 years, the prescribed consent by parents must be furnished. See requirements under Tourist passports for persons under 16
  • Your permanent residence permit and a copy thereof
  • Your original SA non-citizen identity document and a copy thereof
  • Two colour  photographs that comply with the Passport and ID Photograph Specifications
  • Payment of the prescribed fee.

 

Applying for Emergency travel documents

Emergency Travel Certificates are issued to South Africans who have to travel urgently for reasons of

  • death
  • sickness or
  • other emergency or urgent matter

The emergency travel certificate is valid for a maximum period of 9 months but only for a single trip. 

 

To apply for an Emergency Travel Certificate you must submit the following documents:

  • A duly completed passport application Form DHA-73
  • Your original identity document and a copy thereof
  • If under 18 years, the prescribed consent by parents must be furnished. See requirements under Tourist passports for persons under 16
  • Written motivation for the issuing of the Emergency Travel Certificate, along with any proof of the urgency of the trip (e.g. confirmation of funeral arrangements, doctor’s letter confirming sickness,  etc)
  • A schedule of your travel arrangements
  • Proof of your South African citizenship in the form your South African identity book, birth certificate or old  passport and a copy thereof
  • Two colour  photographs that comply with the Passport and ID Photograph Specifications
  • Payment of the prescribed fee

  
Applying for Crew Member Certificates

Crew member certificates are issued to South Africans who are crew members of an airline registered in South Africa. 

 

To apply for a crew member certificate you must submit the following documents:

  • A duly completed  passport application Form DHA-73
  • Your original SA identity document and a copy thereof
  • Two colour  photographs that comply with the Passport and ID Photograph Specifications
  • Official letter from your employer confirming that you are employed by the airline 








We are in the process of updating our contact details on this website. WESTERN CAPE PROVINCE's contacts has been updated

Forms will no longer be available from this website.

Please visit your nearest Home Affairs office to obtain 

ORIGINAL APPLICATION FORMS 

necessary information.

We apologise for any inconvenience.


Provincial Managers Contacts:

Eastern Cape

Gcinile Mabulu 
043 642 2178
082 887 5563
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Free State

Bonakele Mayekiso
051 430 1130
082 800 1755
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Gauteng
Albert Matsaung
011 242 9003
082 8879 293
albert.matsaung@dha.gov.za


KwaZulu-Natal
Nosipho Shandu
033 845 5042
079 145 2274
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Limpopo
F.N. Motsitsi
015 287 2800/ 30

082 662 2673
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Mpumalanga
Robert Zitha
082 801 4528
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


North-West
Irene Mantlhasi
018 397 9919
082 880 7804
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Northern Cape
Abednego Mvula
053 807 6700 /6701
082 803 3792
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Western Cape
Yusuf Simons
021 488 1400
082 809 2142
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.