South African ID-Book

The holder of a permanent residence permit is obliged to apply for a South African ID-Book after receiving his/her permanent residence certificate. This little green book states your South African ID-number and is important to have if you are intending to reside in South Africa permanently. Without an ID-Book and an
ID-number, you may not be able to apply for a credit card, a bond or car loan, take out a cell phone contract or even a store card.

The application for an ID-Book must be made at the Department of Home Affairs by the permit holder him/herself, by submitting all required documentation (which may include sworn translations and certified copies of personal documents; see acceptance + recognition of documents). Before the application is taken in to be processed, the Department of Home Affairs verifies the authenticity of the permanent residence certificate of each applicant, which may take approximately 2 weeks. For this purpose it is necessary to present the original document to the officials, together with all other required documentation. Once the authenticity of the permanent residence certificate has been confirmed the application can be submitted. Further, fingerprints are taken on submission of the application before it is first processed locally. It is then sent on to the head office in Pretoria, where the ID-Book is issued. There is currently no processing fee for a first ID-Book application, any renewals of this document carry a processing fee of ZAR 20.00 The processing time varies and can range from between two months up to one year. It is therefore advisable to follow up on the process with the authorities, to ensure your ID-Book is issued and sent to you within an acceptable timeframe.

The ID-Book is not to be mistaken for the South African passport; the latter is only available to South African citizens (see citizenship).

Please contact us should you have any questions regarding an application for an ID-Book, require assistance with the preparation of such and/or if you would like us to accompany you when submitting the application.