Answer to a question from a reader

How can a first-time applicant get their ID without their parents or a birth certificate?

The short answer

You will need whatever documents of theirs that you have and apply for both documents at the same time.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

I am 18 years old but I don't have an ID or birth certificate - only a clinic card. I don't have parents who can go with me to apply for these documents at Home Affairs because my father passed away in 2018 and my stepmother left me and returned to her own country after I finished matric. I don't know my father's relatives but when I tried to find them I found out that my grandmother also passed away.

The long answer

Although a person applying for an ID for the first time is supposed to be accompanied by her parents or legal guardian, as you have no parents now, you will need to make a certified copy of your father’s ID document and take it to Home Affairs, together with his death certificate and proof of residence like a municipal bill.  

Because you need a birth certificate to get an ID, you will have to apply for late registration of birth at the same time as you apply for your ID (form B1-9). As you are older than 15, you will need the following documents:

  • Completed Forms DHA-24, DHA-24/A x 2 and DHA-288 for the registration of birth,

  • Supporting documentation (like your clinic card), as well as written reasons why the birth was not registered within 30 days of birth

  • Application for an ID (Form B1-9)

  • Two ID-sized photographs (you do not have to supply any photographs if you're getting the smart ID card)

  • A certified copy of your late father’s ID

  • Your father’s death certificate 

  • Proof of residence

If you run into difficulties dealing with Home Affairs, the following organisations have had a lot of experience with them and may be able to assist you: 

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Oct. 26, 2021, 3:47 p.m.

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