Get your South African ID card the easy way

It’s said that we spend an entire year of our lives waiting for things – but for South Africans, it could be even longer. We queue in shops, taxi ranks and licensing departments, we wait in line at airports, bus stops and clubs, we queue in banks and stadiums and voting lines. We are a nation that waits – that’s why the queues at the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) are legendary.

Unfortunately, in some parts of South Africa you can wait in line for the whole day and still not get what you need, and you’ll have to return to the queue much earlier the following day. Just the thought of the DHA queues might be why you haven’t upgraded your identity document to an ID card yet – even though the DHA has been issuing them since July 2013.

Thankfully, there’s a much easier way to apply for your identity card and receive it. You can apply online and collect it at a participating Nedbank branch

What is an ID card?

An identity card is a personal identity document that replaces the old, barcoded ID book. You qualify for an ID card if you are 16 or older and are a South African citizen or have permanent residence. The following information is on the ID card:

  • Surname
  • First name(s)
  • Sex
  • Nationality
  • Identity number
  • Date of birth
  • Country of birth
  • Status as citizen or permanent resident
  • A main image of you on the front of the card, with a second one on the back.
  • Signature.

These cards can also store extra information – for example, proof that you cast your vote in local and national elections.

How to get your new ID card

To apply at the DHA, it’s best to have your documents ready to go so you can complete the application form. Get to your local DHA office as early as you can and be prepared for a long wait.

  • If you are a South African citizen, you must take your barcoded green ID book with you, and if you’re applying for the first time, also your birth certificate and proof of address. If you’re younger than 18, your parent or guardian must accompany you. 

  • If you are a permanent resident, you must take your barcoded green ID book with you, and if you’re applying for the first time, also your permanent residence certificate and proof of address.


You’ll collect your new card at the same branch that captured your biometrics

The simpler, hassle-free route is to apply online. Start by visiting the e-Home Affairs website and registering. Once registered, you will be able to:

  • Create your profile
  • Complete your application
  • Upload supporting documents
  • Complete your payment (you can use Select Pay)
  • Schedule appointments.

Have your phone with you to receive the one-time password (OTP) you’ll need to complete your profile registration. You will also receive an SMS later, when your ID card is ready for collection.

You can also apply on the e-Home Affairs website for your passport at the same time, although this will require an extra fee. 

Capturing biometrics for your SA ID card 

Once you’ve completed your payment via your Nedbank Online Banking profile and booked your appointment at your nearest participating Nedbank branch, it’s time to capture your biometrics. Visit the Nedbank branch on the date of your appointment and bring your booking confirmation and green barcoded identity book with you.

At your appointment, your fingerprints will be scanned, and a photo captured for your identity photo. The DHA will notify you via SMS when your new  ID or passport is ready for collection. You will collect your new card at the same branch that captured your biometrics.



What happens if I lose my ID card? 

Report it to the police as lost and apply via the DHA for a new card. This cost will be for your account. You must also budget for the cost of a temporary identity document, should you need one while you wait for the new card.


What if I don't have my old ID book and don't remember my ID number?

You can still apply for an identity card, but the process will be a little different. Contact the DHA for more information about an in-person application.


Do I have to renew my South African ID card? 

No, unlike your passport or driver’s licence, you will not be required to renew your card. But naturally, this changes if you lose or damage your card.


Do I still have to bring photos for my ID card application? 

No. Either the DHA or your participating bank will capture your image on-site at the time of your appointment.


How long is the ID card meant to last? 

The DHA selected the material of the card and the technology used to ensure the card will last for at least 10 years.

If you’re already a Nedbank client, you can book your appointment at your nearest participating Nedbank branchApply today for a Nedbank account