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 ata 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 who was born in SA. The following information is on the ID card: 

  • Surname

  • First name(s) 

  • Sex

  • Nationality 

  • Identity number

  • Date of birth 

  • Country of birth

  • 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 in person at Home Affairs, 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. 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. 

You’ll collect your new ID or passport at the same branch that captured your biometrics

The simpler, hassle-free route is to apply online on the DHA website, and arrange to have your biometrics captured at one of the Home Affairs offices hosted in a participating Nedbank branch.

Start by visiting the 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 can apply foryour passporton the DHA website at the same time, although this will require an extra fee.  


Capturing biometrics for your SA ID card or passport 

Note that this is not a walk-in service. You must submit your details, apply for an ID or passport and pay on the DHA website. When your payment is successful, the site will show you a list of participating Nedbank branches, so that you can choose the most convenient outlet and schedule an appointment in an available timeslot to go and complete your application. Visit the Nedbank branch on the date of your appointment and bring your booking confirmation and green barcoded ID book with you.

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



Is Nedbank issuing IDs now? 

No. Nedbank is simply sub-letting space to the DHA, so that Home Affairs officials can capture biometrics and issue IDs and passports more efficiently. Nedbank is not involved in the process in any other way, and you should check with the DHA if you require any further information about the requirements for an ID application.


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. Your image will be captured 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 branch. Apply for a Nedbank account today.