Before you shop around for cheap flights to a new destination for a much-needed holiday, it is important to check to see whether or not your SA passport is still valid. All South African (adult) passports are valid for 10 years and must be renewed thereafter.
The good news is that the SA passport renewal process doesn’t have to be a daunting, time-consuming task as long as you are aware of which short-cuts to take! Here’s everything that you need to know about making the experience as stress-free and simple as possible.
Home Affairs or Biometrics-Equipped Banks?
A few years ago, the only option available to you when renewing your passport was to stand in a mile-long queue at your closest Home Affairs office. Now, thanks to advancements in technology, there’s a much easier way to go about it. You can now do the majority of your passport renewal online before heading off to a biometrics-equipped bank to capture your biometric data, completely avoiding those awful queues in the process?
It’s important to note that only certain listed banks are biometrics-enabled and you will need to be registered for internet banking if you use this option.
How to Register Online
The first thing that you will have to do is register online via the eHome Affairs website. The registration process is quite straightforward – you will just need to have your mobile phone and a copy of your ID that can be submitted with your application.
You’ll be asked to create a profile for yourself, following which you will need to upload a copy of your ID. Once these initial steps have been successfully completed, the system will request your banking details and you will log in to your online banking portal to make and authorise the payment of the SA passport renewal fee (currently R400 in February, 2018).
What Happens Next?
Once the payment has been made, you will then have two options.
- Schedule an appointment (at a time that suits your needs) at a biometrics-equipped bank (see details on participating banks below).
- Attend your appointment at the allotted time where you will need to provide your signature, 2 fingerprints and have your photograph taken, all of which will take approximately 15 minutes.
It will then take about 2 weeks to process your submitted application, before you are notified that your renewed SA Passport is ready for collection at your chosen pick-up point (bank or Home Affairs). Please note that processing times may vary depending on whether or not your application was made during a peak time.
If you don’t bank with Standard Bank, Nedbank, ABSA or FNB you can still submit and pay for your SA Passport Renewal application online and then head over to your nearest Home Affairs office to capture your biometric data. While it won’t be as quick and effortless as opting to do it all via the bank, you won’t have to stand in the usual queues. Since you will have already submitted your details and paid the required renewal fee, you will be able to join a different, much shorter queue.
There are biometrics-equipped FNB, ABSA, Standard Bank and Nedbank facilities currently available; however, as of early 2018, none exist for African Bank or Capitec as yet. Here is a list of the participating banks for your ease of reference:
ABSA and FNB Centurion Lifestyle
ABSA Tower North
ABSA Ghandi Square
FNB President Street West
FNB Merchant Place, Rivonia
FNB Lynwood in Grove Mall
Nedbank Lakeview, Roodepoort
Standard Bank Centurion
Standard Bank Killarney
Standard Bank Canal Walk
Things to Remember
It is essential that you bring your old SA Passport document and your ID book along with you regardless of whether you’ll be going to the bank or Home Affairs.
In order to save yourself even more time, consider getting your Smart ID done at the same time as your new passport. It makes sense to go this route seeing as though the biometrics data needed for a passport renewal is almost exactly the same as that needed to create your Smart ID (just remember that you’ll also need your current ID document, proof of residence, marriage certificate / divorce decree if applicable, and R140).
Make sure that you have at least 6 months of availability remaining on your passport before travelling as most countries will not allow you in if this isn’t the case!
Another thing to note is that, at the time of writing this, naturalised citizens (in other words, people who were not born in SA, but who now hold an SA passport), may not renew their passports online or at the bank. They will be required to go straight to Home Affairs instead.
Book Those Flights!
Once you have completed the process and have your new SA passport in front of you, it’s time to start planning that holiday! Fortunately, this process is even more effortless than visiting a bank for 15 minutes to renew your passport! Browse and book cheap flight tickets online with Domestic Flights South Africa at the click of a button. We make it easy for you to compare cheap flight prices to a variety of destinations, saving you considerable time and hard-earned money.