The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has scrapped having two versions of the birth certificate, an abridged (issued for new-borns up until 2013) and an unabridged birth certificate detailing both parents’ details (issued to all new-borns since 2014).


From Tuesday, 1 November, newborns in South Africa are issued only a single document stating both their maternal and paternal birth details.

The document will be known as only a “birth certificate”, as opposed the previous “unabridged” or “abridged birth certificate” options.

For South Africans travelling with minor children, the complete birth certificate detailing both paternal and maternal information will still be the document needed at customs to ensure smooth transit operations.

Children born after 14 March 2013 were issued with a valid unabridged birth certificate automatically. This means their birth certificates will be valid as is.

Everyone born before that, and who are still under 18 (from 1998 to 14 March 2013), and those from countries who do not automatically issue unabridged certificates, must apply for the document well before their travel date.

The announcement of the term change in birth certificates for all South Africans is the first steps taken by the DHA after they announced in February this year that they would review the stringent visa travel rules for minor travellers. 

– Source: Traveller24: