Frequently Asked Questions:



I want to renew my passport, what must I do?

South African passports are not renewable. You must apply for a new passport when it expires. Please visit the page with information on how to apply for a passport.


My passport has not expired but I am running out of pages, can I have pages added to it?

Unfortunately pages cannot be added to South African passports. You must apply for a new passport instead. If you travel frequently, you may opt for a maxi passport. 



I already have a passport, do I still need to fill up all those forms?

Yes, all three forms (BI-73, BI-9 and BI-529) are required when applying for a South African passport.



I already have a passport, do I need to submit a copy of my ID/birth certificate?

Yes. The South African passport alone is not sufficient. You must present a copy of your ID/birth certificate.



I am a dual citizen, but I don¡¦t know where my letter of retention/exemption is.


Request a copy from the office which issued your original letter of retention / exemption. Without it, your application for a new South African passport will not be accepted.



I am a naturalized citizen, and I don¡¦t have my naturalization certificate.

Your application for a passport will be deemed incomplete without the naturalization certificate.



What is BI-73 form?


South African citizens who are 16 years or older need to sign (the form) and to submit thumb prints.


Section B of BI-73 states that only an officer of the Department of Home Affairs can sign this section. I am in the Taiwan now, how do I do that?

Section B is only applicable if you are applying for a passport while in South Africa. Outside the country, this will be completed by an officials at  LOSA.


BI-73: I recently got married in Taiwan and need to change my name. Which form do I need to complete for name change?

If you want to use your married name or double-barrel name, all you need to do is apply for a new passport using that name and submit a notarized / certified copy of your marriage certificate.

Married applicants using maiden or double-barrel names must provide a letter requesting the new passport to be in the applicant's maiden name or double-barrel name.


BI-73: How do I register my Taiwanese marriage in South Africa?


You can register your marriage through your application for South African passport. Please note that male applicants who got married abroad need to submit a copy of their marriage certificate


BI-73: The mother/father of my child is not here to sign section C, what do I do?


Home Affairs will not accept a minor's application for passport without both parents' signatures unless there is a legal document provided. If you are divorced, you have to show proof in your divorce decree that you have both sole custody and guardianship of the child. (Sole custody is not enough). If the divorce decree does not specify custody and guardianship, you will need to get the other parent¡¦s approval / signature.


BI-73: Section D, how do answer question B?


Section D means so you have citizenship of another country beside your South African citizenship. Just put ¡¥yes or no¡¦

Question B is merely asking whether you have had a South African passport. If yes, write down your passport number and when it was issued.


BI-9: I already have an ID book, do I need to fill this form?

Yes, BI-9 is not an application for an ID book or ID card. It is part of passport application and South Africans 16 years or older have to fill this form.


BI-9: Home Affairs already has my fingerprints on file, do I really really need this form?


Yes, you still need to fill up BI-9. Please make sure you submit this form to avoid delay in processing your application.



BI-9: Where can I have my finger prints taken

Home Affairs will not accept fingerprints which not on the BI-9 form. You can have you finger prints taken at LOSA. We are open Mondays to Fridays, between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.


BI-9: How do I fill the "personal status" ?

Only naturalized citizens need to fill up this line. If you were born in South Africa you may skip this.


BI-9: I do not have my parents ID number for the "supporting document"?

Please call your parents or relatives and ask them for it, it is required



BI-9: My spouse is not South African and does not have an ID number, what do I do?


Write down "¡¥Taiwanese citizen" (or other citizenship which applies) across.



BI-9: On "remarks" what do I put in?


You do not have to put in anything unless there is something you need to explain.



BI 529: I am already a South African citizen, why do need to fill this form?

All South African citizens abroad have to fill up the BI-529 form. If you do not submit this form, your application will be returned as incomplete.



BI 529: What does Question 9 mean?


a) means when did you leave South Africa to stay abroad. Please do not count vacations in RSA.

(b) is why. State whatever reasons you had for leaving.


BI 529: I do not know my parents¡¦ details.

Please ask them or relatives for this information


BI 529: One or both my parents are deceased and I do not have any details.

Fill in as much information as possible, (i.e. full names) and write on top ¡¥deceased¡¦.



BI 529: I am an adult and I do not need my parents to apply for a passport, can I leave section C and D blank?

No. South African passport applicants 16 years and older are required to fill up sections C and D.


   25.  I applied for my passport and was told it can take 6 months and more before I receive it.

Applicants are advised that applications submitted at our office are sent free of charge to the Department of Home Affairs in Pretoria, where the documents are issued, with the diplomatic freight bag once a month


Unfortunately the intra-departmental movement of the application and tracing of original records in the register held by the Department of Home Affairs is a time consuming task, with the result that these applications may take up to six (6) months to process.


Applicants would be immediately notified as soon as the issued document has been received by our office from Pretoria, and are kindly requested not to contact our office unnecessarily for progress reports. Applicants may however contact our office in the event of the application taking longer than six (6) months


Due to the long-term nature of such applications, applicants are kindly requested to keep our office informed of any change of address during the processing period.


The application must be submitted in person by the applicant during the consular opening hours: Mon ¡V Fri; 09:00-12:00.

Applicants may email hacc@dha.gov.za for a status report on the progress of their application.

  26. Why should I /my spouse / minor children be present when submitting the application for a passport?

It is important to know that when you apply for a passport, whether in South Africa or overseas, you must apply in person because: 

¡P        The passport officer must be satisfied that your identity is legal and valid

¡P        The passport officer must check that your photograph is a true image of yourself; and

¡P        Your fingerprints must be taken (for people who are aged 16 years or older) and checked against the National Population Register


You must also note that:

¡P        All documents required for passport applications should be completed in black ink

¡P        Husband, wife and children must all complete separate application forms.  Both parents and the children concerned must be present when applying for passports for children. See exceptions under Tourist Passports: persons under 16

¡P        Passports are issued in accordance with your names as they appear in the National Population Register (NPR) at the time of your application.  Any changes to your names must be applied for, finalised and recorded in the NPR before you submit your passport application




For how long must my passport be valid and how many blank pages must be in the passport  when I travel ?

 Passports must be valid for at least 30 days after the intended date of departure. Passports should also have at least two blank pages for entry stamps. The blank pages cannot include the ¡§endorsement¡¨ page at the back of the book. If you need a visa, you must ensure that your passport has two blank facing pages ¡V one for the visa and one for an entry stamp.