ID green book
The SA ID card. Image Credit:

Home » South African Smart ID: Latest info on how to apply

South African Smart ID: Latest info on how to apply

The Department of Home Affairs is updating its processes for South African smart ID card applications in 2024. Here’s the latest …

10-03-24 15:38
ID green book
The SA ID card. Image Credit:

Mzansi’s youth population is growing rapidly and soon all 16-year olds must possess a South African smart ID card. According to Worldometer, South Africa is home to just over 60-million people (as of June 2023). Roughly 20 million of these are younger than 16-years of age and will need a South African smart ID card.

Good news is a South African smart ID card is free for any 16-year old applying for the first time. However, if you’re an older citizen replacing your ‘green mamba’ ID booklet due to it being lost or stolen, you will have to pay R140. Likewise, you must produce your old green ID booklet (if possible) or driver’s licence or valid passport as a valid form of identification. Moreover, the Department of Home Affairs says the South African smart ID card is safer and more difficult to clone by criminals. So, you should consider applying for one anyway.  


You cannot apply for a South African smart ID card before you are 16-years old. Image: DHA
  • If you’re younger than 16-years of age you are NOT eligible to apply for a South African ID.
  • Should you be foreign born, a government-issue foreign identification card or passport originating from the country of your birth may be used as valid identification.
  • ID or travel documents from the old Transkei, Bophutatswana, Venda or Ciskei homelands will be accepted.
  • Be sure to bring along birth certificates for any first-time applicants.
  • Also bring any documentation verifying legal guardianship in the event of adoption.
  • As parents of a first-time applicant, you will need to present your own ID (parental IDs).
  • In the event of deceased parents, you must supply the death certificates of any and all deceased parents.
  • Don’t forget your proof of address (a utility bill with your name and address clearly stated on it).
  • If born elsewhere, you must produce your valid permanent resident certificate.
  • In the event of a lost/stolen ID document, you need a sworn and signed police affidavit including a police case number.


The green mamba is slowly becoming a thing of the past as smart ID cards become the norm. Image: File

The application process is known as a hybrid one. It starts with an online application but you must still visit a Home Affairs branch in person to supply biometrics (photos and fingerprints):

  • Visit the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) eHome portal.
  • Select Apply Online for South African smart ID card.
  • Go to Registration.
  • Input personal details like: Name, ID number, passport number or birth certificate number, date of birth, email address, and cell phone number.
  • Upload all the necessary documents requested.
  • Make an EFT Payment online to Home Affairs. You can also Deposit Money into the Home Affairs account if you don’t have access to online banking. Don’t forget to include the reference number.
  • Once payment is confirmed, you’ll be able to select the Department of Home Affairs branch you wish to visit for your appointment. Here you will provide biometric data.
  • You should be able to collect your ID from Home Affairs within 14 working days from the day of the application.

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