Home Affairs ID

The Department of Home Affairs is proposing major changes to ID cards in the country. Image: Adobe stock

How to get documents from Home Affairs in South Africa

Getting documents from Home Affairs in South Africa can be very time consuming. Let Apostil.co.za make the process easier for you.

Home Affairs ID

The Department of Home Affairs is proposing major changes to ID cards in the country. Image: Adobe stock

In South Africa, the Department of Home Affairs is responsible for issuing civic certificates and documents, including marriage, death, and birth certificates. They also issue Letters of No Impediment and divorce decrees to South African citizens, but what is the best and fastest way to obtain these documents from Home Affairs?

How long does it take to obtain documents from Home Affairs?

Unfortunately, if you attempt it alone, especially abroad at South African embassies, civic certificates like birth and marriage certificates usually take 6 to 8 months and at least two months if you apply from within South Africa. Also, for divorcees, letters of non-impediment can only be issued once your previous divorce has been registered and your status updated on the Home Affairs system, which can take up to 8 months. Please note that for marriages after the year 2000, without a DHA-30 form in your application, you will not get a marriage certificate from the DHA.

A note on birth certificates

One of the documents renowned for taking the longest of them all to obtain is the South African Unabridged Birth Certificate. Individuals born after 2014 were automatically issued with an unabridged birth certificate, but anyone born prior to 2014 will need to apply for their unabridged birth certificate at one stage or another.

The unabridged birth certificate is the long-form version of the abridged version that the majority of adult South Africans were issued with and contains information about both biological parents or guardians of an individual.

The Department of Home Affairs is renowned for taking anywhere between three and six months to issue a birth certificate and copies of unabridged marriage certificates, but document assistance services – like Apostil.co.za – can help you obtain yours in as little as three weeks if your records are easily accessible.

Obtaining copies of your divorce decree

The process of obtaining a copy of your South African divorce decree isn’t lengthy, but it is difficult. And that is why it is always best to work with professional documentation service providers, like Apostil.co.za, to help take the hassle out of the process.

In order for them to help you obtain your decree of divorce from Home Affairs, you would need to provide them with the following information:

  • Divorce case number
  • Court where the divorce was finalised
  • Date (day, month, and year) of the divorce
  • Names and ID numbers of the plaintiff and defendant (you and your ex-spouse)

Having corrections applied to your civic certificates from Home Affairs

Although it is entirely possible to have document corrections made to your official South African certificates, the process often takes much longer than one would expect. There are many South Africans that request simple changes to their details on certificates. But what very few people understand is the fact that document corrections can take much longer than the original issuing of the certificate.

Getting help with your civic certificates from the DHA

Getting documents from Home Affairs in South Africa can be a time-consuming and frustrating process if you attempt to do it on your own. The problem is that these documents all require endless queuing at Home Affairs for hours on end just to submit an application and then waiting for the documents to be issued, which could take months.

For most South Africans, time is a luxury you might not have when your travel dates or visa appointments are fast approaching. If you need help with obtaining any of these documents, get in touch with Apostil.co.za today, a documentation assistance service that does the queuing for you and can help you obtain your documents in record time!

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