How to apply for a passport online

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When travelling abroad the general rule is that your passport needs to be valid for 6 months. Most countries require this. My children’s passports were expiring in 2 months time which was a bit of a problem. We tried going to Home Affairs a while ago but one look at the long line snaking outside the office and we were out of there. After mustering up enough courage, I scheduled another trip to Home Affairs a few months later. Before going in, I phoned to find out what the queue was like. The woman on the other end of the line said that it was worse than Christmas and New Year on the beach. I gave up. Then I decided to look into applying online. I remembered seeing somewhere that it was only available for adults between the age of 25 to 40 but I thought I’d check it out anyway.

How to apply for a passport online

Online registration and submission

I went to the Department of Home Affairs’ website and saw a link to apply for your passport or Smart ID online. It took me to https://ehome.dha.gov.za/echannel . I registered on this website then found options to apply for a passport online for myself or for minors. I selected the Minor Passport option, completed the forms and submitted them online.

The questions were quite straightforward however there was one unusual question – “How many spouses do you have?” . Maybe, it’s not so unusual in the South African context though.

I was required to select a branch where I wanted to collect my passport. Apart from Home Affairs branches all over the country, there were options to select certain ABSA and Standard Bank branches in Johannesburg and Pretoria (about three of each bank). I selected Standard Bank Killarney which was most convenient for me. Mine and my husband’s ID copies were required, which I uploaded and submitted online.




Payment

I was then required to initiate a payment instruction, by entering my bank account details. Thereafter I logged into my Standard Bank internet banking account and found the My Bills option under Payments. I selected the Department of Home Affairs as a beneficiary.  The payment instruction then appeared under My Bills. I entered my reference number and approved the payment. The passport renewal fee is currently R400 for a normal passport.

Booking an Appointment

Once the payment had been registered by the Department of Home Affairs, I was taken to a page to book an appointment for biometrics (fingerprints). Note that if you want to go to Home Affairs for this step, no booking is necessary. (Just expect to wait in long lines). I selected Standard Bank Killarney again and then had to select a time slot.

Confirmation

I received an appointment confirmation which I had to take with me to the bank.

Notifications

At every step above, I would receive an email and SMS notification.

Appointment

I went to Standard Bank Killarney on Friday (12 August at 2pm )- which was the latest appointment I could get. They had a separate Home Affairs section within the Bank. There were no queues at all. They took photos of my kids in the photobooth and asked for mine and my husband’s electronic thumbprints and signatures.  I didn’t even have to give in photos or any other documents. I was told that I would receive a notification to collect the passports in 2- 3 weeks. The staff were efficient and compared to home affairs, the whole process was a pleasure.

I received an SMS and an email on 22 August (10 days later) to say that the passports were ready for collection.




Additional Notes

  • Beware of incorrect information – Prior to making the appointment, I had emailed Standard Bank to confirm that their Killarney branch processed passport applications and they replied to say that it was “only open to all Standard Bank customers between the age of 25 to 40 who have an active Internet Banking account”. Then I asked the same question on their Facebook page and they confirmed that it was open to all ages. When I went into the Killarney branch they told me that it had just opened up to all ages from a week ago.  Apparently their call centres had not been informed yet.
  • You have to be a Standard Bank, FNB or Absa Internet Banking customer. Payment has to be processed online. You can’t go into the bank and pay as they are not authorised to accept payments.

Update: As at June 2017, This service is currently only available at the following bank branches.

  • Absa Centurion Lifestyle
  • Absa Ghandi Square
  • Absa Towers
  • FNB Lifestyle
  • FNB Lynnwood (Grove Shopping Mall)
  • FNB – 4 Merchant Place
  • FNB President Street West
  • Nedbank Lakeview Office Park
  • Nedbank 135 Rivonia Road
  • Nedbank Arcadia
  • Standard Bank Canal Walk
  • Standard Bank Centurion
  • Standard Bank Killarney Mall
  • Standard Bank Simmonds Street

For more updates on this process and the roll-out to the rest of the country, be sure to enter your email address here. Don’t forget to click on the confirmation link in the email you receive.

Did you apply for a passport online ? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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90 comments
Mary P

Wow this is a great blog thanks a mil

My 13yrs old son and I are currently living in west africa for work and his passport has only one page left.

I could apply at the embassy here but it takes 3months to come out as it has to ne send to Pretoria.

My question is ! Is it possible to apply online and his dad who is in SA go submit his Passport pictures at a bank or home affairs ? Or all the offices are on the electronic system for pictures?

As for finger prints he is still a minor so no need.

Regards

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Mary
    I believe that tour son will have to go in personally as they have to take his photos. Also, my husband and I both had to do the biometrics for our kids.

    Reply
Ilse

thank you for the informative article. I followed the steps and registered. However, the PDF form doesn’t download

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Ilse, Please ask Home Affairs to assist you with that one.

    Reply
Dylan

Hi, just wanted to say, I liked this article. It was practical.

Reply
Jackie

We live in Dbn and are wondering whether we could do all the online stuff and then drive to a Pretoria bank (having secured an appointment) to do the biometrics and then have them courier the actual passport to my home?

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Jackie, You should be able to do that but please phone Home Affairs to confirm first.

    Reply
TONI PARFETT

Does anyone know how to cancel an online an online passport application ?
Cancel button is not available!

Reply
rahul jaiswal

Hi
Do we have this facility in Durban bank branches? As i am trying to get a passport for my kid and every time i go they are offline.

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Rahul, This facility is not available in Durban yet, as far as I’m aware. You can contact Home Affairs to find out when they will be rolling it out in Durban.

    Reply
Jasa Pembuatan Website & Marketing Online

Hello, I would like to subscribe for this blog to get updates, so where can i do it please help out.

Reply
Stephanie

Do you perhaps know if you have to specifically have to have a standard bank account at that branch or if I have a Namibian Standard bank account will it also work?

Then I will still visit the Standard bank in SA to do the fingersprints etc…

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Stephanie, The Namibian Standard Bank account should be fine as long as you have internet banking.

    Reply
Susana

I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.

Reply
Bronwen

Thanks for the information! We are thinking of travelling to Johannesburg to do this process with our kids as DHA lines are in excess of 7 hours and always offline….
When collecting however, will both parents and children need to be present or can one parent only collect or perhaps even a representative
Does anyone know

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Bronwen, I believe that only one parent has to be present for collection but I would just confirm it with Home Affairs.

    Reply
James

The information and facts mentioned within this post are some of the very best available.

Reply
Movers

Wow, this is a great blog article, you did such a great job writing it.

Reply
Bernau

Wonderful web site. Plenty of helpful info here.

Reply
Mike

I have a question. If you have done all the process online and you go do your fingerprints at a much later date (say a month later), does that mean the passport would have been processed and ready for you when you go do your fingerprints to collect it, or will they only start processing the passport after fingerprints are done? I am coming home only for three weeks but need a new passport and am worried I will not get it done in time for me to leave.

Thanks
Mike

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Mike, My understanding is that they only start processing once they have your fingerprints. But you can always contact Home Affairs to confirm.

    Reply
Thomas

If I want to renew one of two SA passports I have, which option do I select under reason for application on the online application.

If I use ‘full’ option it does not give me an option to state which passport it is that needs to be renewed?

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Thomas, Please call Home Affairs on 0800601190 . They will assist you.

    Reply
Marco

Really good blog

Reply
klaudiahanton

Sweet. I definitely want to try this.

Reply
Araceli Lopp

Very nice, thank you!

Reply
magdalenafarris

Awesome post.

Reply
Esther Peterson

This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something that helped me.
Thanks a lot!

Reply
Brenton Dourado

Hello! I want to offer a massive thumbs up to the great information you have here on this post. We are returning to your blog for much more soon.

Reply
Doug Liptow

Your attention to detail is great.

Reply
    Sara

    Thank you Doug. I’m glad you found the post useful.

    Reply
julianecrawley

Very good post. I absolutely love this site. Continue the good
work!

Reply
Atiya

Hi Sara

If you are an Absa Internet banking client but not a Standard Bank client, can you still go to a Standard Bank for your biometrics? I ask because there isn’t an Absa near me but there is a Standard Bank.

Thanks for the excellent write up.

Reply
    Sara

    Thanks Atiya
    I believe you can but I would just call the Home Affairs Helpline on 0800601190 to confirm. Alternatively , you can proceed with the online application and see if it gives you an option to book your appointment at an ABSA branch.

    Reply
Palesa

Well written, thanks:-)

Reply
    Sara

    Thank you Palesa. I hope that it helps you.

    Reply
Shona

OUTSTANDING Post.Thanks for sharing.

Reply
Frank

Thanks for the great guide

Reply
Skye

Hi,

I’m wondering if you can tell me when applying online and submitting the application, does the passport application process begin immediately? I’m in South Africa from 29th August – coming from Aus – so I’m wondering if by the time I get to Home Affairs it’ll just be a matter of biometrics and photo and say a couple of weeks later, my passport is ready?

Cheers

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Skye
    Yes, once you do the online bit, you can schedule your appointment for the earliest available date for your biometrics and photos. After that, it normally doesn’t take long before you get your passport.

    Reply
Teeselew reta manaye

I stay south Africa more than five years is so difficult for some one who cames outsid who don’t have passport or id even we don’t have bank account b/c is not allawed some one who don’t have passport or id ever thing is so difficult please understand my filling and help me to get a passport dear

Reply
Shirley

Hello, you don’t mention that these services CAN be done at selected FNB banks as well………….

Reply
    Sara

    Thank you Shirley. I have updated the article with the latest banks and branches to offer this service.

    Reply
isidraoshea

Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up
and the rest off the site is also really good.

Reply
sophiesimcox

I’m so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs.
Appreciate your sharing this best doc.

Reply
roxanneberman

I believe this website has got some real superb information for
everyone :D.

Reply
julie.kotai

Hey very interesting blog!

Reply
otiswhitington

Hey very nice blog!

Reply
Margo

Would anyone be able to advise which home affairs office in the greater area would be the quickest to finalise an online passport application.

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Margo. I have heard that Maponya Mall in Soweto is quite fast.

    Reply
katherinapelloe

Lovely blog! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more.
I am bookmarking your feeds also

Reply
kristi.woodson

Goood article. I absolutely appreciate this site.
Keep writing!

Reply
baileyrintel

I was able to find good info from your blog articles.

Reply
Ramon Cutts

Its excellent – as your other posts :D, Thanks for posting.

Reply
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Reply
Sibusiso

Dears ,

Kindly advice how long I have to wait for the passport to be issued . I am in Dubai and want to apply for a new passport, the current passport will expire in September 2017 . I will be in Pretoria this coming July to get a new passport, I hope 2 weeks will be enough for the process

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Sibusiso, I wish I could tell you for certain how long it would take but unfortunately it is not within my control. However, 2 weeks should be enough. If you have a Standard Bank account, apply online. If not, I recommend going to Maponya Mall in Soweto. I have heard that their turnaround time is good.

    Reply
John

Hi Sara
Some advice pease…
I am resident in the UK at present and found my RSA passport was expiring 20/11/2016 so I tried to contact the consulate in London… what a pain… they told me to ring different numbers until I got back to the original number I had dialled… I gave up.

I am coming back to South Africa in July for a visit and was wondering if I should try and apply while I am there… then I came across your very very professional blog… Thanx for that…

Any advice on re-applying for my passport. Not sure that it would be of any use but always good to have a joker in your back pocket as far as I.D. is concerned.

I do not have any bank accounts in RSA as I closed them all when I left in 2013…

Any advice would be appreciated and continue to produce your very informative and professional blog.

Thanx
John

Reply
    Sara

    HI John, If you do not have any South African bank accounts , you will need to visit Home Affairs. I would recommend the one in Maponya Mall as I know several people who have been there and received their passports very quickly.

    Reply
Perlow87300

Outstanding job once again! Thank you:)

Reply
Poinelli47556

Loving the information on this web site, you have done an outstanding job on the articles.

Reply
Cecily

What is the use,advertising that you may apply online,we are here in the western cape and do not have bank accounts at standard bank.So in other words advertise that it can be done at theses banks ,but you must have a bank account with the particular bank or else stand in the que at home affairs. I have tried to apply online but it will not allow me to submit application, it shows that the applicants details are incorrect which is not true. Then i receive an email stating that the application this is a final application reminder, with contact details. I have tried the number 0800601190 all i get is that the number is unobtainable not once but the whole morning.

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Cecily , I do understand your frustrations. I suggest that you email the Dept of Home Affairs on hacc@dha.gov.za . I have received responses from them on this email address. Alternatively, you can tweet them on Twitter.

    Reply
Mario

Im 20 and a Standard bank user. My passport has expired a few years ago and I have lost it by now. I only have my ID. Can I still renew my passport even though I know the cost may be double?

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Mario, yes there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to renew it or apply for a new passport.

    Reply
Nozi Nqabeni

I applied online for the passport of my kids. Now I want to make payment but I can not find dept of home affairs as a beneficiary. I bank with standard bank. How do I make payment then?

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Nozi , you don’t add them as a normal beneficiary. You go to the “My Bills” option under “Payments” and you will find the Department of Home Affairs as a beneficiary. This is after you have initiated the payment instruction on the DHA website. Hope this helps.

    Reply
aidz

Hiya Sara,

Figured you might know faster than home affairs would. I am a Standard Bank customer based in the Western Cape and time for my wife and daughter’s (she’s aged 7) passport renewal has come up. I realise I can apply for my daughter as a minor, but I’m guessing my wife would need an account with Standard bank (as then she could apply for herself and my daughter?)

Otherwise, since my wife is an ABSA customer, do you know of any ABSA branches in the Western Cape that are part of the e-application program? I can’t find a list of branches published on the DHA site.

Thanks!
Aidz

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Aidz , To the best of my knowledge, your wife has to be a Standard Bank customer in order to apply online for herself and your daughter, as there aren’t any ABSA branches in WC that have Home Affair offices. All the best, Sara

    Reply
      aidz

      Aaaah ok. Cool thanks. I think we’ll do the application online and just go to the nearest home affairs smart office for the biometric stuff. At least then it’s just that to deal with 😉 Thanks for the response!

      Reply
        Sara

        That will probably be best. I hope Home Affairs rolls this out to the other banks countrywide soon.

        Reply
latia.waldman

Oh man. I’m bound to make use of this.

Reply
    Sara

    That’s great Latia. All the best.

    Reply
merlina cristie

Thanks for the helpful info.

Reply
Gerda

I successfully applied online today for my passport and my appointment at Standard Bank Killarney is in a few days time. I tried to do same for my daughter who is 17 yrs old. According to Home Affairs she is treated as an adult and not as a minor therefore I had to create her own profile. She does not have a Standard Bank acc and I cannot pay for her via my bank acc. How do I go about to pay for her so that she can also apply for her passport?

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Gerda. Oh dear, that is a bit of a problem. My kids are minors so I was able to pay for them from my account. I would advise you to call the Home Affairs Helpline on 0800601190 and ask them as they would be able to advise you best. Good luck

    Reply
Ro

wow, what a clear and informative post. wish more blogs had practical info like this!

Reply
Stephen

Hi there. is there a service for passport renew over seas. I’m in the Philippines, but travel allot and how long does it take to get a new Passport/

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Stephen, Do you have a South African passport? If so, I would suggest that you email csc@dha.gov.za and ask them.

    Reply
      Stephen

      Dear Sara,

      Hope that you are well! For some odd reason I only got a email now with your reply. Thank you for the information, it’s appreciated. I will contact them tomorrow.

      smgatter@gmail.com is my email address if you have any further information.

      Thanking you for your time on this matter.

      Regards

      Stephen

      Reply
Logan

Looking to sort out a passport

Reply
Mulalo

afternoon can i apply a passport for a baby of 8 months on online and do i need to upload the copy of her birth certificate.

Thank you

Reply
    Sara

    You should be able to apply for your baby online. With my kids I wasn’t asked for birth certificates, just the parents’ ID documents. I did have to enter the children’s ID numbers though – which is on the birth certificate.

    Reply
Amanda

Morning,did you pay extra to have it processed at the bank?

Reply
    Sara

    Morning Amanda . No, the fee was the same as going into Home Affairs.

    Reply
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