South African Head Office
57 Swarthout Street, Doringkloof, Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa, 0157
From within South Africa: (012) 6709010 or (012) 6709022
From outside South Africa: (0027) 12 6709010 or (0027) 12 6709022
Office Hours Monday to Friday 9:00 to 15:00
Official South African Document Retrieval, Authentication and Legalisation Specialists
Good Standing Certificates
Check your Status
Registration of a South African Birth
All children born in South Africa must be registered within 30 days of their birth (in terms of the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992.A parent, parents, guardian or any other person legally responsible for the child must complete Form BI-
Late registration of a birth:
Births reported after 30 days have additional requirements. These types of registration of births are divided into three main categories:
After 30 days by before one year
After one year but before 15 years
15 years and older (Follows new LRB process)
After 30 days but before one year:
If successful, the application will then be forwarded to the DHA Head office for the allocation of an identity number and for archiving.
After one year but before 15 years :
You must still complete Form BI -
The identity and status of the child -
If the parents are deceased, an affidavit by a close relative at least 10 years older than the child who is familiar with the circumstances of the child’s birth
Any other documents which could help establish the identity of the child.
The following documents are required to ensure the quick processing of your application:
• A certificate by the hospital or maternity home where the child was born. The certificate must be signed by the person in charge and must have the institution's official stamp
• Confirmation of the child's personal details as extracted from the school register of the first school attended by the child. The confirmation must be on the school's official letterhead, be signed by the principal and must have the school's official stamp
• The child's baptismal certificate
• In the case of abandoned children, a social worker report must be submitted
• A clinic card
• School reports
• Any other documentary evidence that may assist in proving the child's identity and status.
Upon application, you will be interviewed and your fingerprints will be verified against the national database.
If successful, your application will then be forwarded to the DHA Head office for the allocation of an identity number and for archiving.
After 15 years:
You must complete Forms DHA-
You must be a South African citizen or permanent residence permit holder with a valid South African Identity Document.
Registering the birth of a child born within wedlock:
Children born within wedlock can be registered under the surname of the father and mother jointly, where both parents have given consent (subject to the signatures on the margin).
• Form BI-
Registering the birth of a child born out of wedlock
Children born out of wedlock are registered under the surname of the mother. They may also be registered under the surname of their biological father provided that the father acknowledges paternity and both the father and the mother consent to the registration of the child under the father’s surname in the presence of a Home Affairs official.
Once the child’s birth has been registered, an abridged birth certificate is issued free of charge, usually a day or so after the registration application has been submitted.
Preparing to get married
The solemnisation and registration of civil marriages, customary marriages and civil unions are managed by the Department of Home Affairs. Civil marriages are governed by the Marriage Act and regulations issued in terms of the Act. South Africa also recognizes customary marriages through the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, which became effective in November 2000. Civil unions are recognised in terms of the Civil Union Act (2006).
If you are planning on getting married, you must:
• Ensure that you are legally allowed to marry: Understand the legal consequences of a marriage, particularly that marriages in South Africa are automatically in community of property, unless a valid ante-
• Verifying your marital status: Due to the large number of fraudulent marriages reported to the Department of Home Affairs every year, a facility has been created for you to check your marital status at any time. You will need your South African ID number in order to use this facility. You can also sms the letter M followed by your ID number (example: M5001010050080) to 32551 A reply sms will be sent back to your cellphone to confirm your marital status and the date of your marriage. The sms’s cost R10 each and will be charged by your network service provider.
• Documents required to enter into a marriage: On the day of the marriage a couple must present the following documents to the person officiating at the wedding:
•• Identity documents(for each person getting married)
•• If a foreign national is marrying a South African citizen, they should both present their valid passports as well as well as a completed BI-
•• If the wedding is for a minor (a person under the age of 18 years), the written consent of both parents/ legal guardian or the Commissioner of Child Welfare or a judge should be submitted on Form DHA-
•• If any of the persons getting married are divorced, then the final decree of divorce should be furnished
•• If any of the persons getting married are widowed, the deceased spouse’s death certificate must be submitted.
• Conducting a marriage
••Only marriage officers authorised in terms of Act No. 25 of 1961 to perform marriages may do so. Presently civil marriages are solemnised at offices of the Department of Home Affairs and at churches (by authorised marriage officers).
•• A marriage must be conducted in the presence of at least two witnesses in:a church or another building used for religious services, in a public office or private house, with open doors. In the case of serious illness or injuries, the marriage may take place in a hospital or any concerned facility.
• Marriage certificates
•• Two witnesses and the marriage officer must sign the marriage register after the solemnisation of a marriage. Then the marriage officer must issue the parties with a handwritten marriage certificate (BI-
•• The marriage officer must then submit the marriage register to the nearest office of the Department of Home Affairs, where the marriage details will be recorded in the National Population Register (NPR).
• Any additional abridged copies or unabridged copies of the marriage certificate can be requested by:
•• Completing Form BI-
• The law states that certain categories of people may not marry. These include:
•• Minors, unless the prescribed consent to the marriage has been given
••People who are already married. bigamy is a punishable offence in South Africa. Such marriages are also null and void under South African law
Registration of a Death
The Births and Deaths Registration Act requires that a person’s death be reported to any one of the following people:
• Specific officers at the Department of Home Affairs
• South African Police Service members, especially in areas where the Department of Home Affairs has no offices
• South African mission, embassy or consulate, if the death occurred abroad
• Funeral undertakers who are appointed and recognised by the law
• The person reporting the death
• A medical practitioner (where a medical practitioner is not available to complete this form, in rural areas for example, a traditional leader may complete the form)
• A Home Affairs official (where an official from the Department of Home Affairs is not available then a member of the SA Police Services may be approached to complete the form)
• A Death Report (Form BI-
• These designated people may also issue burial orders. No burial may take place unless authorised by way of a burial order (Form BI-
Reporting a death that occurred outside South Africa:
• Deaths of South African citizens and South African permanent residence permit holders that occur outside South Africa must be reported to the nearest South African embassy or mission abroad. The country in which the death occurs must issue a death certificate and a certified copy of the death certificate must be submitted to the South African embassy or mission when reporting a death. If the deceased is to be buried in South Africa, the embassy or mission will assist with the paperwork and arrangements with regards to t transportation of the body to South Africa.
Issuing of death certificates
• The Department of Home Affairs will issue a Death Certificate on receipt of the notification of death (Form BI-
Applications for a Death Certificate must be lodged at any office of the Department of Home Affairs or at any South African embassy, mission or consulate if the death occurs abroad.
Erroneously/ Fraudulently registered deaths: If a person has been erroneously or fraudulently recorded as dead in the National Population Register (i.e. they are still alive) this must be reported as soon as possible to the nearest Department of Home Affairs office for urgent investigation and corrective action.