Every human being is entitled to a form of identification and documentation. Something that states who you are and where you are from, and that is what a birth certificate does. The document contains information about a person, such as their name, birthdate, parents, and place where they were born. In essence, a birth certificate contains the most basic information of every human being, but it is not a basic document. Every person must have one because you’ll need it for school enrolment, in the job market, and to process other documents like an ID or a passport. If you want to have a birth certificate done quickly in South Africa, you will find this article useful.
Birth certificate South Africa
The Births and Deaths Amendment Act made new provisions for birth certificates in South Africa to be issued. If you had been familiar with the old process, then you would need to update your information. In South Africa, once a child is born, you are required to register that child with the department of home affairs at most 30 days after the child is born. If your child is more than 30 days old and has still not been registered, you can still do it now, irrespective of how old the child is now.
To carry out the child’s registration, you would first of all need to be the legal custodian of the child, either the parent or the legal guardian. Then you would have the full responsibility of filling out the BI-24 form with all the necessary information. You should note that you can only fill the form by hand and in black ink, and once the form is filled, you would be required to submit it at any department of home affairs office near you. If you are a South African who is not in South Africa, you can submit a request for your childbirth certificate at the South African embassy in that country.
As of March 2014, the department of home affairs cancelled the issuing of abridged birth certificates that used to carry only the child’s identification number, the country in which they were born and their full name. This was replaced by an unabridged certificate that included many details such as the parents’ name, the child’s identification number, the name of the city where the child was born, and their citizenship.
What is a vault birth certificate?
You have probably heard this before, or even if you haven’t heard about it until now, you will have the privilege of having it explained to you. First of all, this has nothing to do with actual vaults. A vault certificate is the original copy of the form that parents are required to fill by hand, to register their children at any DHA office. Upon submission, the form is supposed to be signed by the parents and the official who receives the registration form.
If it’s just a registration form, then why may you need it? A vault certificate isn’t some random piece of paper; it is very needful in certain circumstances. If you need to apply for a South African passport, but you are in a different country, if you need to apply for dual citizenship, then you may need to present this piece of information and this specific document. The vault birth certificate acts as proof that you are a South African citizen or prove that your passport is valid. So it is mostly for people who are overseas.
Birth certificate Requirement in South Africa?
- Birth certificates in South Africa are free on the condition that you register the child no longer than 30 days after the child was born. If the child is older than 30 days old, then you would be required to pay a fee. According to the births and deaths registration act, if you do not register the child within the stipulated time frame, it is considered late registration. So, for all late registrations, you would need the following to register your child:
- The DHA24/LRB form; this form is used to notify the department that you require the child’s birth certificate.
- A DHA24/PB form to act as proof that the child was born at a health facility (hospital, clinic etc.)
- A DHA24P-BA form to act as proof that the child was born at home. The document serves as some form of affidavit that you are required to present.
- The DHA288/A form is an affidavit explaining why they are applying for the birth certificate late.
- The parents would have to give their fingerprints.
- The parents would have to present their ID or passport to be able to identify themselves.
- Then you would have to pay the penalty fee so that the process can be completed.
- The biometric data of the child is their fingerprints, the prints of their palms and feet.
- (people over seven years old would have to include ID size photographs).
A few things that you should take note of, those who are applying for birth certificates as a late registration are broken into 3 categories:
- 31 day – one year
- One year – seven years
- Seven years – above
For each of these categories, there are other additional documents that you may be required to add to the documents listed above.
The fastest way to get a birth certificate
The process of getting any document is most times stressful, especially because of the waiting period. If you need a birth certificate for a particular purpose, then we suggest you start the process well before time. However, there is a way to get a birth certificate in one week or even less.
If you want a quick birth certificate, then apply early. If you apply within the 30 days stipulated by the department of home affairs, you will be able to get your childbirth testimonial within 24 hours. Otherwise, it takes about three to eight weeks for your request to be processed, approved and the birth certificate issued.
Note: If your child was born out of wedlock, then you shouldn’t feel dismayed. The procedure for applying for a birth certificate doesn’t change; the difference lies in the surname that you will give the child, which is the mother. You may decide to give the child his father’s name if the father consents to it. For this, you would need the BI-24 form, which must be filled by hand in black ink and submitted to the closest DHA office to you. Once that has been done, the parents would be issued the child’s birth certificate free of any charge.
That’s it! How simple is that? So, you see that applying for a birth certificate, no matter how old the child might be, isn’t as difficult as you may have imagined; it was only a matter of getting the right information. So, there you have it, you can go ahead and begin the process of getting your childbirth certificate ready. If you have any questions or worries that we have not addressed in this article, please contact the department of home affairs so you can have those doubts clarified. Use the contact information that has been made available below:
Postal: Private Bag X114, Pretoria, 0001
Physical Address: Hallmark Building, 230 Johannes Ramokhoase Street, Pretoria
Tel: 012 406 2500 / 0800 60 11 90
Fax: 086 512 7864