Recently my wife wanted to get a new identity document (ID). We were married in 2018 and she (voluntarily) changed her surname at the Department of Home Affairs. What can I say – Nel is a sought-after surname. Being the supportive husband that I am, I decided to schedule a booking for us both. Besides, my 90’s hairstyle picture seemed a little dated.
It’s worth noting that if you want to apply for your smart card ID at any home affairs office, you do not need to make a booking. Having been to a Home Affairs office before, I can definitely recommend using a bank branch instead as the service was better and you will save a lot of time by not waiting in unnecessary queues.
Which bank branches offer this service
At the time of writing, only certain bank branches offer this service. You have to be a client of the bank to use this service. According to MyBroadband, in February 2022 the lists is as follows:
|Absa Claremont*||Cape Town||Absa on Grove, 11 Grove Ave|
|Absa Fourways*||Johannesburg||Fourways View, c/o Witkoppen and Cedar Roads|
|Absa Menlyn Maine*||Pretoria||181 Bancor Avenue|
|Absa Pinetown*||Durban||1 Church Ln, New Germany, Pinetown|
|Absa Randburg*||Johannesburg||Shop L65, Ferndale on Republic, Republic Road|
|Absa Rosebank*||Johannesburg||21 Cradock Ave|
|Absa Stellenbosch*||Stellenbosch||Oude Bloemhof Building, c/o Plein and Ryneveld Streets|
|Absa Waterfall Mall*||Rustenburg||1 Augrabies Ave, Cashan|
|Absa Woodlands*||Pretoria||Shop 6 Woodlands Boulevard, c/o Garsfontein Road and De Villebois Drive|
|FNB Century City**||Cape Town||Shop 171, Canal Walk, 139 Century Boulevard Street|
|FNB Cornubia**||Durban||Shop U76, Cornubia Mall, Flanders & Tacoma Drives, Blackburn Estate, Mount Edgecombe|
|FNB The Glen**||Johannesburg||Shop U2, c/o Orpen & Letaba Rd, The Glen Shopping Centre, Gleneagles,|
|Nedbank Durban North**||Durban||c/o Broadway & St Andrews Drive, Durban North|
|Nedbank North Cape Mall**||Kimberley||Memorial Road, Royldene|
|* Scheduled for 2020
**Scheduled for 2021
How to book online
All bookings are to be done through the eHomeAffairs portal. Register by creating a new profile on this website. Once you have registered, you can logon to the site and create a new booking. Logon using your ID number and your password. Don’t forget to fill in the Captcha form that prevents bots from harassing the portal.
- Log on using your ID number and password. The site will send an one-time PIN (OTP) to your cellphone. Type this PIN into the website to verify that it’s you.
- Once logged on, click on “Create New Application”.
- Select the application type, whether it is for yourself or a minor. Click Next.
- Complete the application form and click Submit.
- Uploading supporting documents is not required for a smart card ID application.
The best time to get a booking
A few users have complained that they cannot get an online booking. I asked a very helpful lady at the particular office we visited what the best time is to get a booking. New booking slots are released every Monday morning between 6 and 9am. This is the best time to logon to the site and look for a booking slot.
The website doesn’t accept credit card payments. Payment has to be done using Internet Banking.
Make the online payment by capturing your banking details. This is only an instruction to your bank to load the payment on your internet banking platform.
This was the really tricky part. The website does not make it clear how to pay – and doesn’t take payment itself. Hello 2021! You need to log onto your internet banking website (or app) and approve the requested payment from the banking website, not on the Home Affairs website. This will be slightly different for each bank.
- In the FNB desktop banking app it will be under the “Payment Requests” tab.
- On other banks like Standard Bank, the process is slightly different. Select the ‘Pay and Transfer’ Tab; then select ‘Pay MyBills’, ‘Billing beneficiaries’ and then ‘Dept of Home Affairs’
- The process on other banking apps will be slightly different. Contact your bank if you have issues with this step.
Once authorised, it may take a few minutes to reflect on the eHomeAffairs portal.
Choose your slot
Once payment has been received you will be able to make a booking at any of the available banking branches.
Choose the region and branch that you would like to book at.
The date dropdown filter is a mess. You have to manually extend the booking date beyond what they offer you. They only offer two weeks ahead. Type in today’s date in the start date selection in the format 2022-02-06 and two weeks from now in the end date, 2022-02-20. You should see available slots and times come up for selection.
At the office
You do not need to print the application form. You will either get an email or text message confirming your booking which is sufficient. Just arrive at the date and time of your booking. They only asked to confirm my ID number.
As mine was a replacement ID, I did not have to bring anything. If you are a first time applicant: Bring along your birth certificate, proof of address and in case of minors, they must be accompanied by a parent.
You will be taken for fingerprints and to have your photo taken.
On the day of the booking I arrived at the bank’s Home Affairs office. They turned a few people away that did not have bookings. After around a 45 minute wait I was called into the office. The actual processing took about 5 minutes to take a digital photograph and fingerprints. The agent said that the card would be ready in two weeks. Breeze!
I did not get an automated notification to collect. Instead I sent a text message to the number 32551 containing the word “ID” plus my ID number. This is premium SMS number so free SMS messages do not apply. The response took a while to come through so definitely not automated. When I finally received a reply, it said that my smart card ID was ready for collection.
Facts at a glance
- Cost: Free if it’s your first ID / R140 if a replacement.
- What to bring: If a replacement of your green barcoded ID – no documents needed. For first first time applications, bring along your birth certificate, proof of residence and your parent if you are still a minor.