How Can I Get my ID Online?

Getting your ID, or having an existing one renewed, is something most of us dread. As the due date draws nearer, we start to picture the long lines, the uncomfortable seats, the bureaucratic atmosphere, and all the other nuances that make applications so tedious and draining. But then we remember something – We’re living in the 21st century. Everything’s done over the internet nowadays. We don’t have to go apply in person anymore, we can just do it online! It’s a big step forward for sure, but it’s still not the easiest thing in the world to do, and you may have been left wondering – How do I get my ID online? Can I do it at the bank? And how much will it cost me?

Before we get into any details, it’s important to note that only some parts of the ID application and verification process are available online. In other words, you will still need to go visit a Home Affairs office or affiliated bank branch to verify biometric details such as your fingerprints, your signature, etc. 

That said, online applications will still make the process a whole lot quicker and less stressful as you will be able to submit certain information, and make payments, in advance. 

How Can I Get my ID Online?
How Can I Get my ID Online?

Let’s take a look at the application process itself, to find out what we can do online, and what we need to do in real life. 

Online ID Application Process

Register yourself online via the home affairs website. 

Follow the given instructions and log in to your profile.

Complete your application form.

Submit any relevant documentation.

Make your payment (you can do this either online or at the branch/bank itself). 

Make bookings where allowed. (Bookings are required for bank visits, but not for Home Affairs office visits).

Print out your barcoded confirmation letter and take it with you to the bank or to home affairs. You should also take your ID, if you have one.

Remember to take all the relevant documentation with you when you go to the bank or branch office. This documentation will differ slightly depending on the nature of your visit, ie, you’ll need different info if it’s for your first ID, a re-issue, a correction, etc. You can find a complete list of the specific prerequisites here. 

Your application will be processed and you will receive an SMS when it is ready for collection. 

*Remember, the government is trying to faze out ID books and replace them with Smart ID cards. As a result, you probably won’t receive an older ID when you apply.

Can you Apply for an ID at FNB?

Banks such as FNB only offer certain services with regard to ID applications. Initial registrations and bookings must be made online, whereas things like payments and collections can be done at the bank. Walk-ins are not permitted at banks.
Make sure that your local FNB is one of the banks that offer these services. 

Which Banks do ID Cards?

Most of the larger banks offer ID services, although you should always check online to see if your local branch is included. Usually, the banks that offer these services include – 

  • FNB
  • Standard Bank
  • ABSA
  • Nedbank
  • Investec

You can find a more detailed list of the specific branches here

Remember, ID registrations and bookings for bank visits must be made online first. 

How Can I Get my ID Online?
How Can I Get my ID Online?

How Much is a Temporary ID in South Africa?

Temporary ID certificates should cost you R70.  You will also need your ID number and 2 ID photos. 

How Much is a Smart ID Card?

There is no application cost for your first ID, so if your first smart card is also your first ever ID, it shouldn’t cost you anything at all. That said, if you already have an ID and are applying for a Smart ID card, the application process should cost R140. 

When is the Best Time to Go to Home Affairs?

Everyone has a different idea about when you should go to home affairs. Most people recommend going as early as possible, before it even opens, and forming a queue. Others, meanwhile, argue that you should try slipping in at the tail end of the day, right before closing, when things are beginning to quiet down. 

In all likelihood, the waiting time will depend on the home affairs office in question, so it may be a good idea to take a little drive out into the sticks, in order to find a relatively secluded, and less busy office, rather than waiting in line for hours at a more convenient branch. 

Can I Apply for an ID Without my Parents?

Generally speaking, you will need a parent with you when you apply for your first ID. Additionally, said parents must also bring along a certified copy of their ID. 

If you really can’t get one of your parents to accompany you, there is a chance that you can get things done without them, but you will still need a certified copy of their ID, alongside a certified copy of your birth certificate and proof of residency. If both of your parents are deceased, you should take along your legal guardian instead. 

When Can you Get your ID?

You will become eligible for an ID once you reach 16 years of age.

Do You Need an ID to Write your Matric?

No, you do not. According to a recent court ruling, it is unconstitutional for you to be denied the ability to write your matric, even if you do not have the proper identification. 

If you do not have an ID, try getting your parents or legal guardians to create an affidavit which can serve as a substitute. If your ID will not be ready in time for your matric examinations, you can also try getting a temporary ID to use until your real one arrives. 

How Long Does it Take to Get an ID?

Assuming everything goes smoothly, your ID should become available for collection within 14 days of your application. Remember to provide the home affairs office with your cell phone number, and you should receive an SMS when it arrives.  

How Can I Get my ID Online?
How Can I Get my ID Online?

Will my ID be Delivered to Me?

No, it will not. Your ID will be sent to the office or bank where you made your application. You will have to return to these offices to collect it. 

In Conclusion – How do I get my ID Online and Can I get it from the Bank?

A lot of the ID application process can now be accomplished online via the home affairs website, however, you will still need to visit a branch office or bank to complete the procedure. 

To complete the process, simply – 

  • Register online via the home affairs website. 
  • Follow the given instructions and log in to your profile.
  • Complete your application form.
  • Submit any relevant documentation.
  • Make your payment (you can do this either online or at the branch/bank itself). 
  • Make a booking if you intend to visit a bank.
  • Take all relevant documentation, including a printout of your barcoded confirmation letter.
  • Complete the process at the bank or branch office. 
  • Return to home affairs or to the bank when your ID arrives. 

Not all banks provide this service, so you will need to check with them beforehand to see if they can help you. If you do end up going to a bank, remember to make a booking online first, as walk-ins are not allowed. Bookings are not required for home affairs. 

Your first ID is free, but any further applications will cost you R140. Temporary IDs can also be obtained for R70. 

It is important to note that ID books are being slowly fazed out, so you should receive a Smart ID instead. 

An ID can be applied for by citizens who are at least 16 years old, and usually, take around 14 days to arrive. They will be delivered to the branch or bank where you made your application, so you will need to revisit this location to pick them up. 

You will usually need at least one of your parents with you when you first apply for your ID, although you may be able to get by with the help of a guardian or a certified copy of your parent’s ID. 

You can write your matric exams without an ID, but you will normally require some other kind of documentation such as an affidavit created by your parent or guardian. 

Disclaimer Finance101: All of our posts are for research purposes only. Finance 101 aims to assist its readers with useful information on the laws of our country that can guide you to make financial decisions that will enable you to become more financially independent in the future. Although our posts cite the constitution in many instances, they are intended to assist readers who are looking to expand their knowledge of the law & finance-related queries. Should you require specific legal/financial advice we advise you to get in touch with a qualified financial expert.

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