EDIT 17 MAY 2018: This online system is only available to South African citizens who were born in South Africa.


The best tip I have received this year came after I mentioned in passing that I needed a replacement ID but going to home affairs is such a pain. “You should do it online” was the response I got.


With an actual human recommendation, I looked further into eHomeAffairs. I discovered that this Home Affairs online portal allows you to apply for or renew both passports and the new smart ID cards, so with an outdated ID book and expired passport, I decided to give both a try.


What I wasn’t prepared for was the best Home Affairs experience of my life and the extreme efficiency this process provided.


How does Home Affairs online work?


You go to the website and register. Once registered you login and start a new application either for yourself or a minor. You can select to apply for a passport or smart ID card or both.


Insider’s tip: If you aren’t quick enough at filling out the application, the system logs you off so make sure you have all the info you need on hand. You will need:


  • Your cell phone because it requires OTP’s.
  • Your email open to click confirmation links
  • Your old passport if applying for a new one so you can reference expiry dates and passport number
  • Your ID number (if it hasn’t been conditioned to memory)


Once filled out you click ‘submit’ and if you need to upload any supporting documents it will tell you. I did not need to.


You then need to pay. You input your bank details and then login to your online banking where an instruction has already been sent to your my bills section. You pay like you would any other EFT and it sends a confirmation back to home affairs that the bill has been paid. You also get an email notification to confirm your payment was successful. The new smart card ID was R140 and the passport R400.


You then need to book an appointment. I chose to make an appointment at a home affairs enabled bank office instead of going to home affairs and the process was so smooth sailing that I would recommend you do the same.


You need to select a branch of the bank you bank with. My branch did not have a home affairs office, but the nearest branch of my bank was less than 10km away from me.


When I clicked ‘make a booking’, I was not expecting appointments available from the next day but there were and better than being able to select your day, you get to select your time slot too (within 1-hour slots). You also get an email and sms confirmation of your chosen booking.


You then print your confirmation letter and take it to your appointment along with your green bar-coded ID book or an affidavit if yours is lost/ stolen.


The Appointment


I chose the first-morning appointment and arrived a few minutes before the bank opened. There was a queue of about 5 people in front of me and when the bank opened we all filed into the bank’s home affairs office. At the front counter, the assistant scanned our confirmation letters, verified our ID’s and then there was a lovely row of comfortable chairs to sit on to wait. As each home affairs agent was ready, they called out our names – in the order we arrived.


The wait was minimal and the process, once I got to the counter, was approximately 5 minutes. My details were confirmed, my finger prints were taken digitally and then I sat in their photo-booth, where my photo was taken digitally too. I was then asked where I wanted to collect my ID & passport – I chose the same location.


I was told that I would get an SMS when they were ready (5-7 working days was the expected timeline) and that they wouldn’t necessarily be ready on the same day but that I could wait to fetch in one go. You have 3 months to collect your documents and you do not need to make an appointment to collect them, you just show up with your ID or affidavit.


How long does it take?


I was in and out of the bank in less than an hour. As soon as my appointment was finished I received an SMS and an email confirming my application had been received.


7 days later (4 business days later) I received an SMS and email to say my passport was ready for collection. A day after that my ID was ready. It took me two weeks to schedule myself time to get back to the bank to collect, and when I did, I was in and out in less than 30 minutes.


Best home affairs experience ever, and, my documents happen to contain the best passport/ID photo I have ever had.

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  • Sharon Munn
    February, 18, 2023

    I am unable to register with Home Affairs as I was not born in RSA.

    How do I renew my passport

    • Feige
      February, 21, 2023

      I think you’d have to go to home affairs 🙁

  • Jeanine Anderson
    March, 29, 2019

    ohmy! Times they are a Changing it seems. 🙁

    it’s now 2019 – i went onto the HA website after reading disastrous comments regarding ALL home affairs offices – even Potch – and find this:

    “Please note that this website is currently under routine maintenance (Man working icon) –
    Thank you for your patience.”

    I’m 65 and have a bad back and now have to face queing for hours at a H.A. of my choice.

    • Feige Lewin
      March, 30, 2019

      That is really disappointing! Maybe try again in a few days? It is common for websites to go through maintenance so it could be back up soon.

  • Rebecca Cooper
    February, 20, 2019

    Hi there,
    Am I able to do this online if my bank is not part of the home affairs system?
    Does this mean I go into the home affairs office and pay?
    Thank you

    • Zissy Lewin
      February, 21, 2019

      Hi Rebecca, as far as we know you have to have an account with the banks that offer the home affairs services to be able to do it at them.

  • nita
    November, 14, 2018

    which banks can i go?????

  • Amy
    October, 30, 2018

    Thank you so much for the detailed information, much appreciated! Do you know if you can apply at a bank, for example in Joburg, if you are a resident in a different city (eg: Durban) or do you have to live in Joburg? Do they ask you for proof of residence at the bank?

    One last question if you don’t mind, would a courier be able to collect the passport once ready or does the applicant have to appear in person.

    Thank you for your time.

    Kind regards

    • Feige Lewin
      October, 30, 2018

      Thanks for reading Amy! To answer you:

      – As far as I know actual resident location doesn’t matter. Proof of address wasn’t required (you only take along your booking confirmation and ID) – you are just restricted to picking a bank that you bank with.
      – In terms of collection, I don’t actually know but when you’re at your booking, while they are capturing your info they ask where you want to collect from so you can ask them then. You have I think 3 months to collect from when you receive notification that it is ready. I assume you have to be there in person as I think they scan your fingerprint when collecting.

  • Graham Robertson
    May, 9, 2018

    Hi Feige,

    Great article and very helpful for SA Citizens born in RSA. I was born in Zimbabwe, and although I am a SA citizen I cannot register on the Home Affairs website, which I find very frustrating.

    Oh well, off to Home Affairs we go…


    • Feige Lewin
      May, 17, 2018

      Hi Graham,

      Thanks for your comment. When I wrote this article I had no idea it was only relevant to SA citizens who were born in SA. I learned this a few weeks ago when I was accompanying my mother to home affairs. I tried to use this system to help her renew her passport and get a smart ID but there were no Standard Bank branch bookings available in Johannesburg. The nearest was Pretoria but their booking slots were closed for a few weeks. I decided to go past the branch I did mine at anyway to find out why the system wasn’t showing them as an available. It turns out they were about to undergo renovations – luckily they allowed us to capture her details there but said she’d have to collect it from Home Affairs. The passport was ready 5 days later but the ID took about two full weeks. We were in a queue for about 2 hours and the gentleman next me told me he wasn’t able to use the online system because he was born in the UK. He also told me that there was an incorrect rumor going around that the green barcoded ID’s were expiring so there was a panic causing heavier queues and a backlog. I saw how they were capturing details at home affairs and it was vastly different and way less efficient to the bank branch system. I really hope they roll out this pilot project to more banks and open it up to all SA citizens because it was such a pleasant experience for me. Good luck with your home affairs visit!

  • Belinda Meij
    August, 21, 2017

    Thanks for the feedback Zissy. Will have to give it a go! Just doing the application online is already a huge win time-wise.!

    • Zissy Lewin
      August, 21, 2017

      Yes it is! Hope it’s as easy for you as it was for us 🙂

  • Belinda Meij
    August, 18, 2017

    Apparently in Cape Town it is limited to Standard Bank at the moment. Do you know if there is a public list of which banks already have this in place?

    • Zissy Lewin
      August, 21, 2017

      Hi Belinda, we don’t see a public listing – we were only able to view the banks we could select from once we had applied and were up to choosing a place for an appointment, so you would have to go through the application to see if other banks in CT do it. In JHB there were quite a number of options – I do think they’ve added locations.

  • Justine Burgess
    August, 16, 2017

    This is great to know!

  • Chris
    August, 15, 2017

    Sanet renewed her passport like that. Totally painless procedure!