Birth certificates for newborns are free of charge. However, if you lost your birth certificate, want a new unabridged certificate, or need further copies, you must:


  • Complete the BI-154 form
  • Take your ID or certified copies of your ID
  • The application fee
  • Take your child’s ID


All of this documentation must be submitted to your nearest Home Affairs office or South African mission, consulate, or embassy if you are abroad. The process will take 6 – 8 weeks. Keep in mind, you will need this document to include your newborn on your medical aid. If you wish to expedite the process, consider using an agent.


In the meantime, if you need to travel and are awaiting the unabridged birth certificate, you may ask your local department of Home Affairs for a letter that provides both parents’ details. Your child will be able to travel once you receive this document.

How Long Does a Birth Certificate Take in South Africa When Using an Agent like DocAssist?

Abridged Birth Certificate

In South Africa, an abridged birth certificate is a computer printout (without the parents’ names). The certificate can be attested or legalised, but be sure it will be accepted outside South Africa. Our processing time is around two weeks, and we will need the 13-digit SA ID number.

Unabridged Birth Certificate

Unabridged birth certificates include the applicants’ parents’ details (Home Affairs obtains the original registration document from the archives and all details are placed in the unabridged certificate).


The word “Unabridged” has been removed from the top of the document, but as long as the document states both parents’ names, it is unabridged. Unabridged birth certificates are computer prints that can be apostilled or legalised. When will you need an unabridged birth certificate?


  • Visas for certain countries
  • Emigration purposes


In both cases, we need all the details of the application and the 13 digits South African ID number.


There are two ways to apply for a birth certificate through DocAssist:


Option 1 – you apply directly through the Department of Home Affairs and we expedite the process. 


Option 2 – we apply for the birth certificate on your behalf and DHL it to wherever you are in the world.


While we don’t have a set time frame for how long it will take, we can assure you that you won’t have to wait months as you would when applying directly through the Department of Home Affairs. For more information or help applying for your birth certificates, get in touch with DocAssist today.


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