SA ID Book


My hubby & I have been living here for 12 years now and think it is time to go back home. We need to renew our ID books, mine is still in my maiden name and my husband's was stolen years ago and never had it replaced. Does anyone know how to go about applying for new ID books and how to get the forms? I tried to phone the consulate in London today but due to the move of offices the phone numbers are unavailable.

Crazyboutcapetown replied on 06-25-2009 9:34 AM

Hi Michelle

Wow, heading home after so many years! It is quite hard to get hold of the offices to enquire about how you could go about it, but I suggest going there in person and getting everything you need in one go. From September 1st, you can go to the offices between 8:45 - 12:30, Monday to Friday without booking an appointment. However, they do take enquiries over the phone between 2pm - 4pm. Try: 0207451 7299. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Michelle replied on 06-25-2009 3:46 PM

Hi Crazyaboutcapetown,

Yip, we were only meant to come over for 4 years or so and well time has flown by and we are now sick and tired of it here!!  Unfortunately we need to get our ID books asap as we have to renew our passports too but need ID numbers, haha catch 22 here rather than waiting until September, I have decided to send them a letter requesting the forms, I hope I have the right forms and will hopefully have a reply from them soon.  I have just called that number, funnily enough it is the same number I called and never got through, however this time I did but had to leave a message.

Thanks once again!

moniquebrogan replied on 06-29-2009 2:06 PM


I have the same dilemma but was wondering whether, as I have an ID number in my passport, whether this wouldn't suffice? Do you need to apply for an ID book in order to renew your passport?

Michelle replied on 06-29-2009 10:55 PM

I don't think so Monique, if you apply for your passport by post you will just need to fill in the application forms however, if you go to the embassy, they may want to see your ID book as proof.  Surely though if you know your ID number that should suffice.

I need to change my ID book & passport to my married name and my husband lost his ID book and doesn't know the number, so will need this to apply for his passport.  All in all, we need our ID books first...

Michelle replied on 07-12-2009 2:48 PM

Well, I posted a letter to the Embassy asking for them to post me some application forms, I also sent a pre paid envelope and guess what?!  I am still waiting.  Can anyone tell me how long it takes to receive the application forms?

moniquebrogan replied on 07-19-2009 1:46 PM

Does your husband not have his ID number in his passport? That is where mine is.

Michelle replied on 07-19-2009 5:29 PM

Hi Monique,

My husband only has a British passport, hence the reason we are applying for a new ID book so that we can apply for his SA passport.  Catch 22 really!  :(

Michelle replied on 07-23-2009 11:27 AM

Well I have received my application forms now (looks like they only have ID cards now?) anyway I think we will wait until Sept. and then go in without an appointment and do everything all at once.

bakermidge replied on 07-24-2009 12:22 PM

It will be easier for you to download the application forms from the website

Michelle replied on 07-24-2009 1:59 PM

Hi Bakermidge,

Thanks for your note however they don't have ID book/card application forms on the website.  I have received them now anyway so will go in person and apply.


Caron replied on 08-10-2009 9:23 PM

Hi Michelle

Oh my gosh - it has been like reading about a mirror image situation of my own.  I have been in the UK for a few more years than yourself and am looking to return to SA but my ID book is still in my maiden name (I don't have a South African passport though as I have a British Paspport and will therefore need to apply for a SA Passport too as part of the SA protocol for returning to SA) but in the first instance I will need a new ID Book in my married name.  Could you please tell me which address you wrote to in order to obtain the application forms for a new ID book?  I think what I will do is write to them and as for the forms, fill them in in my own time at home and then like yourself, go in person with the completed forms and do everything in one go and hopefully once I've done the ID Book application, I can then proceed to the application for the SA Passport.  Any help/advice would be most appreciated.

Thanks Michelle.



Michelle replied on 08-10-2009 11:20 PM

Hi Caron,

Glad to see we are not the only ones in this predicament!  What is the SA protocol now then? 

I wrote to the address below and sent a self addressed envelope too, however I see on their website that Whitehall was only being refurbished until the 15th July, so I'm not sure which address to write to now.  I would still write to the one below and I am sure they will redirect your mail if it is wrong.  Don't forget to do a covering letter requesting form BI-9, I would request a couple in case of errors, I asked for 3 copies.

South African High Commission
South Africa House
Trafalgar Square
London WC2N 5DP

The form is quite complicated, so I am going to take it with me to the embassy and fill it in there. 

I am going to do the same as you, get the ID cards/books out of the way first and then do the passports, it may just confuse them if you hand in too many different forms.  You can download the passport forms here: not sure if you need this one.

And you need another BI-9 form for your passport application too so I would definietly request more than one.  Other info required:


  1. 4 X passport size photographs.

  2. 6 X passport size photographs for applicants 15 ½ years of age / who are not in possession of a 13 digit Identity number.

  3. 2 X certified copies of bio – data page of passport or ID book. This is a page showing your face and all your particulars. Requested copy of the ID book or passports of applicants making applications in person will be certified accordingly by Consular staff. Applicants not having ID number must provide their RSA birth certificate and form BI 24 notice of birth.

  4. 2 X certified copies of marriage certificate – if applicable.

  5. 2 X certified copies of divorce decree – if applicable.

  6. 2 X certified copies of foreign birth registration or naturalization certificate – if applicable.

  7. Original police report – if your passport is lost or stolen / case number and form CMO217.
  8. Sworn statement detailing how your passport was destroyed or damaged – if passport is damaged or destroyed.

  9. Written consent from both parents (If applicants are under 18 years)

  10. 2 X certified copies of valid British Visa.

When are you going back to SA Caron?

Good luck with your application.




moniquebrogan replied on 09-14-2009 1:50 PM

Hi all,

Me again. I am also looking to get my first ID book. I applied for it ages ago in SA and they never came back to me so here I go again. Does anyone know how long it takes to get once the application is in? Also, can you not just get the forms at the embassy when you get there as it says on the website regarding passport applications:

BI 9 (Fingerprint Form. The form is completed ONLY by applicants who are 15 ½ years and above. It cannot be downloaded from our website and applicants must send a fully paid self addressed envelope if they need it. Those applying for passports in person will receive them at the office.

Finally, can one give them an address in SA to send the id back to as I am quite keen to go back to SA soon and do not want to wait around for months to get it back although I would rather apply for it here than arrive in SA and have to start doing stuff like that?

Any help would be appreciated.


Michelle replied on 09-14-2009 7:19 PM

Hi Monique,

Well we went 2 weeks ago, quite a long wait, we spent ALL morning there.  Whether you are re-applying or applying for your first ID book you fill out the same form, you can get them from the receptionist as you go in as she has a pile of forms there, you must also fill in the form BI529 (Determination of Citizenship), whichyou can download from the website.  Everyone who applies outside of SA must fill this in.  It is going to take approx. 4-5 months for the ID's to come back.  You must go to Whitehall not Trafalgar Sq. as they have moved back into the refurbished offices.  Quite nice actually if you think what SA's home affairs are like.  I think the BI9 form is the form you need for an ID book but just clarify this when you get there. 

If you are applying to change name, you need to attach a copy of your marriage cert. or if it your first application you need to attach a copy of your birth cert or permanent residence permit.  I must stress to have ALL your copies with you as they do not do it for you and will turn you away, there is a Subway sandwich shop just next to the SA Embassy on Trafalgar Sq and there is a photocopy shop in there.  You only need 3 photo's too. 

Not sure about asking them to send it back to SA, they may tell you to apply there but there is no harm in asking, you should call the general infomation line on the website or in my original post regarding this subject.

Hope that helps.



gill replied on 09-07-2010 4:28 PM

What a helpful forum. I applied for my passport and ID book to be changed to my married surname mid-November 2009. I had a really good experience at South Africa House, everyone I spoke to was very professional and helpful. My passport arrived mid-February... but I STILL haven't received my new ID book. I have been using the tracker on the Home Affairs website, but for the last six months it's showed the same thing: "Being printed in Pretoria".

Does anyone have any idea how much longer this will take? Should I be following this up with a letter to South Africa House here in London?



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