In July 2013, a phase-out project for the old South African green identity documents, which serve as proof of a person’s identity, was introduced by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). This was put in place due to the old ID card being frequently used for fraud and theft. As a result, it became insecure for individuals and the authorities as the green bar-coded identity book is easy to forge. The smart ID card, on the contrary, is extremely hard to forge. It has better security features. The physical security features on the body include laser engravings and holograms, while the logical security features include fingerprint biometrics and a contactless chip.
The new card offering automated identity verification has drastically reduced the rate of fraudulent activities using the identity document. Following the inception of the smart ID card in 2013, some of the major banks in South Africa entered into a partnership with the Department of Home Affairs. As such, they started offering the E-Home Affairs service at a handful of their branches. In 2020, many other bank branches were added to the DHA’s list of partnered banks. As a result, there has been a significant increase in the number of smart ID cards that have been presently rolled out.
Also, the bank partnership has helped to reduce long queues at the Home Affairs offices. Hence, making the smart ID card application process less stressful and very easy to carry out, unlike before when it was more time-consuming.
Which Banks Partnered With DHA For Smart ID Card Application and Rollouts?
In 2015, the former Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, kickstarted a pilot program with only two South African banks for smart ID card applications and collection services. The First National Bank and Standard Bank were the banks that participated in the programme for six months, from September 2015 to March 2016. With over 37 million smart ID cards needed to replace the green-barcoded ID booklets within a period of five to eight years, the Department of Home Affairs partnered with these banks to help accelerate rollout for the smart ID cards in a cost-efficient way. Currently, the number of banks offering this service has increased, including FNB, Standard Bank, ABSA, Discovery Bank, Investec Bank, and Nedbank.
After the Department of Home Affairs’ first pilot programme with the banks ended in March 2016, the E-Home Affairs service was launched in the following month. As a result, South Africans started enjoying a less stressful means of applying for a smart ID card at the comfort of their homes. They were also introduced to more straightforward means of ID card payment on the Home Affairs website using the online banking service. Afterward, the applicant can go to the nearest supported bank branch for fingerprints and photo capture. Once the ID card is ready for pick up at the selected bank branch, Home Affairs will notify the applicant via SMS.
In addition to DHA’s bank partnership providing a convenient means of smart ID card application for citizens, it also provided wider service access points for the people. In summary, the objectives for the DHA’s bank partnership are listed as follows:
- To reduce queues in Home Affairs offices by diverting some of the clients to the enabled bank branches.
- To eliminate the dual means of identification in the shortest possible time.
- To reduce the timeline of the green bar-coded identity books replacement, and
- To create leverage through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) by making use of the available space in banks.
Smart ID Card Online Application with FNB
Since the banks started offering smart ID card applications and collection services, it has only been issued to South African citizens who are 16 years or older. Reportedly, permanent residence permit holders will start making applications at a later stage. As such, for one to apply for the smart ID card with First National Bank, they have to be a South African citizen and a client of the bank as well. So far, First National Bank has issued more than 128,000 smart ID cards since it entered into a partnership with the Department of Home Affairs.
The bank has achieved this by expanding the smart ID card collection service nationally for all their customers to experience. Currently, the service has been rolled out in FNB branches in some provinces, including Gauteng, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and Limpopo. The bank’s application process is listed as follows:
- Register on the Home Affairs online portal and create an eChannel profile
- Complete the application for a smart ID card
- Approve the payment via your FNB online banking profile
- Schedule a visit to the nearest FNB branch enabled by DHA
- Visit the branch on the booked date for scanning of fingerprints and photo capture
- Ensure you go with the original copies of the supporting documents you attached to your application
- Also, visit the bank with the reference number confirming your payment and the booking confirmation letter for verification, as well as your green bar-coded ID booklet.
- You will receive an SMS notification from Home Affairs to collect the smart ID card at the selected bank branch within some days.
Note: Walk-ins are not allowed at FNB participating branches and other banks as well. You can only visit banks for the smart ID card application process and collection after you have completed an application online and scheduled a visit to the bank.
You Can Apply for a Smart ID Card at Capitec Bank
Although Capitec bank is one of the major banks in SA, it is not involved in the partnership between banks and the Department of Home Affairs regarding smart ID card application and delivery. The bank didn’t participate in the first pilot program in 2015. When Capitec bank was approached for the project in 2014, they were asked by Home Affairs to have a separate kiosk inside the bank where the necessary application procedures and registration and card collection will be carried out. A spokesperson of the bank’s executive management committee later disclosed that the bank branches are built in a size that serves its clients in the most optimum way.
As a result, only a very few of their branches will have extra floor space to allocate for the kiosk needed for Home Affairs smart ID card application and delivery. To ensure efficient operations across its branches, the bank utilizes all of its available space to service its clients. Capitec also cited the unavailability of staff, who can smoothly run the expected volume of applications, as another factor that prompted them to decline from joining the project. In summary, the bank explained that if they were to participate in the pilot program, it would not be of substantial benefit to their clients as it would negatively impact their core needs.
Smart ID Card Online Application Process with ABSA Bank
In 2017, ABSA Bank joined the Department of Home Affairs pilot program for smart ID card applications and collection at South African banks. With the Home Affairs IT equipment being installed in many ABSA branches, the bank now processes over 1,000 smart ID card applications per month. At ABSA Bank, the biometric data capturing takes less than 30 minutes, and the smart ID card collection takes place within 12 days. The following processes are involved in smart ID card application with the bank;
- Create an account on eHomeAffairs and register
- Fill the application form
- Upload the necessary supporting documents
- Book an appointment with a branch of ABSA close to you
- Visit the branch for your fingerprints and photo capturing
- Go with a printout of your booking confirmation, green bar-coded ID book, and debit/credit card for payment of the smart ID card application fee
- You will be notified by the Department of Home Affairs when your smart ID card is ready for collection at the ABSA branch
Standard Bank Smart ID Card Application Process
To apply for a smart ID card with Standard Bank, they have to be registered for online banking service with the bank. The person must also be a citizen of South Africa by birth. The procedures involved in the application process are listed as follows:
- Visit Home Affairs online portal and register
- Log in to complete an application form
- Submit the application to the DHA and then upload supporting documents
- Make the application payment to Home Affairs by logging in to your Standard Bank online banking profile and finalize your payment by selecting Pay and Transfer, then Pay My Bills, Billing beneficiaries, and lastly, Dept of Home Affairs.
- After DHA has received the payment, you will be allowed to book a visit to one of the Standard bank branches enabled by Home Affairs.
- Print your booking confirmation letter as well as the reference number and keep
- Go to the selected Standard Bank branch with your green bar-coded ID book and the reference number and booking confirmation letter for scanning your fingerprints and photo capture.
- You will receive an SMS notification from the Department of Home Affairs when your smart ID card is ready.
- Visit the bank branch for the collection of your smart ID card
Nedbank Smart ID Card Application Process
Like other Department of Home Affairs’ enabled banks, Nedbank has fully supported the smart ID card rollout. The bank has been participating in the smart ID card application process since 2017. Its clients have embraced the service and appreciate the convenience it affords them. The smart ID card application service at Nedbank has been quite popular with first-time applicants. The processes involved in the bank’s smart identity card application and collection include:
- Create an account on the E-Home Affairs portal
- Complete the application form
- Upload supporting documents as indicated
- Make payment using your Nedbank online banking profile
- Book a visit to a Nedbank branch close to you for scanning of fingerprints and photo capture
- Go to the bank on the scheduled date with a copy of your booking confirmation letter and green bar-coded ID book
- When your smart ID card is ready, DHA will notify you via SMS, and you will collect it at the Nedbank branch, where the ID card application was processed.
Does Going To The Bank For Collection of a Smart ID Card Attract Extra Charges?
For the 16-year-olds applying for the smart ID card for the first time, the service charge is free. This also applies to those who are 60 years and older as the government ensures that they get their smart identity cards without making any payment. But for all other citizens making an application for the first time or due to a change in personal particulars or surname, an application fee of R140 is being charged. Also, those who want to replace a stolen or damaged smart ID card will have to pay Home Affairs a fee of R140. If you are applying through the online portal, you will have to make the payment using the internet banking service.
If you want to collect the smart ID card at the Home Affairs supported bank branches, you must endeavor to use the bank’s online banking service for the ID card payment as the printout of the payment reference number will be required. At the moment, it’s still uncertain whether the bank charges an extra fee for the application process. However, it is believed that the banks benefit from the partnership through the charges for the transactions involved in processing the smart ID card applications.
List of Banks Where You Can Collect Your Smart ID Card and Their Locations
Irrespective of your location, many First National Bank, Standard Bank, ABSA Bank, and Nedbank branches now offer smart ID card applications and collection services. Below is a comprehensive list of the Department of Home Affairs’ supported bank branches across the country.
|Standard Bank Port Elizabeth||Port Elizabeth||1 Pickering Street, Newton Park|
|Standard Bank Centurion||Centurion||C/o Hendrick Verwoerd and South Street|
|Standard Bank Kathu||Kathu||Hendrik Van Eck Street, Shop 62, Village Walk Shopping Centre|
|Standard Bank Killarney, Rosebank||Johannesburg||Killarney Mall, 60 Riviera Road|
|Standard Bank Canal Walk||Cape Town||Shop 599LL, Canal Walk Shopping Centre, Century City Drive|
|Standard Bank Kingsmead (Closed for renovation)||Durban||1 Standard Bank Centre, Kingsmead Way, Stamford Hill|
|Standard Bank Simmonds||Johannesburg||5 Simmonds Street|
|Standard Bank Promenade Mall||Cape Town||C/o AZ Berman Road and Morgenster Road, Shop 73-74 Liberty Promenade|
|Standard Bank Jubilee Mall||Hammanskraal||C/o Jubilee Road D154 and Harry Gwala Road D2757|
|ABSA Sandton City||Sandton||Cnr Rivonia Road and 5th Street, Sandton|
|ABSA Key West||Krugersdorp||Shop 80, Key West Shopping Centre, c/o Paardekraal Drive and Viljoen Street|
|ABSA Towers||Johannesburg||160 Main Street, Johannesburg|
|ABSA Centurion Lifestyle||Centurion||Centurion Lifestyle Centre, c/o Old Johannesburg Road & Lenchen Avenue|
|ABSA Greenacres||Port Elizabeth||Greenacres Shopping Centre, 1 Ring Road|
List of Upcoming ABSA Branches To Start Offering The Smart ID Card Applications and Collection Services
|ABSA Stellenbosch||Stellenbosch||Oude Bloemhof Building, c/o Plein and Ryneveld Streets|
|ABSA Fourways||Johannesburg||Fourways View, c/o Witkoppen and Cedar Roads|
|ABSA Claremont||Cape Town||Absa on Grove, 11 Grove Avenue|
|ABSA Woodlands||Pretoria||Shop 6 Woodlands Boulevard, c/o Garsfontein Road and De Villebois Drive|
|ABSA Randburg||Johannesburg||Shop L65, Ferndale on Republic, Republic Road|
|ABSA Menlyn Maine||Pretoria||181 Bancor Avenue|
|ABSA Rosebank||Johannesburg||21 Cradock Avenue|
|ABSA Waterfall Mall||Rustenburg||1 Augrabies Avenue, Cashan|
|ABSA Pinetown||Durban||1 Church Ln, New Germany, Pinetown|
|Nedbank St. George’s Mall||Cape Town||C/o Waterkant Road and St. George’s Mall|
|Nedbank Rivonia||Johannesburg||135 Rivonia Road|
|Nedbank The Crossing||Nelspruit||Cnr, Madiba Drive, Samora Machel Dr, Nelspruit, 1200|
|Nedbank Arcadia||Pretoria||C/o Steve Biko and Madiba Street|
|Nedbank Constantia Kloof||Johannesburg||18 Constantia Boulevard|
|Nedbank Sandown – Sandton||Sandton||Cnr Rivonia Road & Maude Street, Shop L05, Block I Lower Ground, Sandown, Sandton|
|FNB Menlyn – Pretoria||Pretoria||Shop 4, upper level, Cnr Simon Vermooten & Lynnwood Road, Equestria|
|FNB Towers||Johannesburg||27 Diagonal Street, Newton|
|FNB Burgersfort||Burgersfort||Dirk Winterbach Street, Burgersfort, Limpopo|
|FNB Merchant Place – Sandton||Sandton||4 Merchant Place, Cnr Rivonia Road, and Fredman Drive|
|FNB Centurion Lifestyle||Centurion||Centurion Lifestyle Centre, c/o Old Johannesburg Road & Lenchen Avenue|
|FNB Portside||Cape Town||Portside, 5 Buitengracht Street|
|Discovery Bank Sandton||Sandton||1 Discovery Place, Cnr Rivonia Road & Katherine Street, Sandton|
|Investec Bank||Sandton||100 Grayston Drive, Sandown, Sandton|
What’s Involved in The eHomeAffairs Smart ID Application?
The E-Home Affairs service was introduced in 2016. Since then, it has aided in making the smart ID card application process easy and flexible. It involves creating a profile, making an application, attaching supporting documents, payments, and scheduling an appointment at DHA’s enabled bank branches. Below is a complete guide on how to make an application on the Home Affairs online portal.
Processes Involved in Home Affairs eChannel Registration
- Create an account
- Create a password
- Provide answers to various security questions in case you will forget your password
- Verify your email address and cell phone number with the OTP (one time pin) you will receive
Steps To Applying For a Smart ID Online
Step 1: Log in to your account with another OTP you will receive
Step 2: Create a new application
Step 3: Complete the application form
Step 4: Upload supporting documents
Step 5: Make a payment of R140 for the smart ID card. Depending on the bank, the payment can be made at a bank branch or via online banking.
Step 6: If you will collect the smart ID card at Home Affairs offices, there is no need to book an appointment as you can visit the office within 60 days after completing your online application.
Step 7: Then, if you choose to pick it up at a bank, you will have to select the branch of the supported bank close to you
Step 8: Select a time slot for your appointment.
Step 9: Confirm your appointment and print the booking confirmation letter
Note: If you wish to make an application and submit it later, the online portal allows you to save your application when completed and then submit it at a later stage.
Requirements For Smart ID Card Application at The Home Affairs Offices
Those applying for a smart ID card for the first time (mostly the 16-year-olds) must visit the Home Affairs office with one of their parents or a legal guardian if the parents are dead. Then the parents or legal guardian must accompany the first applicants with a certified copy of their identity documents, whereas those applying for the first time are expected to come with the following documents:
- A certified copy of a birth certificate or reference book or copy of the old Bophuthatswana, Transkei, Venda, or Ciskei homelands identity or travel documents
- A well-completed Form BI-9. The forms are available at Home Affairs offices and must be filled with black ink
If your smart ID card is lost, stolen, or damaged and you are applying for a replacement ID, you will need the following documents:
- A fully completed Form BI-9 (applicable to those whose fingerprints weren’t previously captured)
- Attachment of supporting documents such as a marriage certificate, naturalization certificate, or a permanent residency certificate
- Payment of R140 for re-issuing of smart ID card
Note: You can also apply for the replacement of a smart ID card when your citizenship status has changed, as well as your personal details and surname (for those who got married or divorced).
What Documents Are Required For Correction of Errors on Smart ID Card?
If there are errors on your smart ID card which need to be corrected, you will need to visit the Department of Home Affairs office for replacement of ID, and you won’t be charged any fee for it. The required documents for correction of errors on ID card include:
- Fully completed Form BI-9 and Form BI-309
- Documents that show the correct information, which also serves as proof of the error
What is the Turnaround Time For Smart ID Card Collection at Banks?
After the application process is completed, it takes between 12 and 14 working days for the smart ID card to be ready for pick up at the selected bank branch. Sometimes it might be ready for collection in less than 10 days, but at most, it takes two weeks from the date the application process was completed. Ensure that you provide your correct cell phone number on the application form to receive regular updates on the progress of the application process through SMS. To receive updates via SMS, follow these simple steps:
- Type the word “ID”
- Give space and type your ID number
- Submit to 32551
- A fee of R1 will be charged for the SMS