Travel Tips: How To Apply For Your Passport Online

A South African passport rests on an open atlas

1.7min read

Published 31 October 2016


Keeping your passport up to date is always a good idea. Home Affairs has prepared a useful How-To Guide on the process you will have to follow and we strongly recommend that you make use of this resource. But, for your information, here follows a brief summary.

The good news is that you can indeed attend to virtually everything yourself while sitting at your computer! The following may look like a lot to do but really, the Department of Home Affairs has created a very user-friendly interface and following it step by step will see you completing the process in next to no time at all.

A person typing there username and password into a laptop

Here are the steps that have to be followed.

1. Log onto the eHomeAffairs website.

2. Register a profile

Here’s what you need:

  • An ID number/a passport number.
  • A mobile phone number.
  • An email address.

The mobile number and the email address are critical parts of the security process. You have to verify your registration via a link that is emailed to you, and you receive a one-time pin (OTP) every time you log on to eHomeAffairs.

3. Capture the received OTP (one time PIN) to confirm your cell phone number.

4. Log in to your profile.

5. Capture the login OTP (one time PIN) received via SMS.

6. Complete the application form.

7. Submit the completed application form by selecting ‘Submit to Home Affairs’.

8. Upload the required supporting documents.

9. Make the online payment through your bank.  (A tourist passport in South Africa currently costs R400 and is valid for 10 years).

10. Make a booking at a Home Affairs enabled Bank office

11. Submit your biometric data

There are some things that you still have to do in the real world. In this case, it’s capturing your fingerprints, photograph and signature. These can be done at a Home Affairs branch. Some may allow you to make an appointment to get this done. It’s best to call first to find out. Here’s the full list of offices and contact numbers countrywide.

However, if you’re in Johannesburg, Pretoria or Cape Town you also have the option of going to one of 12 bank branches to capture your biometric data which certainly beats having to deal with the usually pressing crowds at Home Affairs offices.

12. Print your confirmation letter  

13. Get ready to collect your passport

Please note that due to COVID-19, Home Affairs is inundated with queries. Passport applications are currently taking longer than the usual one month to process, so we encourage you to apply for your passport in advance to avoid delays. Passports cannot be renewed once they expire; you will need to apply for a new one.

You can track your application’s progress by sending an SMS containing the letter “P” followed by a space and then your ID number to 32551 or else you can go online.

You will be notified by SMS when your passport is ready. The message will contain information on where you can collect your crucial travel document.

And then all that’s left is to get going! Happy travels!

A person pressing a submit key on a laptop

*Updated on the 22nd of March 2022

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