Home Affairs South Africa launched its online Smart ID and passport applications in 2016, offering South Africans a way to apply for Smart IDs online.
The Department of Home Affairs website allows South Africans from all over the country to apply online for a new Smart ID by completing an application and submitting supporting documents.
Once this is completed, users can pay for their Smart ID card online and schedule a booking to visit a Home Affairs office or a participating bank branch to input their biometrics and pick up their new Smart ID.
Home Affairs also warns South Africans on its website that to beware a common ID book end-of-life hoax, labelling these reports “fake news” and assuring users that the ID book remains valid.
There is a plan in place to slowly phase out the green bar-coded ID book after the Live Capture system is rolled out to all Home Affairs offices, but they remain valid for the time being.
South Africa’s new Smart ID card is one of the most advanced IDs in the world, according to LAWtrust solution director Maeson Maherry.
Maherry is overseeing the Smart ID project with the Department of Home Affairs, and said that the system is designed to improve automation of identity checks.
The Smart ID includes a contactless chip and advanced security features that leverage a mixture of public and symmetric-key cryptography to secure the data stored in the chip.
This card is also based on public key infrastructure, however, meaning that it can be used to interact in business and other processes.
Various bank branches around South Africa include a Home Affairs Live Capture service which allows them to facilitate the issuance of Smart ID cards.
This can be much easier than going into a standard Home Affairs branch, although there is no guarantee it will take any quicker to process your request.
Currently, there are 180 Home Affairs offices equipped with Live Capture systems, Home Affairs said. South Africans not near one of the bank branches listed below may visit a Home Affairs office rather than using its eChannel system.
Since last year, one of the participating branches – Absa Ghandi Square – has been closed, while a number of others, including Standard Bank Simonds Street, have been added to the list.
Below are the participating Smart ID and passport bank branches in South Africa, according to the Home Affairs website.
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