How to Renew My South African Passport

Written by jolene armand
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How to Renew My South African Passport
(Stephanie White/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Passports in South Africa are issued to citizens (either native born or naturalised) in accordance with the South African Passports and Travel Documents Act of 1994. South African passports are valid for 10 years from the date of issue, except for passports issued to children under the age of 16. These are valid for five years from the date of issue. Though passports are only issued in Pretoria, South Africa, the South African Embassy in Washington, D.C., can assist South African citizens living in the United States with passport renewal and other travel document related matters.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Copy of your old passport
  • South African identity number
  • Self-addressed prepaid courier envelope

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  1. 1

    Download and print forms BI-73 and BI-529 from the South African Embassy website at Follow the link titled "Visas and Passports."

  2. 2

    E-mail the South African Embassy at and request form BI-9 and the current fee schedule for renewing a passport. Include your mailing address and your South African identity number.

  3. 3

    Complete forms BI-73, BI-529 and BI-9. Include the address that the embassy should send your new passport to in the home address field. This should be the same address as is on your self-addressed prepaid courier envelope.

  4. 4

    Purchase a bank check or postal money order in the amount of the passport fee, using the fee schedule you have received from the South African Embassy. You can purchase a bank check at any bank. Postal money orders are available at any United States Post Office.

  5. 5

    Mail all of the forms, a cashier's check or postal money order in the amount of the passport renewal fee made out to the South African Embassy and a copy of your old passport to the South African Embassy in Washington D.C. at 3051 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC, 20008.

Tips and warnings

  • You can purchase a courier envelope from any shipping company.
  • Temporary passports are available in emergency situations with a shorter waiting period.
  • It can take between 10 weeks and six months for the Department of Home Affairs to issue your new passport.

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