Losing a wallet is bad, but what makes it even worse is the ID card that is usually stored inside. An identification card is a person’s primary proof of identity as a citizen. Many activities require the presence of a valid ID card, such as opening a bank account, applying for jobs, and applying for a driver’s license. If this unfortunate happens to you, don’t panic. We are here to help. In this article, we will introduce everything you need to know about South Africa’s lost ID application online, including eligibility, replacement, cost, and more.

Eligibility for lost ID card application

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) states any citizen aged 16 and above, including naturalized citizens and permanent residence permit holders,  is eligible for a Smart ID card. If their ID card is lost, damaged, or stolen, they can apply for a re-issued ID card. 

What happens if you lose your smart ID card

An ID is a unique identification document for every citizen. It contains crucial information. The security level of the new Smart ID card is very advanced. Even if someone with bad intentions would find it hard to duplicate the information inside; however, losing it may result in various consequences and inconveniences:

  • If you lost your original ID after you applied for a new Smart ID card, you will have to provide a police case number and affidavit and pay for the service fee again. 
  • It would be extremely inconvenient when you have to show your proof of identity on many occasions, such as opening a bank account, obtaining a driver’s license, applying for jobs, and accessing government services. 
  • For traveling domestically, an ID is used as a primary proof of identity in general. Without a valid ID, it would be difficult to travel by train or airplane

How to replace lost ID in South Africa

If your ID card is lost, damaged, or stolen, you can apply for a replacement ID card. Notice that only a Department Home Affairs office that has a live capture system can issue a new Smart ID card. The steps are described as the following:

Step 1. Filling out the Form BI-9 with black ink  if you have not done a fingerprint scanning

Step 2. Submitting any additional documents if required, such as a marriage certificate

Step 3. Pay R140 fee 

Make sure to leave your phone number in the application form. You will be able to receive SMS updates on the progress of your new ID card-making process. You can text “ID” to 32551 to receive updates. The fee will be R1. You can also go to the Department of Home Affairs website to track the progress as well. 

How to correct errors in ID card

In case you find any errors on your newly made ID card, the DHA will replace it free of charge; however, there are a few steps you need to follow:

Step 1. Filling out Form BI-9 and BI-309 in black ink with the correct information

Step 2. A valid document that proves the error

Step 3. Two color ID photos if the replacement ID is the old one; for the new Smart ID, the office will have the live capture system; the old ID is still valid, but it will be phased out in the next 6-7 years starting in 2013 according to DHA, so the new Smart ID should be a better choice

How much does a replacement ID cost

The cost of replacing an ID card varies depending on the type of ID card being replaced. There are four types of ID replacement: 

ID TypesCostPhotos
Temporary IDR702 color photos
Replacement IDR1402 color photos
New Smart ID R140No Photo Needed
Error CorrectionFree2 (Old ID)

How long does it take to get a replacement ID

Per the DHA website,  it will take 14 working days from the date of application submitted with all correct information collected. 

How to write an affidavit for a lost ID in South Africa

An affidavit is a written statement made by an individual under affirmation or oath. It is commonly used in legal and financial sectors as evidence or a claim. It is a crime if someone lies in an affidavit. Typical affidavits have one or more than one of the following features:

  • It states the nature of a condition
  • A declaration of a fact under oath
  • It may be as a replacement for a missing legal document

This may sound tedious, but writing an affidavit is relatively easy. Here is a simple template:

  • Title: “Affidavit”
  • Fill in the sentence” I, ____, reside at _____, hereby affirm and declare the following under oath” with your name and home address
  • Write your statement using  bullet points
  • After writing all bullet points, add “I affirm that the content of this declaration is true and correct.
  • Sign the affidavit at the end 

You can also download a free template online at


How do I check the status of my South Africa ID?

The best method is to use the SMS services. Simply text “ID” to 3255. For each message sent, R1 will be charged. Also, you can visit the DHA website to track the status. 

Do I have to renew my smart ID?

There is no need to renew your Smart ID card in South Africa. As BIR states, the Smart ID card is valid for life unless it is lost, damaged, stolen, or has incorrect information that needs to be corrected.

The South African government has decided to phase out the old ID in 5 to 7 years since 2013. The old green barcoded ID book may still be valid; however, in some cases, and for your convenience, the BIR suggests every citizen apply for a new Smart ID as soon as they can to avoid any inconvenience. If you are still using the green barcoded ID book, once it is lost, damaged, or stolen, BIR will issue a new Smart ID as a replacement. 

🔎Read Also: How to Apply for a South African Smart ID Card?

Where to collect my smart ID card?

The Smart ID will be printed at a secure and designated location. Once the making process is finished, the ID card will be delivered to the nearest possible office. An applicant will have to bring a receipt to the office to collect the new ID card.  

What are the benefits of the new ID?

The new Smart ID card utilizes advanced security technology which allows it to combat identity theft and fraud as well as to make many processes easier, such as applying for a driver’s license, voting, and getting a social grant. 


In the above article, we have covered what a New Smart ID card is, who is eligible to apply, and how to apply it. Both citizens and permanent resident permit holders are encouraged to apply. The process is not difficult at all. All you need to do is prepare all necessary documents and follow the steps we provide above.

By Dolores Xiao

I am a content creator and marketer with over 5 years of professional writing experience. I hold a bachelor's degree in communications and have a natural curiosity about technology, as evidenced by my technology blog. As an avid traveler, I draw upon adventures in over 10 countries to inject unique cultural perspectives into my articles and social media campaigns. I thrive on developing engaging content that informs and inspires audiences.