Effective 1 December 2016, South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs (DHA) issues a new type of birth certificate known as a “full” birth record. This adds to their Unabridged, Abridged and Vault copy of birth certificates issued.

This new birth certificate offering serves to eliminate the backlog of duplicate requests for birth certificates by offering quicker processing speeds.

Birth registrations in South Africa were previously issued an Abridged birth certificate by the DHA as standard practice. The Abridged certificate can be seen as a shortened version of birth record that only serves to confirm that the applicant has had their birth records captured and registered.

The Abridged certificate would therefore only evidence the applicants recorded place of birth, date of birth and the applicants full registered name.

For visa and travel purposes, this limited information does not disclose who the applicants registered biological parents are. Therefore, especially in cases where minors are looking to travel abroad, the Abridged birth certificate does not serve as means to confirm who the minors registered parents are. Making the Abridged birth useless for international travel purposes.

Cleverly the new system will issue a full birth record for new registered births going forward from here. This will eventually eliminate the need to request separate certificates, with more details, to be issued.

Attached below are examples of the new “Full birth certificate” and the old “Unabridged birth certificate” for reference purposes:

new-2017-sa-birth-certificatesold-2016-sa-unabridged-birth-certificates
Example of New “Full SA Birth Certificate”.Example of Old “Unabridged Birth Certificate”.

Please note that for British passport applications, even with the new bio-metric capturing data that the DHA has implemented, Her Majesties Passport Office still insists upon Vault copies of birth certificates (preferred over the Unabridged or Full birth certificate records). Further information can be found on our “UK birth rights explained” page.

Further details of our product offerings relating to UK birth rights can be found below:

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