How To: Register your baby with Home Affairs

Registering your baby is one of those necessary tasks that can get swept up in the excitement of birth. Here’s what you need to know.

According to South African law, you need to register your baby’s birth within 30 days of their birth date. If you don't register your child within the first 30 days, you'll be required to provide more details for the registration. You can register at your nearest Department of Home Affairs.Your child will need a birth certificate to enroll at school and apply for an identity document, as well as many other official purposes. So how do you obtain this vital document?
When you register your baby, you will receive an unabridged birth certificate. If you're married, the child will be registered under the father's name. However, if you're unmarried, the child can be registered under either parent's name.

Register at your maternity hospital
Many private hospitals offer an in-house service. All you need to do as parents is to fill in the relevant forms and hand it to the relevant hospital personnel, who arrange the whole process for you. You should receive an SMS from the hospital when the certificate is ready for collection. In all likelihood this will be the abridged version. To obtain the unabridged version, which includes the names of the parents, you will need to apply through Home Affairs.

Go to Home Affairs
If your hospital doesn’t offer this service, you will need to go to your nearest Home Affairs office yourself. Don’t forget to take your ID document as well as your baby’s clinic card or hospital certificate with you.  If your child is born outside South Africa, you can register their birth at a South African embassy. For an unabridged birth certificate or a copy of the abridged birth certificate, complete an application for birth certificate (form BI-154). 

Know how long it takes
If you go to Home Affairs directly, your baby will be registered that same day.

Know how much it costs
  • The first issue of the abridged birth certificate is free.
  • A copy of the abridged birth certificate costs R20.
  • An unabridged birth certificate costs R75.
Know which forms to complete
  • Application for a birth certificate – BI-154. 
  • Notice of birth – BI-24
If your hospital doesn’t register your baby for you, then it’s a good idea to go to Home Affairs as soon as you have a spare moment.  It will be one less stress for your partner when she gets back on her feet.
BabyGroup says…
To find more visit: South African Government Services

We check prices and links regularly, however the Department of Home Affairs changes its prices, forms and links more often than we thought possible! We therefore apologise if any links or prices are out of date. If any information is wrong please share the love with other moms and dads by contacting us at and we will update the site immediately.

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