I renewed my passport through an E-Home Affairs bank branch – wonderful when it works

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The Department of the Interior (DHA) offers the ability to book passport renewals through its online system for smart ID cards, and it’s great – when it works.

DHA has launched its E-Home Affairs system in conjunction with four of South Africa’s leading banks to accelerate the rollout of its smart ID and help reduce the strain on its branches.

The system allows you to make reservations at certain interior agencies and banks.

The first step was to create an account on the E-Home Affairs website, which required my ID number, email address, phone number and date of birth.

Your ID number functions as your username for the website, and during the registration process you must create a password to secure your account.

To further secure your account, the system requires a one-time PIN (OTP) for each login. This is sent to you once you have entered your password.

In my experience, the OTP system was often quite delayed. I had to try to log in several times several times before I received a code.

Once connected, the system offers you the possibility to create a new application.

Before selecting the type of application, the system requires you to specify whether you are applying for yourself or for someone else. I chose the first option because I was asking for my own documents.

I was then prompted to select my application type and was able to choose to renew my passport, smart ID or both. There are several options for everyone, such as requesting a first issue or a renewal.

The form then automatically fills in much of the required information, but requires you to enter the following:

  • Country of Citizenship
  • Place of birth
  • Residential and postal address
  • Where you would like to have your biometrics captured and from which to retrieve your documents

I chose the Standard Bank Centurion branch as my location. The branch is located at the Centurion Lifestyle Center.

I recommend that you confirm the exact address before leaving for your appointment, as I first went to the Standard Bank branch in the Centurion shopping center and then found myself in a frantic race to get there at a good place.

Although I was late for my appointment, the branch office internal affairs staff were always very happy to help me and I didn’t wait long.

After completing the form, you can click “Submit” at the top of the page to proceed to the next step – document submission.

The system then asks you to upload a copy of your current ID, and after that it asks for payment. I made the payment by entering my bank details on the E-Home Affairs system and then completing the transaction on online banking.

Once you have entered your bank details, you can book a slot in the selected agency, even before finalizing the payment.

I entered my details and made payment on March 16, 2022. The first slot available to enter my biometrics was only March 31, 2022 at 1:00 p.m., which I booked.

There was only one other reservation before mine, and I waited about five to ten minutes before the person capturing the biometrics was available to help me.

Several walk-ins asked the staff for help as they could not find reservations or make payments through the online system.

One of them explained that the system worked perfectly until the booking part – after making the payment successfully. The system showed that there were no reservations available.

Every time I visited the branch, there were only two home affairs officers on duty – one handling collections and the other capturing biometrics.

The process was quick. It only took about eight minutes to capture all my biometrics and complete the application.

It took six days from the end of my application for me to receive confirmation that my passport was ready for collection at the branch I had chosen.

I decided to allow some time for my smart ID confirmation to arrive before collecting my new passport. However, since April 11, 2022, my smart ID card is not ready.

I picked up my passport on Friday April 8, 2022.

The table below summarizes the renewal process from start to finish.

E-Home Affairs Passport Renewal
Date Weather Status Payment deadline
Monday, March 7, 2022 15:31 Online account created and verified
Monday, March 7, 2022 15:45 Application completed
Wednesday, March 16, 2022 07:22 Reservation and payment made
Wednesday, March 16, 2022 07:26 E-mail — confirmation of payment and reservation [Booking for 31 March 2022] 0 days
Thursday, March 31, 2022 14:07 Biometric data captured at Standard Bank 15 days / 11 working days
Thursday, March 31, 2022 14:21 E-mail — acknowledgment of receipt of application 15 days / 11 working days
Wednesday, April 6, 2022 11:00 SMS – notification that the passport is ready for collection 21 days / 15 working days
Friday, March 8, 2022 13:46 Passport recovered 23 days / 17 working days

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