Is it goodbye to unabridged birth certificates for travel?

Department of Home Affairs

As part of its modernisation programme, the Department of Home Affairs has started upgrading its live-capture system to its offices across the country to enable automation of birth registration and re-issue of marriage and death certificates that are already in the national population register, and the printing of parents’ details in children’s passports.

The department’s Director-General, Mkuseli Apleni says the upgrade will make a huge difference to the controversial issue of unabridged certificates that everyone has been complaining about. He says with the upgrades, the last page of the child’s passport will have the details of the parents, meaning that parents will no longer be required to travel with an unabridged birth certificate.

“When you apply for the passport of the child, the system will automatically go into the NPR and say these are the parents of the child and print them at the back of the passport. They will no longer need to carry a birth certificate,” said Mkuseli Apleni.

Apleni says travellers into South Africa will unfortunately have to carry their children’s birth certificates if the parents details are not printed on the child’s passport. He says they have made suggestions to the international body which manages the issues of travelling globally that children’s passports should have details of the parents. If this can be approved, it means it will now be applicable to the whole world.

“The issue of parents requiring an unabridged birth certificate for their children for travel purposes has plagued the industry for years, so we welcome this move on behalf of the Department of Home Affairs to reduce barriers to entry to South Africa.”

“Of course, it will take time to trickle down to ground level, since it will require new passports being applied for in order to carry the appropriate information, but this is a step in the right direction. We look forward to more of these kinds of forward-thinking approaches that will revitalise tourism,” said Enver Duminy, CEO, Cape Town Tourism.

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