In a statement issued by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) on Wednesday, 11 July, the department confirmed its move to have the details of both parents listed on minors’ passport. This falls under the ministry’s flagship programme of modernisation launched in 2010 and Cabinet’s earlier concession of “easing travel with children”.

Minors who already hold valid passports, however, do not need to reapply for new passports and for children travelling without parents (one or both), written consent is still required. TimesLive has also reported that “travellers from foreign countries who do not list the names of parents in minors’ passports still need to provide unabridged birth certificates”.

“We are now moving to a paperless process for birth, marriage and death registration in a phased-in approach, as well as the printing of parents’ details in the children’s passports,” the statement reads on the DHA site.

“This is another way of ‘meeting the future’, by rising to opportunities created by technological advancements for maximising client satisfaction.”

The changes mean that as opposed to the historical paper-based system, documents will now automatically be saved electronically and therefore easily retrieved when requested.

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A major system upgrade scheduled to commence on Friday, 13 July until 4pm on 20 July across all provinces – but at different times and degrees – is required to implement the automation of the births, marriages and deaths (BMD) system and will be rolled out in two phases.

The first phase will see the automation of the registration of birth certificates for children up to one year of age; the issuing reprints of marriages and death certificates already registered in the national population register without having to complete paper forms and the inclusion of parents’ details on minors’ passports.

In phase two, the birth registrations for minors one year and older will be automated in the new financial year and new registrations of marriages and deaths will commence without the filling out of paper forms.

The statement advises that during the course of the system upgrade, “services for smart ID cards and passports will not be available in the 184 modernised offices, including at the department’s eHomeAffairs partners, in the banking sector, with the exception of large offices.”

Should you need ID and passport-related services during this time, the large offices across all provinces will be fully operational.

For more information, visit the department’s website.

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