Wednesday, 10 September 2014 11:55

Practical Advice for Travelling to South Africa with Children – Duplicate Birth Certificates

Written by 

Updated Wednesday, 16 September 2014

It has been announced that these new regulations will be postponed until 1 June 2015




With the new regulations for visitors to South Africa travelling with children coming into effect from 1st of October, we have been having a look for some practical advice on how to comply with the new requirements.

The change that will affect the greatest number of travellers from the UK is that all children under 18 years are required to have a certified copy of their unabridged birth certificate in addition to their passport.

We have found that a number of our clients have panicked when initially hearing this, however travellers from the UK who cannot find this document can obtain a certified copy from the General Register Office at: https://www.gov.uk/order-copy-birth-death-marriage-certificate

In order to test this system, we went through the process and ordered a duplicate certificate ourselves: the system required registration, however the form itself was fairly straight forward providing you knew the full name, date and place of birth and names of the parents. The whole process took about 5 minutes, and you can pay the £9.25 fee online.

The certificate we ordered came through 3 weeks after we placed our order, contained all the information required, and was clearly marked as a “Certified Copy of An Entry of Birth”.

Note that whilst the bottom of the certificate also stated “Warning: A Certificate Is Not Evidence of Identity”, we do not believe that this will be an issue. The South African Authorities are not looking to use the certificates as evidence of identity as such, but they are being used instead to establish the relationship between the passport holders with the passports being the evidence of identity.

For full details of the new regulations, including important information for additional requirements for when children are travelling without both parents being present, see the following official websites:

      The South African High Commission In London 

      Department For Home Affairs In South Africa

      PDF Summary Of New Rules From South African High Commission



About the author:  Paul Campbell is a member of the SATOA Committee and Managing Director of Travel Butlers Ltd.


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