How Long does Documents Take at Home Affairs?

If you require a normal birth, marriage or death certificate and the individual is registered on the electronic population register with a 13-digit identity number, Home Affairs should be in a position to print your documents immediately at any branch.

If you are applying for Unabridged or Vault Copies of documents, Home Affairs first needs to send your request to their archives in Pretoria. There the file needs to be retrieved and they will need to see if the documents are still available. The documents will then be prepared and sent back to the branch where you have applied.

The process of applying for Unabridged or Vault Copies could often take anywhere from weeks, months or even years. It is not uncommon to hear people waiting for periods of 2 years or longer for these documents.