Passport or travel document

You need a passport if you want to travel abroad.

A passport is a document issued by a national government for international travel and it certifies the identity and nationality of the holder.

You must have a South African identity document to apply for a passport, or if you are a child, a birth certificate.

If you are travelling on official government business, you may apply for an official passport. Diplomats get a diplomatic passport.

Temporary passports are issued to South African citizens who have applied for a regular passport and who need to travel urgently but have not yet received their regular or ordinary passport. You should be aware that some countries do not accept temporary passports.

Emergency travel certificates are issued to South Africans who have to travel urgently for reasons of:

  • death
  • sickness or
  • other emergency or urgent matter.
Find out more about passport or travel documents or contact the Department of Home Affairs.


Last modified
06 Feb 2014