Official documents are documents that confirm the identity of the holder. The list of such documents is decided and regulated by law. It is interesting that official documents in South Africa can not only be an ID card or a passport, but also e.g. a military ID or a firearms license. What connects all these documents is a photo that must be permanently connected to the document. The provisions of individual institutions and acts specify the requirements for these photographs. The current requirements for photos for official documents in South Africa and the list of these documents can be found at the bottom of the page.
The basic and most common official documents confirming your identity in South Africa are your passport and your driver’s license. In addition to the driver’s license and passport your identity may be confirmed by: birth certificate, residency permit, visa, and a firearms certificate, among others.
Below are the photo requirements , which should be regarded when preparing the documents listed above. Let's start with the photo for your driver’s license and passport, because they are practically the same. Both photos are so-called biometric photos, i.e. those that enable biometric identification of their owner. These photos are 3.5 x 4.5 cm in size, they show only the face of the photographed person (with the upper shoulders visible), looking straight ahead (en face). The background of the photo should be bright and neutral, and the subject’s face should not be obstructed. The face in the photo should be evenly illuminated and fully visible. The photo should be of good quality and up-to-date, i.e. taken no earlier than 6 months before the date of submission of the application for an official identity document.