Type of documents
Unabridged birth certificates

A South African Unabridged Birth Certificate is a computer printed document issued by Home Affairs. It shows the full information of the individual and the biological parents or legal guardians. Passengers under the age of 18 require this certificate (in addition to passports and visas) when entering or exiting South Africa, the Birth certificate is deemed an unabridged if both parents details reflect.  The Bi24 is the birth registration document, also known as the VAULT certificate, Home Affairs will not issue an unabridged birth certificate unless this VAULT document is on file at Head Office.  The fact that it is not there does not mean that you were not registered, it means that your documents are not in order at the Department.  If your child was born after 2010 the unabridged birth certificate is printed while you wait and you would not need us to expedite it.

Unabridged marriage certificates

An unabridged marriage certificate proves that two people are legally married and that they have a legally binding marriage contract in place. Unabridged marriage certificates are official records denoting that two people have participated in a partnership and it includes jurisdictions where wedding licenses are not in place.  If the VAULT (marriage register) is not filed in Archives this certificate will not be printed.

Unabridged death certificates

An unabridged death certificate is a certificate of showing the full details of the person and death. The unabridged death certificate is a computer printout and the document can be apostilled or legalised.

Vault birth certificates

Vault Copy Of Birth registration This is a copy of the original registration form completed by your Parent’s when your birth was registered. It is stored in the vault at Archives in Home Affairs, hence the name Vault copy. It is a photo copy of the original, which is both stamped and signed by the Home Affairs Officer. 

Vault marriage certificates

When applying for certain foreign passports, for example British , Irish and German, a Vault Marriage Certificate is required. This is a copy of the original “marriage registration” that was submitted to Home Affairs by the marriage officer. This copy is then date stamped and certified by the Department of Home Affairs.  Because there is a huge backlog with Unabridged Marriage certificates, the Vault copy is required before a Marriage certificate will be issued.

Police clearances

A police certificate is an official document issued as a result of a background check by the police or government agency of a country to enumerate any criminal records that the applicant may have.  This is only valid for 6 months.