Although it is entirely possible to have document corrections made to your official South African certificates, the process often takes much longer than one would expect. We often get approached by clients that request simple changes to their details on certificates. But what very few people understand is that the fact that document corrections can take much longer than the original issuing of the certificate.
Why you might need document corrections done
5-10% of all documents issued by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) contain simple errors like MR instead of MRS printed on the certificate. It’s also not uncommon for certificates to indicate the wrong gender when a child is issued with a birth certificate.
These apparent mistakes, which are easy to prove, are the quickest and easiest to request corrections for. So are less obvious mistakes. Examples include an incorrect place of birth where you have proof that you were born in another location than the one stated on your birth certificate.
In cases where you have absolutely no proof that the information on the original certificate is incorrect, there is no way of changing the details printed on the document.
Examples of document corrections
In the first example, we will take a look at requesting corrections to a Police Clearance Certificate.
Unless the changes are minor (like correcting a title) and can easily be proved, the Criminal Records Center does not simply issue a reprint. The process would entail submitting an entirely new application with all the original supporting documents accompanying the application.
In the past, a client failed to consider including her maiden name on the police clearance certificate. Subsequently, she did not provide us with proof of her surnames for the original application. This led to her certificate being printed without her maiden name.
Having the certificate amended to include her maiden name was impossible. Thus, a new application had to be made. This time, she needed to submit proof of her maiden name along with the new application form. She also had to get her fingerprints retaken. And seeing that the application is treated as a new application, she needed to pay the original fee again.
In another example of document corrections, we had a client that was issued with a Driver’s License Confirmation Letter. The certificate contained the wrong information about where the license was first issued. Since our client had proof indicating the typing error on the certificate, it was easy to apply the change. In this situation, the Department of Transport applied the fix and merely reprinted the certificate.
In both examples we highlighted, our clients were faced with delayed waiting times for the reissuing of their certificates. In fact, in almost 100% of cases we’ve worked with in the past, we expected delays. More often than not, reprints take twice as long as original certificates.
This is why it is absolutely critical to supply us with the correct information from the start. It can be an absolute pain to apply and wait for document corrections.
It often takes much longer for governing bodies to reprint certificates. This is because when you apply to have any information corrected, your documents end up in the back of the queue. This is true even if you have proof of the correct details. It’s also imperative to verify the accuracy of the information on any of your official documents as soon as you receive them.
How Apostil.co.za can help
If you do not have any proof contradicting the information contained in the official document, we can not assist. In this case, there simply is no way of changing the particulars on the certificate.
However, if you have an official South African document that contains incorrect information and you have proof of the correct information, Apostil.co.za can assist with document corrections. In cases like these, we apply for corrections on behalf of our clients.
Please remember that reprints can often take much longer than original applications. Again, this is because your documents will be at the back of the processing queue. Reprints and corrections from the DHA also always incur additional fees.
To learn more about how we can assist you with correcting information on South African documents, please get in touch with our team of document experts as soon as possible!