The difference between abridged and unabridged birth certificates
Abridged birth certificates merely indicate the name and surname of a child’s mother. Unabridged birth certificates include the details of both the mother and the father.
From 1995 up until March 2013, South African children were issued with abridged birth certificates that stated the name and surname of their biological mother. Children who were born after March 2013 were issued with unabridged birth certificates, which indicates the name and surname of both their biological parents. Recently, the unabridged and abridged birth certificates fell away, and children are now automatically issued with The Birth Certificate, which indicates the name and surname of both parents.
In 2015, when the Unabridged Birth Certificate Regulations were issued, there was a huge uproar amongst travellers entering and leaving South Africa with minor children. South African citizens, as well as foreign visitors, were required to produce their child’s unabridged birth certificate before they could enter or leave the country, which is why the Department of Home Affairs was forced to revise their regulations and do away with the confusion between abridged and unabridged birth certificates.
Revised Birth Certificate Regulations for South African Citizens (November 2016)
Since November 2016, the mountain of paperwork that accompanied the abridged birth certificate that had to be used for travel purposes has been scrapped. In order to travel with minor children, you will now need your child’s passport and complete birth certificate before leaving or entering South Africa.
In the case where you need to have your official South African documents legalised for use abroad, you will have to obtain your unabridged birth certificate. This entails a visit to the Department of Home Affairs and a waiting period of roughly six weeks. After your unabridged birth certificate has been issued, you can send it in to the Legalisation Section of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation in order to get it affixed with an Apostille seal (if you are traveling to a signatory country of the Hague Convention) or a Certificate of Authentication (if you are traveling to a non-signatory country of the Hague Convention).
Visas, citizenship, marriages and more
Apostil.co.za has many clients who require unabridged birth certificates for various reasons. The most common are for visa and citizenship applications, as well as marriages. Mostly, applicants find that applying for a birth certificate from overseas will take many months or is not possible. Our service is faster and is affordable (see pricing), and we can have the unabridged birth certificate apostilled quickly as well. This means that someone getting married in two months would have to move their wedding if not for our services.
We are here to help
We know how frustrating it can be to figure out which documents you will need (and which ones you will have to get authenticated for legal use abroad), but we are experts in the field, and we are here to help. Be sure to get in touch with us today and find out how we can help you with all your legalisation needs! See our pricing.