PASSPORT TIME! Hard to believe that our international borders are open and we have a chance to explore the world again. BOTH our passports expired during this time and the anxiety of having to renew kicked in.
Having heard FNB renews (we’re FNB customers), we decided to give the service a go. It wasn’t as easy as it looked so we’ve created this blog post to assist those needing to renew via FNB.
3 Most Challenging Issues
There were 3 main issues that we immediately ran into when renewing:
- The actual bank location (where you have to go to have your photo’s taken)
- Paying for your passports
- Booking an Appointment
The website says you need to visit the FNB Portside – this is incorrect. The home affairs office is no longer in the Portside building, but rather in the Media Centre FNB in Somerset Road.
Park at Soverign Quay (where Beef Cakes is) and either draw money from the FNB or take cash with you as the parking is cash only, no cards.
Check out the 5 steps below to renew your passport without issues.
How To Renew Your South African Passport at FNB
1) Find the Correct Website
When you go to the South African Home Affairs website, it can be a bit tricky to navigate to the actual pages that allows you to renew your passport. To reach this website, click on the green eHome Affairs banner at the top (it looks like an advert but works just as well as the URL). This will take you through to the correct website to renew your passport.
2. Register on the eHomeAffairs Site
Once on the eHome Affairs website, register by clicking the 2nd tab next to the HOME button on the menu bar. By registering you will be able to log in time and time again. Doing this first will assist you in having achieved some steps without losing everything if you make a mistake!
You will be required to input the following:
- Full Forenames
- ID Number (if you do not have a valid ID number you will not be able to register on the site).
- Date of Birth
- Cellphone number (ensure this is correct as they send you One Time Pins to log in).
Details must also be captured LIKE YOUR ID DOCUMENT. Your official Christian names are required.
3. Click Create New Application
This is the first step in starting your passport renewal process. The steps include:
- Select (Make a choice) – Who is the application for? (Myself / A minor) – Click next
- Form (Complete Form)
- Upload Documents (these will be supporting ID documents).
- Payment (Pay Online).
- Visit Branch (This will be for finger prints and your photos).
The website is a bit slow so sometimes you’ll want to input data before it’s ready. Watch the load icon on the browser tab as well as the on-page loading icon.
4. Approving Payments
This was really tricky. The website does not make it clear HOW to pay – and doesn’t take payment itself. You need to log onto the FNB website (or app) and approve the requested payment from FNB’s website, not on the Home Affairs website.
Log into your FNB, go to Payments, go to My Recipients, go to Payment Requests. This should show the requested payment sent through from the Home Affairs website. Once you approve that, your account will be debited, which will confirm the payment.
5. Booking an Appointment
This can be confusing as the webpage often doesn’t load or there are no available dates. The first issue is waiting for the webpage to load. If you’re clicking dropdown menus that have nothing to select, you haven’t waited long enough for the page to load. (Yes, it’s slow!)
To actually secure a date, add your details from the dropdown menus and move to the calendar portion. It gives you dates within a 2-week range, but often says there are no appointments.
The hack is to input the date range yourself – as in manually type in the dates, which will then present a number of available slots outside the presented calendar. Once this loads, pick a time that suits you. Do not use the calendar as it mostly does not work.
I believe you can only secure a date once your payment has gone through so be sure to approve the payment first in order to select a date to visit the FNB in Somerset road.
Once you’ve managed to do these steps the service at the bank is really awesome! I didn’t know the parking was cash only so do yourself a favour and withdraw money at the FNB ATM in order to exit Souvreign Quay.
Collecting Your Passport
Home Affairs will pop you SMSes as your passport details are submitted. You are required to collect in person as they take your fingerprints when you collect your new passport. It literally took 3 weeks, possibly 4 at the most.
SMS 1 – Submission: 13th August 2021
SMS 2 – Ready: 11th October 2021
SMS 3 – Collected: 15th October 2021
I now have a lovely, brand new Proudly South African passport for the next 10 years, YAY!
Good luck, happy travels and don’t forget, “Got the Passports?”