Answer to a question from a reader

Can I apply for a birth certificate with a duplicate clinic card if I lost the original?

The short answer

Yes, you can apply for a duplicate clinic card from the hospital where you were born.

The long answer

Yes, I can’t see any reason why you should not. You can apply for a duplicate clinic card from the hospital where you were born, with a certified affidavit saying that you have lost the card and giving your first name and surname that would have been on the card. (The Road-to-Health card is now a 48-page booklet.) 

Jet Club says in a 2021 article that you should ask the clinic to find your folder and issue a new clinic card or booklet. They will transfer all the information from your folder into a new booklet, clearly marked as a duplicate.

The same procedure would apply if you are wanting to register a child for a birth certificate.

Any birth that has not been registered within 30 days is known as late registration of birth. If the birth certificate is for you, it would be the late registration which applies to 7 years of age and older.

Applying for a birth certificate in late registration of birth is often a long and difficult process, and involves an interview with Home Affairs. It can take a long time to get your appointment for the late birth registration interview. You would need to provide the following documents:

  • DHA 24/LRB (notice of birth);

  • Children born at health facilities: DHA 24/PB (Proof of birth) / Children born at home: DHA 24PBA (Proof of Birth Affidavit);

  • DHA 288/A (Affidavit giving reasons for LRB);

  • DHA 288;

  • Biometrics (ID-size photo and fingerprint) of the person to be registered;

  • Fingerprints of parent/s;

  • ID/Passport of parent/s.

Even though you may not be able to produce all these documents, your application must still be accepted and considered by Home Affairs, according to the 2018 judgment in the Naki case in the Eastern Cape High Court. This court ruled that the Births and Deaths Registration Act should be read to mean that both parents’ documents must be presented “where possible.”

The judgment in the Eastern Cape Court case of  J and Another v Minister of Home Affairs and Another, which was finally concluded on 10 January 2023, also sheds some helpful light on one aspect of the birth registration process: Regulation 12(2)(c) of the Births and Deaths Registration Act was declared unconstitutional and invalid because it discriminated against children by not including the details of unmarried fathers on their birth certificates "where the child’s father may not be in South Africa or may not be in South Africa legally".

The court said that not entering the father’s details in the child’s birth certificate simply prejudices the child without serving any useful purpose and that our Constitution and the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 confirm that children’s rights should apply to all children within South Africa’s borders, and not having the father’s name on the child’s birth certificate affected the child’s constitutional right to human dignity.

If you need to, you could ask advice from one of the following organisations which have had a lot of experience with Home Affairs:


Musina: 015 534 2203

Durban: 031 301 0531 

Pretoria: 012 3202943 

Johannesburg: 011 339 1960


Tel: Johannesburg: 011 836 9831

Cape Town: 021 481 3000.

  • The Black Sash for free paralegal advice


Helpline: 072 66 33 73

Wishing you the best,

Answered on March 2, 2023, 11:40 a.m.

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Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.