Saturday, July 25, 2009

How does the South African ID number work?

Your South African ID number does not change and the first 10 digits are unique to you.

Example: 610731 0 094 0 82

  • 610731 = my date of birth

  • 0 = Individuals sex: Any number between 0-4 shows that I am a female, whereas any number between 5-9 indicates a male

  • 094 = I was the 94th person registered at Home Affairs as a female born on 31st July 1961. If more than 999 individuals are registered on a particular birth date then the sex flag would be incremented by 1. eg: if I were the 89th male born & registered on a particular date, these middle numbers would read 5089, however, if I was the 1671st male born and registered on a particular date, the middle numbers would read 6671.

  • 0 = I am a SA citizen (if I was a non-SA citizen this would be a 1) * Refer to notes below

  • 82 = this is a check sum that passes the Home Affairs algorithm the make the ID number valid.

* When the third last number is a 2, this indicates that this individual has refugee status. If this individual stays in South Africa for an extended period of time, Home Affairs will later issue a second ID number when the status of the individual changes from refugee to non-SA citizen. The third last digit of the new id number will change from a 2 to a 1, and the last digit will change to meet the Home Affairs algorithm.


Understanding the composition of an individuals ID number is a critical step in preventing identity theft and reducing the risk of placing a bad tenant into your property.

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