Home > General > Getting a Zimbabwean Passport and ID

Getting a Zimbabwean Passport and ID

There are a few things that are dreaded in the life of a Zimbo. These are getting an ID getting a passport and getting a drivers license. Anything that involves a trip to any government office is an interesting experience and often involves a lot a long day of queuing, pressure (people pushing and shoving in an uncontrolled manner) and just wahala(trouble) as the Nigerians would call it.  Having gone through similar processes in several countries, I know that it is not only Zimbabwe where we have such inefficiency that is just really appalling. Most of the time, arriving early will save you a lot of hassle, being at the back of the queue is never a good idea, be cause the line always creates a bottleneck at the front as the ‘clever people’ always know how to jump the line.

As usual it always helps to have friends in high places. I personally think there is too much rot in Zimbabwe and people need to get paid to do their job. In all fairness, the processes have improved tremendously. I took both an Id and a passport over the Easter holidays. Needless to say that I went for a week with very little sleep and daily trips to the offices.

In Harare, you should arrive at Makombe building as early as possible. Some people sleep there, so you want to get there as early as possible. I used to Harare office for the passport, but you all start of in the same line then they separate you into your different lines just before you go inside.


Now the interesting thing is that you should not go to the gate by Makombe. The line is at the corner of Harare Street and Samorah Machel, there will be people there so you will not miss it. If you go to the gate, you will waste time while the lines grows, and the line grows very fast. When I arrived here, I was very worried because I was wondering how we were all going to walk from the corner of Samora to the Passport office. My answer came at 6am, when the riot squad in all its glory arrived,as if we were about to have a riot. But in all honesty, that walk from Samora to the office was as good as a hondo yechimurenga (the liberation struggle), because once someone said lets go, there was going to be some serious pressure, running and disorder as the clever people tried to get ahead.The policement stood and patrolled the line and we walked in a very civilised manner to the next stop, the gate.


Getting an Id

Initial registration for citizen


Original registration for citizen

• Father’s or guardian’s identity card.

• Passport if acquired.


Processing time

• Synthetic ID is instant (within 15 minutes of application).

• Green copy ID waiting 3 days

I was changing my name, so the process was quite hectic. I didn’t have a few of these documents, so I had to go a few times, before I had the whole lot.

  • Make sure you do not have any braids or weave in your hair. I had to take mine off and have a funky afro on my ID. You will need to remove these before they take the ID picture.
  • Your ID
  • Birth certificate- Original
  • Your marriage certificate- Original
  • Husbands ID- Original
  • Changing name by marriage is free of charge.
  • Other name changes come with a fee. Take some cash with you
  • Photocopies of all the above
  • Keep a black pen handy just incase you will need to write anything. These sell for good money at the offices.

Note that these requirements depend on the office that you visit and the person serving you. I took my first Id with plaits in my hair, but years later, they made me remove a weave. The process will normally take a few hours. Once you are in the line and have all the required documents, you are all set and the officials will take it from there.

 Click here for more information 


Getting a passport

“The Registrar General wishes to inform citizens of Zimbabwe that renewal of passports can be done six months to a year prior to the expiry date as it is a requirement by most countries that a passport be valid for at least six months for various reasons.
Citizens in the above category are therefore, encouraged to visit their nearest provincial offices countrywide to make and submit applications for passports to avoid inconveniencing themselves.” Department of registry website

Getting a passport is a big deal, it is hectic to say the least. I had to go to the regional office, Mutare first to be told I needed to go to Harare. All in all it took me two days, but I did it withot any favours and without paying anyone. I wish people would just learn to wait in queues and resist the urge to pay someone, that would just reduce so much graft that is in our society. People couldn’t belief that I waited in the queues and got the passport that easily. If it hadn’t been for going to Mutare, it would have taken me a few hours to get the passport. On the morning I went to Harare, I was finished by eleven. It acutally took me less than an hour from the time I paid for the form and submitted. I should be set for the next ten years.

The queue is the same as the ID line, the process is the same, until they separate you to go to different offices. There is queue for local people applying for passports and there is another queue for those who are from outside. The reason is that they give the people from outside a form to fill in. They also submit their forms to a different office, I am not sure whether the processing times are different. The costs are the same though. As with the ID, the earlier you get there the better it is.

I understand that a maximum of 2000 passports are being processed everyday, so the process is quite efficient, event though it is cumbersome. The hardest part of this process is paying the forms. The forms are available on the website for download and can also be downloaded here. This will simplify the process a great deal. Once again, civil servants have been known to do what they want so I do not know if the downloaded forms actually work. It is worth a try all the same.



  • Ordinary passport – US$50.
  • Executive passport (1 day) – US$315.
  • Urgent passport (3 working days) – US$250.
  • Temporary Travel Document – US$35.
  • Passport Application forms (P1 form) – US$3.
  • Ordinary passport old type – US$50.
  • Search fee – US$5.
  • Temporary Travel Document Form – US$3.

 Once you are placed into the appropriate lines, the officers will tak over and direct you as required.



  • Old Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • National ID
  • Marriage Certificate (If changing name)
  • Two color photographs (size 3.5 x 4.5cm). for new passports, photos are taken inside, but it is safer to go with your own just in case. Be careful about the photos taken outside as they fade with time and you might need to reapply for another passport when the photos fade.
  • Citizenship certificate (for citizen by registration).
  • Old passport/ Temporary Travel Document if any.
  • For lost or stolen passport attach the police report.
  • Photocopies of all the above


Those with Work-permits or Permanent Residence in foreign countries

 If you are not resident in Zimbabwean have a work permit in your passport, you cannot apply for a passport in the regional offices, you will need to go the Harare. You will go to Room 308, where they will deal with all diaspora application. For these application, there is no real need to go to the line in the morning, you can get served at room 308 as long as you arrive while the cashiers office is open. I went in the morning, to be sure I finished in one day. You never know what can go wrong, so I have myself some allowance, just in-case I needed to pick something else.

If you are submitting an application form for someone outside of Zimbabwe who applied at the embassy, you will need to go to room 308.

• The father/mother or other legal guardian of children under 18 years must sign section 5 of the passport application form. Legal guardian’s “Documentary proof “ should be in a form of court order from the High Court or community in the case of divorced parents.


Lost Passports

  • The process is a lot more involving. It involves getting an affidavit at the police station and then getting the police to sign your passport forms.
  • Take note that loss of a passport should be immediately reported to the nearest police and passport office.

Click the following links for passport information outside Zimbabwe

 Getting a passport in the UK

Getting a passport in the USA

Getting a passport in South Africa




Also see
Dual Citizenship in Zimbabwe

Categories: General
  1. felix
    June 25, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    My passport has taken at south african immigration officers what are the requrements to get another 1

    • July 11, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      Do you have a letter from there. I know that if it is lost, you will get a police report. Maybe you can get the report from the police post at Beitbridge. Best thing is to find out from the passport office. Please update us if you get the information.

  2. simba
    July 22, 2015 at 6:58 am

    how do i apply permit in SA. its my first time to have passport is steal new

    • August 26, 2015 at 11:45 am

      Hello Simba, to visit South Africa on a Zimbabwean passport, you do not need a visa.

  3. matt
    August 29, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Am a zimbabwean in Nigeria,my passport was stolen and I want to return to zim. How do I go about it

    • August 29, 2015 at 9:44 am

      @ matt, its your luck day. As it happens, I have also been in that situation, stuck in Nigeria wanting to go back to Zim. What are the odds of that happening. Well, you can contact the Zimbabwean embassy, in Abuja and they can arrange for an ETD, if you need to travel urgently. I believe they need a police report, Zim ID and you have to book an appointment and go there in person, for an ETD.
      I am sure they can arrange to get you another passport if you are not in a hurry.
      Zimbabwean Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria

      Plot 2908, Cadstral Zone A6
      Maitama District
      P. O. Box 8214
      (+234) 9-461 1322
      (+234) 9-523 9924
      (+234) 9-413 7644

  4. blessed
    September 8, 2015 at 11:31 am

    I would like to ask what is needed when you are applying the passports for the kids if their father is not there and I’m the only one whose there.thank you

    • October 2, 2015 at 8:02 am

      Please contact your nearest passport office.

  5. October 6, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Good day good people,I’m Precious aged 25 ,just wanted to ask if it is possible to apply for my Zimbabwean I D ,here in S A,and as well my Passport here in S A too,which offices should I go to around Johansburg ????,thank you so much .

    • January 15, 2016 at 6:02 pm

      Hello Similo, contact the consulate regarding your ID. The offices are near Eastgate Mall and the address is: 13A BOEING ROAD WEST, Johannesburg, 2007, South Africa
      Phone:+27 11 615 5879

  6. October 9, 2015 at 11:36 am

    I would like to know, i have a valid study permit in my current passport(which expires in 2018) I need to apply for a permanent res next year,was thinking of getting a new passport while I use the old one, is it possible?

    • January 15, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      @ Mutsa, sorry for late response. You can apply for a passport before the old one expires. Is it not better to apply for PR with a new passport. I dont know how it works for you, but in some cases you will need to use both passports as some countries wont transfer any visas etc into new passports. Maybe contact your immigration office for advice.

  7. John
    November 9, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    What are the requirements for one to apply for an executive passport.

  8. terri-lee
    November 21, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Is the cost of a Zimbabwean emergency passport still $250?

  9. Ntombie
    November 22, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    I just wanted to say, thank you for such a detailed list of requirements, answered all my questions. God bless

  10. Steven
    December 4, 2015 at 1:59 am

    Where can I get a copy of the p.1 form. I checked online on rg.gov.zw and I’m not have me any luck.

  11. S masawi
    January 7, 2016 at 4:20 am

    How long does a $50 passport takes to come out? I want to renew my passport

  12. Kenny Mhofu
    January 9, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    What is the difference between an Executive passport and a urgent passport aside from the waiting times? Does an Executive passport have more pages or something?

    • January 15, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      I believe all passports are the same.

  13. arthur mtipa
    January 15, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    hie I applied for a passport late 2014 but I did not collect till now can I still get it and howmuch willbe the seach fee

    • January 15, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      @ Arthur, I am afraid I dont know what the search fee will be. You will need to contact the office where you made your application.

  14. Roddes
    January 19, 2016 at 2:51 am

    Hi I need to know if your passport perhaps you were denied to enter south Africa because your permit is not valid or you were duped to be given a wrong or invalid permit what will you do to get a new passport

  15. kudakwashe
    January 25, 2016 at 9:55 am

    I lost a passport and forget the passport number what can I do?

    • February 8, 2016 at 10:56 am

      You need to report it to the police nearest you.

  16. Lungile Ndlovu
    January 26, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    I applied for ma passport on december 30…wen myt it b cumin out. M gettin impatient n ma gf z gettin mad at me

  17. January 27, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Can I apply for a zimbabwean I d in south africa at a zimbabwean embassy

    • prosper
      February 22, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      guys where can l apply for a zim ID in south Africa lm in Capetown

      • February 27, 2016 at 2:01 pm


  18. prosper
    February 11, 2016 at 7:34 am

    lost my passport how soon can i get another one?

  19. Anthony Musarurwa
    March 7, 2016 at 6:23 am

    Very informative. I did not know all that was mentioned by this fellow. Thank you very much I hope I will get mine easily as well.
    Sounded very simple and straight forward.
    Good stuff.

  20. Bridgette Ncube
    March 17, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Good day..can i apply a zimbabwean birth certificate for my son who was born here in Jhb SouthAfrica at the embassy and what is needed and also how much will it be..thanx in advance

  21. Jacqueline
    March 28, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Is it possible to change my first name at Zim embassy in S.A or l have to do it in Zim?

    • May 13, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      I think its best to enquire from the embassy.

  22. pardon
    May 7, 2016 at 8:14 am

    I need a passport am in South Africa

  23. pardon
    May 7, 2016 at 8:39 am

    I need a paasport but im in South Afru

  24. ojo oladoyin
    May 22, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    My mother is a Zimbabwean and my father is a Nigerian. I want to obtain a Zimbabwean passport but my mother is dead now, what can I do? And documents am I to bring to the embassy? Because I am count to Zimbabwe in June for my mother’s funeral and I want to keep count to see her family.

    • August 15, 2016 at 11:12 am

      @Ojo, its best to contact the registration offices nearest to you, or the Zimbabwean embassy.

  25. devesh
    June 22, 2016 at 7:57 am

    i have lost my zimbabwean passport in mumbai and need a new one asap, can anyone please tell me requirements and time it takes to issue new one.

  26. michael mxotshwa
    July 19, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    i lost my passport andi am based in south Africa,i am zimbabwean by national is there a way i can get the pasport done without me having to go back to Zimbabwe?

  27. brian
    July 19, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    im from USA i have an american passport but i wanto apply for a zimbabwean is it possible

    • August 15, 2016 at 11:03 am

      @Brian, there have been a couple of supreme court judgements allowing dual citizenship as it is in our new constitution. As far as I am aware, you will not get a Zimbabwean passport by simply going to apply, the officers make it hard. It is worth a try and even the legal route if you are very keen on getting on Zim passport. Check out my post on dual citizenship

  28. Nhamo
    July 23, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    hi I have a birthcertificate I want to apply id can you help
    I don’t have my father here or mother I am just alone

    • August 15, 2016 at 10:59 am

      @Nhamo, I believe you need a relative with the same last name as you to assist with getting an ID. You can visit the registration offices for more detailed information of what you need.

  29. August 11, 2016 at 7:29 am

    I sent my nephew to submit my form for the passport as I am staying in South Africa,he wasn’t helped they said the birth cerficate is not allowed to apply for a passport to my surprise I applied my birth certificate at Makombe in 2009.before he was refused to leave the form at Makombe he had already paid 50$ so will I get my money back since the passport hasn’t processed??

    • August 15, 2016 at 10:56 am

      @Ruvimbo, It sounds like you might need to go to Makombe. I hope you still have the receipt.

  30. Paula
    August 29, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    I need travel document in uk how long does it take

  31. silas
    September 15, 2016 at 9:00 am

    my passport expired this year and i applied at the zimbabwe consulate in joburgs eastgate and i send the forms and everything at home so my granddauther submitted them for me .after the waiting period she went to makombe building for collection and the staff told her that my finger prints are not clearly seen so i must come to be taken finger prints again is true that finger prints cannot be seen clearly if so what must i bring with me for this processes and how long does it take after that processes and do i have to pay again beacuse i had already pay for everything in south africa and at home

  32. tino
    October 17, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    lost my Zimbabwean i.d in south Africa ..can i be able to apply for a new one with out me traveling back to Zimbabwe please help with info

    • November 8, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      Contact the Zimbabwean embassy in south Africa

  33. Berneen
    October 26, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Good day, If one is from Zimbabwe and you have a zimbabwean passport, for how long may you be in South Africa? After that certain period, how are you able to extend your time in South Africa? must one go to the embassy (JHB or CT) or can one do it on-line?

    • November 8, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      Hello Berneen,

      As far as I am aware, you need to go to a port of entry e.g border or airport, that is sit South Africa then re enter. You can go to Home Affairs if you are extending your stay by applying for a temporary permit, e.g work.

      Be careful not to overstay because South Africa now bans overstayers.

  34. Shaun
    December 3, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Hi this is for the Zim embassy in South Africa Cape town I would like to know what is required to get an ID and passport I haven’t gone back since I was 11 years old I came with my father we crossed the border with papers nothing went wrong and I don’t even have an ID or passpport I really need to get those I only have got my birth certificate luckly my parents are here in South Africa with me…please kindly help me I am an grown up now I need to change my life

  35. junior
    January 12, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    Hi please help what is needed if you have to apply for zimbabwean id or passport for a congolese man married to a zim lady.

  36. kevin
    January 27, 2017 at 1:39 am

    i need to renew my passport..i see i require an i.d for that.but now i do ñot have one but only a certified copy of the i.d and the passport due to expire..wil the be able to assist me as i am sending sme1 wth the documents

    • February 16, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      Maybe you can send them to enquire. Please update us on what happens.

  37. Chariy
    February 24, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Hi, got a question. I got my first passport in bulawayo zim when I was under 18 and a relatives signed for me and I got it. Now I asked someone to apply for my son and the reply I got is that I have to be present myself. Do I really have to go home or is it possible to ask that they complete the application forms in zim then I submit in jhb

    • February 24, 2017 at 5:36 pm

      Hello Charity.
      I believe it’s possible to apply from both Joburg and Zim. It is also possible for someone to submit for you. In Joburg it might take longer, but you can ask them.
      I hear they are not so friendly in Joburg, but it might be easier than going to Zim.
      I think you have all your docs signed from Joburg then they are just submitted in Zim.
      Maybe it’s different for children, I don’t know.

  38. nyoni mkandara
    March 6, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    seven weeks is too long to wait

    • July 21, 2017 at 10:31 am

      Really, for Zimbabwean standards. Ask those who had to apply, I mena beg to apply, like write an application letter and then get rejected. You can always go for the express one.
      Lets give credit where its due. We know where we have come from as a nation, so if you can get a passport in two months, all you need to do is to plan ahead.

  39. Sibusiso
    March 15, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Hallo I need a visitors visa to accompany my husband who has a valid work permit. what are the requirements to get that and where and how do I get the permit from. I also want to work in South Africa while I am accompaying my husband.

    • July 21, 2017 at 8:43 am

      For South Africa please contact the Department of Home Affairs.

  40. March 23, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    What are the requirements and cost to change Surname?

    • July 21, 2017 at 8:42 am

      It costs $5 to get a new ID and then the passport cost is the same as a normal passport.

  41. Terry eusen
    April 10, 2017 at 6:08 am

    what is required to get an identity

  42. June 8, 2017 at 7:09 am

    hello I just wanted to find out if I can apply for a Zimbabwean ID and passport while I’m in south africa

    • July 21, 2017 at 8:40 am

      Not sure about an ID. I know you can do that with a passport.

  43. Leonard
    June 10, 2017 at 11:06 am

    My zim ID get stolen and l realy to use it to put my car in my car what should l do

    • July 21, 2017 at 8:40 am

      Get another one. I am not sure if you can get one from outside Zim. But it takes one day to get an ID

  44. Presley
    June 27, 2017 at 9:00 am

    hi i did applied for passport renewal on 29 March but till today i have not received it.im currently using South Africans working permit, help me

    • July 21, 2017 at 8:39 am

      Hello Presley, Send someone to check for you. They are really quick these days, I believe.

  45. Miriam
    July 21, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Morning, I am looking for any agents who assist with applying for Zimbabwean Passports, birth certificates ID’s etc. As you have noted above the Joburg office is not so friendly and not much help. I have heard that there are reputable and honest agents in South Africa that assist with applications for Zimbabwean citizens, just like they have for South African citizens. I have no clue where to look and I’m hoping you have a contact. Thank you 🙂

    • July 21, 2017 at 8:38 am

      We’ve been toying with this idea for a while. Maybe we should extend our business that far.
      For now try http://www.mie.co.za and bunny hop document services.

      All the best

  1. June 26, 2014 at 10:09 am
  2. June 28, 2014 at 12:21 pm

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