Applying For A Zimbabwean Passport Without An I.D. Card?

A number of people have emailed us questions related to applying for a new Zimbabwean passport from the diaspora. One question that comes up frequently is that of the need for a Zimbabwe National ID Card when applying for a passport as per the example below:

My Passport expired and I lost my ID a few years ago here in the UK. How do I obtain my Zimbabwe National identification card while in the UK?

I am a Zimbabwean living in the UK. I lost my ID but I have to renew my passport. Can you please email me how I can go about gettting a Zim ID, preferably without having to go to Zim.

We got in touch with two Zimbabwean Consulates (one in the Asia Pacific region and the other in Europe) to find out if it was possible to apply for a new Zimbabwean passport without a National ID card. The response from both of them was that a passport application will not be processed without an identity card.

All of the following documents and photocopies are required to be produced in person in order to process a passport application:

  • Birth Certificate (long Birth Certificate)
  • National Identity Card (Driver’s Licence Not Accepted)
  • Marriage Certificate/National Identity Card in Married Name/Divorce Order
  • Two Passport Colour Photographs (Size 3.5 x 4.5cm)
  • Citizenship Certificate (For Citizens by Registration)
  • Old Passport or Emergency Travel Documents If Any
  • Letter on Citizenship Status from the country you have lived in for 5 years and more

This situation can leave people who have lost their passports and are trying to apply for a renewal in what feels like a catch 22. This is because identity cards are only issued in Zimbabwe where registrants have to appear in person in order to get their photos and fingerprints taken.

If you happen to be in a situation like this where you need a new passport but don’t have an I.D. card, the next best thing would be to apply for an emergency travel document and make your way to Zimbabwe and apply for the necessary documents.

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53 Responses to Applying For A Zimbabwean Passport Without An I.D. Card?

  1. lethukuthula moyo May 3, 2011 at 12:51 am #

    lost passport;i want a new one what do i do

  2. rachel May 19, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    I was married in Zimbabwe in 2006 but did not change my name now I want to renew my passport which i got before I got married and they are telling me to get an ID in my husband`s my name.The thing is I dont want to change my name.Is it compulsory to change names?

    • Lee June 23, 2011 at 12:24 am #

      @Rachel: it’s not complusory but you have leave your marita status as single or else you have to change your ID and passport in your married name which means you have to go back to zimbabwe and process them. That’s what the consulate advised me.

  3. Nyarai July 21, 2011 at 4:50 am #

    I am married to a foreign national and would like to change my ID to reflect my married name. Does my husbadn need to accompany me to Zimbabwe to do this, or will I only need a copy of his passport?

  4. Ntombizodwa July 28, 2011 at 12:45 am #

    I am Zimbabwean, I gained entry in UK 2001 on South African passport, when i left Zimbabwe 2006 (16 YRS OLD)with a small birth certificate i had applied the ID. ID CARD was sent to my school and it is no where to be found.

    Now that i am fed up of using fake identity and decided to get things right, i only have a birth certificate, how do i apply for travel document from UK to Zimbabwe, i do not have a photo ID.

  5. Martin August 3, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    I post this only to try and help anyone about to go through this same ordeal…..this is from our hands-on experience. This is advice only, maybe each experience is different. One other word – keep your cool in Makombe building – I saw some outbursts, and they ended up with back-of-the-queue results, just fyi.

    We live in the Middle East. We had to go back to Zim to renew my wife’s passport – she was originally born in Harare, of South African-born parents. We spent 3 weeks back in Zim in July 2011, dedicated only to sort her pp out…….

    To read the rest of the comment, CLICK HERE > A Response To: “Applying For A Zimbabwean Passport Without An I.D. Card?”

    • Des September 24, 2011 at 7:59 am #

      @ Martin, Best real deal cap of a story so far. Nothing says it best than hands-on. I salute you for your faith and courage coz that is what it takes. I hear you about keeping your cool at Makombe, my relative lost his cool and was banned zvachose! Im bracing myself for that as Im in exactly the same situation as your wife. Heish!

  6. cde dee September 5, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    as an emplyee of e regstrar general dept let me give u sum basics 1st we are guided by acts so nomatter hw much u complain u got 2 follow e registration laws as 4 ids ey are mandatory 4 pasport aplication and 4 maried wmen who want 2 change 2 eir married snames u dnt hv 2 cum w ur husband bring his id w u@ur mariage certficate 4 mor info u are free 2 ask

    • malunga March 22, 2012 at 5:53 am #

      hey i want to apply for an etd for my son and i also need one. i dont think abtaining mine would be a problem. i am a single mum and have never been married to the dad, do i need his signature to obtain my sons etd and will my son be able to return with the same etd because i am not intending to get him a passport due to court proceedings. i would appriciate if u could help

    • Jo Cockburn May 28, 2015 at 12:13 am #

      Hi there, Thank you for that info. I realise it is from quite some time back, does it still reflect to this day? I need to change my surname to my husbands surname as we have just got married. Confirm my Id, my husbands Id and our Marriage certificate is all I need to bring? Where do I need to go for this? As I got my Id from a municipal office behind Mt.Pleasant District Office a very long time ago…

      Look forward to your earliest reply.

  7. Arnold September 13, 2011 at 3:27 am #

    I lost my passport and birth certificate, please if anyone who knows how I can get the passport and birth certificate, please help me. I still have my I.D document and I managed to get a Swaziland police report concerning my passport . Please help me I’m in Swaziland and I really need this two (2) documents.

  8. Kufandada November 16, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    Comrade Dee I hear you,but what is the purpose of embassies if they can not issue passports and IDs to their nationals? This is primitive.
    I came to UK ten years ago with my 6 year old son,and now that his passport is expiring,I have to travel to Zimbabwe for the ID,when this could be easily done at the embassy.

    If he could have a passport without an ID,whats the big deal of the ID when one turns 16? Afterall,the birth certificate has a record of the proposed ID number?

    Makombe Building needs a business process re-engineering.

    • Nyarai November 17, 2011 at 12:20 am #

      Co signed, Kufandada. Well said.

    • Emilia December 16, 2013 at 4:47 am #

      Ndatambura.l came to UK when l was 15 now my passport has expired l have to go to zimbabwe for national ID.surely why cant zimbabwe embassy in UK issue national ID instead of people travelling back home.most african countries in UK can renew their passport within a month and can collect it from their embassy.what is going on with zim embassy stop punishing yoyr own people.

  9. Ama November 17, 2011 at 5:34 am #

    I am not from Zimbabwe but my boyfriend is. We are already planning to get married, but he has to go back home to get an ID to renew his passport. Does our getting married before or after he leaves have any bearing on the process? Will it help if we get married before? He’s stressed and so am I, so any advice will help.

  10. Lenny December 2, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    My Zimbabwe passport expired and I need to travel to Zimbabwe and have my ID. What other paperwork do I require in order to renew and what is the process?

    The Embassy has said that it could take up to 18 months but if I pay 300 US Dollars I could have it maybe in 2/3 weeks???? Has anyone heard of this?

    Please help.

  11. Craig December 15, 2011 at 3:40 am #

    Hey, I live in France and currently applying for an F1 USA visa. The problem is I need a my passport due to F1 visa application regulations because my passport expires soon. I need to apply for a new passport but I don’t have my ID card because it was stolen along with my wallet when I studied in Namibia. Would I be able to DHL my application papers and a photocopy of my I.D instead of travelling back to Zimbabwe or do I need to travel back to Zimbabwe to obtain another I.D before I can apply for another Zimbabwean Passport ?

  12. mercy chikakati January 2, 2012 at 1:30 am #

    Hie I’m a zimbabwean living in south africa is there anyway I can have my passport renewed without going to zimbabwe

  13. Natasha Hove January 19, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    to be honest i think the fact that people have to travel to zimbabwe just to get an ID is ridiculous especially those who came to the UK at a young age were they couldnt get an ID where do they expect people to get the money from and its just very inconvinient, it’s the only country (according to my knowledge) that have this stupid rule. What’s the use of their embassy in the UK then if it can’t be dealt with here, im just so frustrated

  14. Kudzi February 29, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    I lost my passport in zimbabwe and took zimbabwean police clearance,i had to jump the border to cme here,so cn i apply 4 a passport here in south africa,i got my zim id.Pliz help

  15. Yusuf wasiu March 10, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    Am plan my marreg wit zimbabwe lady am not from zim my women is from zim aftal marreg officialy i my got a zim pasport help me to know the truht of it tanx alot

  16. Kennedy April 1, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    Wht kind of birth certificate is needed whn applying 4 a passport. a tiped one wth e red border or e one usual one.

    • Mai Anesu May 8, 2012 at 12:41 am #

      Just a long birth certificate.

  17. kundi April 1, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    pple juss try to follow e required procedures,cum bek to Zim & do ur stuff to straighten things up

  18. Grishmar May 29, 2012 at 5:20 am #

    I did a renewal of my expired passport early January 2012 in Zimbabwe, Harare. I stay in South Africa. I did write a letter of authorization so that it may be collected while I am in SA. But to my surprise the passport office officials are saying they can’t find my passport at their offices. What exactly went wrong where could it be? Someone has to help me.

  19. Adele July 16, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    I need to renew my Zimbabwean passport but I have lost my Zimbabwean Id. How long does it take for a new Id to be issued?

  20. Dran July 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    I only had a faded green Id paper (Photo Lost) from 25 years ago and needed to renew my passport in the UK,I was told because the photo was lost I needed to obtain my original ID from the barracks in Harare where all IDS Were now processed.My cousin left for Zims 2 weeks ago and got my Id on the same day he went to the barracks for $60Us,Currently awaiting his return so I can renew my passport.If you know someone going Write a letter authorising them to collect your ID AND SIGN IT.

    • Phiri August 13, 2012 at 8:58 am #

      Hi Dran which Barracks is this? I also never picked up my metal ID card and want to get my dad to pick it up for me. Could you tell me the name and location of this Barracks you mention?

  21. gugu August 21, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    My passport is still valid and I want to apply for a new one since am left with about five months,the problem is I lost my id and can’t go back to zimbabwe anytime soon. So can I apply without any id using a valid passport in south africa. Pliz help

  22. Natasha September 28, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Hey i just turned 18 andi live in Australia i already have a permanent residence here. The thing is my documents got stolen when our house got robbed which means i dont have my birth certificate and passport, so what do i need to do to get new ones

  23. Tarryn warren September 4, 2013 at 2:09 am #

    Please can someone help . I applied for a new Zimbabwe passport from the uk . It has been 3.5 years and I still have not received a new one . I want to try travel on an ETD but I am petrified they will not allow me back into the UK once I have left . Does anyone know if I will be allowed back in on an ETD once I have left for a holiday . Thank you .

  24. Frustrated Citizen November 14, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    I don’t get the Zimbabwean passport system! I am not usually one to comment on blogs but I am both dismayed and disgusted at the ridiculousness of the situation. I’m in the UK and I have lost my Zimbabwean passport…like most people on here. The consulate keep insisting I go back and get an ID card. So, let me get this right, I am expected to firstly pay for flights so in excess of £1000, and lets not forget accommodation as I have no links there so £??? whatever the daily changing rate is, not to mention food and water, and travel… The rest of the comment has been published at the following: The Frustration Of Applying For A Zimbabwean Passport From The UK

  25. Benjamin May 1, 2014 at 1:03 am #

    Hi is it possible for someone to collect id for another person in zimbabwe, if so what can be required?

  26. paula February 5, 2015 at 4:56 am #

    please could you give me some advise. I have acquired an emergency travel document because a child im working with is 16 years old and has a sking trip booked for the february school holidays with her school. Please could you tell me whether this document will be accepted to enter switzerland, as there are another 29 children going on this school trip.

    Thank you

  27. mel September 5, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    I’m a Zambian studying in Kenya….my national I.D was stolen so i want to find out if i will be allowed to travel to another African country without it?…i still have my passport.

    • Living Zimbabwe September 8, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

      Hi Mel,
      Sorry but we aren’t able to answer your question. It would probably be best for you to contact the relevant consulates to see what their requirement for entry into their respective countries it.

  28. dee# February 18, 2016 at 10:26 pm #

    I want both my surname and hubby’s. is it possible?

  29. Lisa April 8, 2016 at 6:35 am #

    Has anyone figured out how to get an ID made without having to go to Zim? Can I write a letter explaining why I do not have an ID and still have my passport made for me?

    • Living Zimbabwe May 29, 2016 at 11:32 am #

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for stopping by. We are not sure how to answer your question. We suggest you try and get in touch with the Registrar General as they may be able to help you with your query:

      • Sipho Mudau November 21, 2017 at 5:28 am #

        Hi Lisa

        I just got back from Zim where I had to get a new ID to renew my passport. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like there is any official way to get an ID done without being there in person (as they require your photo etc).

        • Living Zimbabwe November 23, 2017 at 1:29 pm #

          Hi Sipho,
          Thanks for stopping by, adding to the conversation and providing Lisa with some insight into her question.

    • Tapiwa April 18, 2017 at 10:29 am #

      Lisa did you ever get in touch with the RG’s office and get your issue resolved?

  30. Sally April 8, 2017 at 2:21 am #

    Please can someone help me. I am a Zim citizen living in the UK. My expired passport is being held by the home office but I want to return to Zimbabwe for good. How can I travel to Zimbabwe and what is the process? My sister is very ill and need to go home within the next few weeks.

  31. Alex April 18, 2017 at 12:27 am #

    We have a month old baby and we are both Zimbabweans with South African works permits. Our daughter has a South African Birth Certificate but we intend to register for a Zimbabwean Birth Certificate as well. The dilemma is we want to travel to Zimbabwe and how will she be allowed to travel with us? What traveling documents will she need since we can only get the passport in Zimbabwe?

    • Living Zimbabwe April 21, 2017 at 9:11 am #

      Hi Alex,
      Thanks for stopping by. In your situation, it may be best for you to get in touch with the Consulate of the Republic of Zimbabwe in Johannesburg for information on how best to proceed. A couple of families that we know how have been in a similar situation to yours have applied for Zimbabwean passports for their children by getting forms from the consulate, completing them and then sending them to relatives in Zimbabwe to take to the passport office in Zimbabwe for processing. We hope this helps.

  32. Erica April 29, 2017 at 2:18 am #

    Thanks for stopping by ,i would like to ask m a zimbabwean citizen living in south Africa i want to apply for a passport but i lost my original id but i got my copies and my birthcertificate original so is it possible for me to apply for a passport

  33. Jon October 19, 2017 at 5:31 am #

    I am a 40 year old Zimbabwean born UK passport holder. I came to the UK when I was 2 and so have never held a Zim passport, therefore never had an ID card. I am looking to understand if it is hypothetically possible to get a passport for the first time. My father was born in Zim and I have both mine and his birth certificates. Thanks


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