What is a South African ID number made up of?

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Wed, 08/19/2009 - 18:03
Update 11 August 2011: Want this as an app for your smartphone? Click here
Update 30 March 2012: Details of the racial identifier can be found at: http://www.sadev.co.za/content/south-african-id-numbers-racial-identifier-flag

Cecil Tshikedi asked a great question - what is actually in an ID number:

  • The first six numbers are the birth date of the person in YYMMDD format - so no surprise that my ID number starts 820716.
  • The next four are a gender, 5000 and above is male and below 5000 is female. So my ID number would have a number of 5000 or greater.
  • The next number is the country ID, 0 is South Africa and 1 is not. My ID number with have 0 here.
  • The second last number used to be a racial identifier but now means nothing.
  • The last number is a check bit. Which verifies the rest of the number.

So for my ID number it would look something like: 820716[5000-9999]0??

There you go, it’s that easy.