I lost my matric certificate: How do I get a replacement?

I lost my matric certificate: How do I get a replacement?

Getting your matric certificate is the end of an era. Finally, you can start on a new journey in tertiary education or the job market. With this certificate, you’re set up for your future. So losing it can be somewhat damaging to any future employment or educational plans.

Whether it’s lost or damaged, there is a way to get another certificate through the Department of Basic Education (DBE) or your Provincial Education Department (PED). 

It’s not free and involves a long waiting period but it’ll have you back on your feet in no time. Getting the right documents together can also be a little confusing.

It is always important to know what you need before applying for your new certificate. Here, we are going to help with everything you need to know about getting your new matric certificate. 

The Re-issue

Whether you’ve misplaced or damaged your matric certificate, it’s safe to say that you need a new one. Only, the Department of Basic Education deals with each of these situations in a different way. 

Lost matric certificate

Losing your matric certificate requires a few important steps before a re-issue

  1. Affidavit: For this, must go to the police station and sign an affidavit. This proves that your certificate is actually lost or misplaced. This will include what happened to the certificate such as a fire or robbery. 
  2. Your ID: For a successful reissue you must take along your original ID and a certified copy. When at the police station for the affidavit, request for your ID copy to be certified. This can only be done by a commissioner of oaths who can be found at the station. 
  3. Application Form: This form can be filled in online and all above documents can be attached here. Or, the application form can be downloaded here to post. 
  4. Admin Fee: The admin fee for the application must be paid. This document is needed by the DBE or PED. Pay online here or via the post office. 
  5. Online or Post: The application can be completed online or posted with all necessary documents to Private Bag X895, Pretoria, 0001 (DBE) or to your PED.

Damaged matric certificate

After step 2 below, follow steps 2-5 above. 

Affidavit: This will explain what happened that damaged the original matric certificate. An affidavit can be made at the police station. Make sure to take the damaged copy with you to ensure the affidavit and re-issue are successful. 

The Original: The original certificate must be included in the               documents posted or uploaded for the application of the new matric certificate. Without the original, the new certificate cannot be granted. 

Compilation of Results

Another reason you may be looking into replacing your matric certificate is that all your results are not on the same document. This can happen through supplementary exams. Or if you wrote in more than one sitting. If this applies to you, follow these steps:

  1. Compile all results from  exams or all matric certificates to send as proof.
  2. Have your original ID and a certified copy. 
  3. Apply for a change of status certificate online or download the form.
  4. Keep your proof of payment from paying the administration fee (either online or at the post office).
  5. Upload all above-mentioned documents online. You can also post your information to the DBE or PED.

How to get a proper Affidavit

An affidavit is a statement of fact that is made under oath and overseen by the law. For example, it is a report made by an individual and signed by the police.

Institutions then use this as a form of proof. This kind of proof is used, in this case, to ensure the re-issuing of a new matric certificate. 

Writing the affidavit

  1. Use a proper title:. The title of the affidavit must tell the reader exactly what to expect.Your name should also be part of the title to ensure your connection to it. 
  2. Write a personal declaration. Add anything applicable to the situation. This should be your name, occupation, age, address and anything else needed. Write what you want, for example a new matric certificate. 
  3. Statement of truth: This is a report to promise that your facts are true. This promise is made under oath. The point is to make sure you are not lying. 
  4. The Facts: State all the facts. This includes why you are in need of an affidavit. Here it would be important to say how you lost or damaged your certificate. 

Conclusion: Write the final fact. In this you promise that everything you’ve said is truthful and you have not lied. Acknowledge that you are not breaking the law. Keep it simple. 

Signing the Affidavit

The signing of the affidavit is a very important step that must be followed to achieve your certificate. Without this verification the affidavit cannot be used by the Department of Education or the Provincial Education Department.This can be done at the police station or at a lawyer’s office since an official notary has to sign. 

After that you and your witness will also need to sign. Make sure to take a document of identification along. This can be an ID document or a drivers licence. If you don’t, the notary will not sign your affidavit. 

Using an Affidavit

It is important to know that affidavits expire. After a year of it being signed, you can not use the affidavit anymore. Make sure that you use your affidavit soon after it is signed for it to still be valid.  

If any part of the affidavit is false or untrue, the writer can face legal action. Make sure to always tell the truth when under oath.  

Time Frame, Payment and other Importance

Waiting period

Without your matric certificate it can be hard to find a job or further your education. Waiting seemingly takes forever. The typical waiting period for the reissue of your matric certificate is 4 – 6 weeks. The reference number you received can be used to track your new certificate. 


Payment can be made online or at the post office. This payment must be made to the Department of Basic Education/Provincial Education Department. The price of replacing your matric certificate is R118. 

Private schools vs Public schools

Even though the syllabus is different both institutions will fall under the Department of Basic Education. This means that at the end of the day, the matric certificates are issued from the very same place.

If you went to a private or public school, all steps above are applicable to you and must be followed accordingly. 


Buying a fake matric certificate can lead to jail time. There are groups all over Facebook offering these illegal services. Do not be tempted to commit a crime. It will also cost you more money than a reapplication. Don’t forget at least 5 years in jail!  Take the time to apply for your real certificate so you don’t jeopardize your future in tertiary education or the working world. 

If you want to study without having received your new certificate it is possible to do so here.

Author: Andrea Frisby

Date Published: 12 August 2020