How to Replace Original Matric Certificate

By Tevait Feanle •  Updated: 01/23/24 •  5 min read

Hopefully, you are diligent about keeping your important documents, including academic results, safely in storage. However, accidents happen, even when we are careful. Luckily, if you have lost your original matric certificate, or if it has been destroyed in an accident, you can apply to the Department of Education for an official replacement copy. Here’s how to do so.

How to Replace Your Original Matric Certificate?

You can replace your original matric certificate if you have lost it. So while it will be inconvenient, it won’t be the end of the world. You can request a new copy online through the Department of Education’s portal, or apply in-person at any Department of Education office. Luckily, you do not have to return to the original place where you sat the exam- you can do this at any Department of Education office convenient to you.

You will need to fill in an application form as part of the process. Of course, you will also need proof that the required fee has been paid, and a certified copy of your ID to prove your identity. Additionally, you should acquire an affidavit that states why you need the replacement- for example, stating that you lost the document, or it was destroyed in a fire or accident. From there, your application for a replacement matric certificate will be processed within four to six weeks.

However, we do advise you to do this as soon as you realize your original certificate is missing, rather than delaying until you actually need it. As with any South African government service, there will be a waiting period to receive your replacement certificate. Additionally, the more time that has passed since your original exam session, the harder it will be to track down old records. Things could have been lost, or may be in a paper archive instead of available digitally. 

Additionally, the educational system is regularly updated, including matric. For example, if you sat your matric examination when higher-grade and standard-grade were the only two pass types, it can be difficult to translate that through the new system where there are four pass types. Although everyone makes mistakes and loses documents from time to time, it is always better to be proactive rather than reactive in these matters. 

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Matric Certificate?

Luckily, it doesn’t cost very much to replace a matric certificate at all. In the 2024 year, you will pay R155 in person at a Department of Education office, or R137 if you apply online and are able to collect it yourself. If you want the replacement copy couriered to you instead, it will cost R202.

What Can I Do If I Have Lost My Matric Certificate?

If you have lost your matric certificate, don’t panic! You can apply to the Department of Education for a replacement through Umalusi. Luckily, it does not have to be done at the original Department of Education where you sat your exams, but can be done through any official office in the country. You will need to fill in an application form providing as much detail as possible, provide an affidavit as to what happened to the original, provide a certified ID copy, pay the fee, and make an electronic application after your form is received. Remember that the new copy will fully replace the old, so if you later find it, it will no longer count.

How to Buy an Original Matric Certificate?

You cannot buy a matric certificate. You need to meet the educational requirements to earn one by completing your National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams, or through another accredited matric system in South Africa like the IEB examination board. You can also apply to tertiary education facilities in South Africa with respected and recognised international school-leaving certificates, such as the British A-, AS-, and O-level programs. But without passing the exams through finishing school or taking them later, and doing the work, you can’t simply buy a certificate.

Can I View My Matric Certificate Online?

You are not able to view your actual, formal matric certificate online, nor can you download an official statement of results. However, there are several easy ways to find out your results online, so you don’t have to wait until you receive your actual certificate to know how well you did! But when it comes to the ‘official paperwork’ for applying to tertiary education facilities or proving your educational results to an employer, you will need the government-endorsed official certificate from the Department of Education. Be sure to store yours somewhere safe!

How Long Does it Take to Replace a Matric Certificate?

On average, it takes four to six weeks to receive your replacement matric certificate after you apply for it. Of course, there can always be delays in the system, so it is smart to apply for your replacement copy as soon as you realize the original is missing.

While in a perfect world you should always be careful to store your formal matric certificate somewhere safe, accidents happen. Luckily, there are options to replace your matric certificate if you have lost yours.

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