Zimbabweans wanting to apply for passports can now download application forms on the internet and take them to the passport office after filling them in. On submission they can then pay a US$33 fee for the form.
Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede said the digitalisation would bring convenience to the public and improve efficiency and reduce time spent queuing for the forms. Under the new system the RG’s office will also be sending SMS messages to passport applicants to collect their documents.
“The department has introduced its new website: http://www.rg.gov.zw . The website provides the public with all relevant information regarding the department’s offices and services,” Mudede said.
“As part of the website, we have introduced a new computerised passport application form. This will enable anyone with Internet access to fill in the passport application form within the website from the ease of their home or office, print it and apply for a new passport using this printed form,” he said.
“Since security of such a procedure is paramount, the passport application form can only be printed after it has been completely filled in. The form cannot be downloaded empty. The passport application form cannot be saved on the local computer,” Mudede said.
“The website also enables one to find any relevant information about the activities and services provided by the department as well as addresses of all their offices around Zimbabwe.”
Those without access to the Internet would still get the forms at the RG’s Office. An ordinary passport costs US$50 and takes a month to be processed, while an emergency passport, which takes three days, costs US$250.
“While an applicant is filling out the passport application form, they will be requested to fill in a mobile phone number which will be used to get an SMS update the moment the passport is ready and waiting for collection.
“The department has invested in a top-of-the-line SMS solution and has developed unique applications which will enable the RG to give better service to the Zimbabwean citizen,” Mudede added.
The SMS service, Mudede said, would enter its pilot stage in the next few days.