Benaters | Boutique Law Firm in Johannesburg
photo-1485180956642-f7a1e702cba8.jpeg

News & Insights

Incisive legal news and insights

Authentication of documents executed inside of South Africa for use outside of South Africa

Have you ever had to sign or legalise documents within South Africa for use abroad? If you have, then you have no doubt experienced the frustration of having same signed/executed only to find out later that the document authentication is not legally valid.

Use this guide to ensure that your documents are legally valid and authenticated:

Where countries are party to The Hague Convention:

  1. Documents are signed and/or executed in the presence of a Notary Public. The Notary Public will attach his Certificate of Authentication to the documents which must bear his signature, stamp and seal.

  2. Documents are then forwarded by the Notary Public to The High Court in the area in which the Notary Public practices. The Court will then attach an Apostille Certificate authenticating the Notary Public’s signature.

OR

Where countries are not party to The Hague Convention:

  1. Documents are signed and/or executed in the presence of a Notary Public. The Notary Public will attach his Certificate of Authentication to the documents which must bear his signature, stamp and seal.

  2. Documents are then forwarded by the Notary Public to The High Court in the area in which the Notary Public practices. The Court will then attach a Certificate of Authentication authenticating the Notary Public’s signature.

  3. Documents are then submitted to the Legalisation Section at DIRCO (The Department of International Relations and Co-operation) based in Pretoria to be legalised.

  4. Once legalised by DIRCO the documents are then forwarded to the Embassy/Consulate of the country in which they are intended to be used for further authentication.