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Incisive legal news and insights

Apostille and Notarial Authentication

Over the next couple of weeks we are going to be discussing the functions of a Notary Public.

A Notary Public is a practising attorney with an additional qualification and given statutory powers to witness documents, administer oaths, and perform other wide-ranging administrative functions of a national and international nature.

In this first post on this topic we are going to discuss the procedure to be followed when documents are signed (executed) within South Africa and are then going to be used outside of South Africa.

These types of documents typically need to be authenticated. Notaries are authorised to perform this function. A notary can authenticate the documents, and provide a certificate and seal to evidence that the service were performed.

Different procedures are followed after the Notary has issued the certificate, depending on the type of document that is being authenticated.

If the country in which this document will be used are signatories to the "convention de la Haye on 5 October 1961", the process is simpler, and faster, as they have agreed that all signatory countries may adopt a truncated process.

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