South Africans abroad, as well as those within South Africa, require various types of documentation for a variety of reasons, such as travel, investments, visas, and immigration. Obtaining an apostille is simple when using DocAssist – we queue and apply for you, then courier the legal document or apostille to you after it has been obtained.


Apostilles in South Africa

For legal documents to be valid outside of South Africa, they must be apostilled at DIRCO in Pretoria. In this process, various seals are affixed to the document, so that it can be recognized as a legal document in other countries.


You’ll need to verify that the country receiving the document is a signatory to the Apostille Convention before requesting an Apostille Certificate for South African documents.


When a document issued in South Africa is going to be used abroad, it must be apostilled or legalised. Foreign diplomatic or consular representatives of South Africa can only issue Certificates of Authentication, not Apostilles.


Your South African documents cannot be apostilled for validity and verification if you plan to use them outside of the Republic of SA, or in a country that does not participate in the Hague Conference. Nevertheless, some additional steps may be required to prove that your documents are legitimate and have been signed by the correct authorities.

Does a Document Have to Be Notarized to Be Apostilled?

The apostille can be applied to a wide variety of documents without needing the signature of a lawyer, solicitor, or notary. A solicitor is not required to sign birth, marriage, or death certificates, for example. Notarisation is sometimes required before an official document can be apostilled in South Africa. You may have to get the documentation signed or stamped by the appropriate institution or department depending on the type of documentation before the legalisation section can issue the relevant Apostille or authenticate a certificate. Only a magistrate, an assistant magistrate, a High Court of SA registrar or an assistant registrar can do this.


Document Assist assists clients with the legalisation of all South African public documents and boasts a dedicated courier service to DIRCO. As there are different legalisation procedures, we recommend that applicants first contact us for a quotation based on the specific documents that need to be legalised. Get in touch today.

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