Apostilling documents in South Africa is a relatively straightforward process, but it is important to understand the nuances of the process before embarking on it. The Hague Apostille is a specific certificate that is issued by Dirco (Department of International Relations and Cooperation), and it is required for certain legal documents to be recognized in other countries. It is also sometimes known as a ‘legalization’.


So what does the Hague Apostille look like? It is a large, rectangular paper certificate printed on white paper with the South African Coat of Arms on the top left corner. The apostille is signed by the Minister of Home Affairs and it contains the name of the country from which the document originated and the date on which it was issued.


When it comes to the documents that need to be apostilled, it largely depends on the purpose for which the documents are to be used. Documents that are commonly apostilled include birth, marriage, death and adoption certificates, power of attorney documents, notarial documents, diplomas, certificates of origin, and documents issued by a court or a public notary.


In order to have documents apostilled, the first step is to get in touch with Dirco. At the moment, you need to make an appointment and can’t just drop in. The processing time at Dirco is between 4 – 8 weeks if you apply on your own. 


Another route you can take is to hire a document agent like DocAssist to handle the process for you. You simply sent them all the documents via DHL and they do all the heavy lifting. Once your documents are ready, they will fetch them from Dirco and send them to you wherever you are in the world. You can also expect a shorter turnaround time when you use DocAssist. 


For more information about getting your documents Apostilled, get in touch with DocAssist today. 


Chat with us on WhatsApp