In short, both authentication and notarization are distinct processes that should be handled separately.

As opposed to notarized documents, apostilles are used as a means of authenticating documents between different countries. However, sometimes apostilles require that documents be notarized in order to receive apostilles, and we can provide all the information you need regarding this procedure.

How Do Notaries and Apostilles Differ?

By verifying the identity of the signer, notaries witness the signature of the signer. As a result, it is possible to confirm the legitimacy of the signature. Notaries mark the signature with a stamp or seal indicating the date of witnessing. In South Africa, Apostilles are issued by Dirco, which verifies the authenticity of a document.

Your university’s registrar must notarize your documents before Dirco apostilles them if you plan on starting a job outside of South Africa. 

Documents requiring an apostille include:

  • Birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, divorce certificates, as well as letters of no impediment to marriage are documents issued by the Department of Home Affairs
  • Degrees, diplomas, and certificates of matriculation are documents related to academics
  • Reports of medical examinations
  • Police clearance certificates
  • Court orders relating to divorce
  • Copies of passports
  • Trade documents and contracts
  • Forms of Power of Attorney (POA) that have been notarized

Authentication can be accomplished in the following ways:

  • The High Court and a Notary Public
  • South Africa’s Health Professions Council (HPCSA)
  • Departments of Basic and Higher Education, Umalusi and The SAQA
  • Consulates and embassies of relevance

This process verifies South African documents that have to be legalized before they can be used in South Africa or abroad. It is known as notarization, apostille, authentication, and notarization. The quickest and easiest way to apostille your documents is by having them apostilled, but these documents are not accepted in every country. Your verification process may vary according to your destination.

If you need help obtaining an apostille for your legal documents, please contact DocAssist today. 


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