Notarial authentication process changes drastically

A recent directive from the South African consulate affects the way in which we process authentication of documents for use outside the republic.

In summary, the circular provides the following:

  1. That certificates issued by the departments of Higher Education and Department of Basic Education, CIPC, Home Affairs, Transport, Health Professionals Council are authenticated by only those departments.
  2. Only where certificates or documents were not issued by these bodies or where originals (such as actual drivers’ licences cannot be authenticated) are they to be authenticated by Notaries Public.
  3. Once the certificates have been authenticated as set out above, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation – South Africa (DIRCO) must authenticate the documents.
  4. Alternatively, where countries are signatories to the de Hague Convention the Notary may assist in obtaining an apostille from the Registrar and need not refer this to DIRCO.


Only thereafter are the documents appropriately authenticated for use abroad.


For more information, please contact one of the expert Notaries Public at Schoeman Attorneys who are able to advise and assist you in this process most effectively by advising clients when certain departments and DIRCO are to be engaged, which countries are signatories to the De Hague Convention or when Notaries Public can assist in authenticating documents.

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