Find the right local SA attorney now!


Article by listed attorney: Nicolene Schoeman-Louw

Changes to the notarial (document) authentication process

A recent directive from the South African department of international relations and cooperation (DIRCO) 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 see our website or or

contact writer at Schoeman Tshaka Attorneys at