Authentication of documents for use outside the Republic

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:

  • 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.
  • Only where certificates or documents were not issued by these bodies or where originals (such as actual drivers’ licenses cannot be authenticated) are they to be authenticated by Notaries Public.
  • Once the certificates have been authenticated as set out above, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation – South Africa (DIRCO) must authenticate the documents.
  • 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. Apostille is a French word which means a certification. It is commonly used in English to refer to the legalization of a document for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents

Only thereafter are the documents appropriately authenticated for use abroad. For more details please visit