Complete DIRCO Apostille Service. We will submit, pick up and courier anywhere worldwide. Lead times has decreased to 2 weeks.

Louwrens Koen Attorneys provide a fast, professional DIRCO apostille certificate service to assist you in legalising your South African documents for use overseas. The Apostille Certificate is usually requested by foreign authorities and organisations to use the document for official purposes outside of South Africa.

Since the implementation of strict Covid protocols, it has become incrementally more difficult and time-consuming to legalise your documentation in person at DIRCO. No walk-in customers are allowed, and an appointment must be scheduled, which may take considerable time and cause significant frustration. Make use of a professional document legalisation company that will get your documents correctly apostilled and legalised in the shortest possible time in these restrictive times. The typical cost is R850 per document.

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Most customers order and quote online. Submit the online form, and we will get right back to you. If you are unsure how to complete the order form or need any advice on additional service, do not hesitate to message us for professional, free advice. Tel: 0870010733.

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Complete the online form to get a quotation with estimated lead times. Get your questions answered. Document legalision and notary public services are dependent on the circumstances at hand and in which destination country your document will presented. Exact pricing is not available until you communicate the factual situation to us. In order to find out what you need and for us quote you , please complete the online form to get the exact costs and time estimate.


About DIRCO Consular Notarial Services 

The Legalisation Section of DIRCO, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, is responsible for apostilling South African documents. Apostilles are extra certificates attached to original documents and serve as an authenticator that the stamp and seal on a South African document are verified and accurate. South Africans travelling abroad are often required to legalise their documents for official use abroad. And therefore, documents are apostilled. However, there are some strict requirements that documents must comply with to be accepted by DIRCO.

Legalising official documents and end-user certificates

If your documents originate in South Africa and will be used in another country they must first be "authenticated" or "legalised". This is a process in which various seals are placed on the document so they will be recognised as legal documents in other countries.

The Legalisation Section at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation can issue the relevant Apostille Certificate or Certificate of Authentication subject to the following rules:

  • The documents are still valid.
  • You must advise the Legalisation Section in which country the document will be used to allow the section to determine if an Apostille or Authentication Certificate is required.
  • Depending on the type of documentation, you may first have to get the documentation stamped/signed by the appropriate department or institution; by a magistrate, an additional magistrate or assistant magistrate; or a registrar or an assistant registrar of the High Court of South Africa before the Legalisation Section can issue the relevant Apostille or Authentication Certificate.

The following documents are not accepted by DIRCO:

  • Abridged documents or computer printouts.
  • Certified copies of marriage, birth, death or police clearance certificates.
  • Certified copies of certificates of marital status (no impediment) or proof of citizenship.
  • Certified copies of travel documents or identity documents.
  • Documents legalised by commissioners of oath to be true copies of the original must be taken to a public notary (an attorney who is registered at the High Court).
  • Laminated documents. 


The current lead time is 4 weeks. According to DIRCO extra staff members have been appointed to decrease the extra ordinary long lead times. 
No. They strictly work on a first come, first served basis. Any agency claiming to expedite DIRCO Apostille is disingenuous or breaking the law.  
No. You will have to use a courier/legalisation agency to lodge your documents. No walk-in customers are accepted. 
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Death Certificate
  • Letter of No Impediment
  • Police Clearance Certificate
  • Drivers License Confirmation
  • SANDF Exemption Letter
A notarised copy is a photocopy of an original document that has been certified as a true copy of the original by an attorney registered as a Notary Public at the High Court. These copies can be Apostilled and Authenticated at the High Court or DIRCO.
The following documents must first be presented to the relevant authorities to be Authenticated.
  • All Qualifications.
  • Medical Certificates.
  • School Transfer Documents.
A notarised document is a copy of the document which is certified by an attorney Registered at The High Court. This process just confirms that it is an original document without alterations.

An apostille to a document is the authentication, that the document was authenticated as having been issued and signed by a specially appointed government official. The apostille is internationally accepted under a convention of The Hague. In South Africa, the Apostille is issued by The Department of International Relations and Co-operation or as Generally known DIRCO

An Embassy Attested document has the same value as an Apostille document with the difference that the Apostille Certificate is substituted by an Authentication Certificate at DIRCO with a final Attestation by the relevant Embassy.
 Laminated are accepted by DIRCO. You will need to reorder the document. We can assist with this process for most documents. 
Unfortunately, not. Only documents properly Apostilled can be accepted. Using a professional and experienced legalisation company usually saves you time as we pick up multiple sets of documents from DIRCO on a weekly basis.
Apostille is a procedure used by a government of a country that has signed The Hague Convention of 1961 to authenticate a document as genuine, in a way that makes it automatically acceptable in all other states that have signed the same Convention. Once a document has been Apostilled, thereby providing official government authentication of the signatures and stamps appearing on it, it is automatically deemed legalized for use in another member country.
It is an intergovernmental convention which set about establishing a simplified system to allow documentation originating in one member country to be easily recognized as authentic in another member country. The norms were established at The Hague Convention of 6 October 1961.
Any document with an original signature on it. That means either the original document or a notarised copy. Any official Government document with an original signature/stamp or seal can be Apostilled. If the document is not an official Government document (such as legal documents or medical certificates), the document (or a copy of it) must be notarised by a Notary Public. All business documents must be notarised or certified by the relevant chamber of commerce/industry.

All tertiary education documents must be notarised or verified by the central Student Administration area of the issuing institution. Please note that some universities will not confirm their documents with an original signature, in which case a Notary Public must notarise the document.

You may find useful information on the procedure to follow on the website of the Directorate for International Relations and Cooperation (“DIRCO”) of the Republic of South Africa here:

(If the Convention applies, an Apostille is the only formality that is required to establish the origin of the public document – no additional requirement may be imposed to authenticate the origin of the public document.)
 If a country is signatory to Apostille Convention, the High Court should issue and affix an Apostille Certificate to the document.  This document should not be submitted to the DIRCO – Legalisation Section.  If the Convention applies, an Apostille is the only formality that is required to establish the origin of the public document – no additional requirement may be imposed to authenticate the origin of the public document.
Important notes (pertaining to documents that follow the route of the Public Notary (or Sworn Translator) and the Registrar of the High Court):
  • The signature of a Notary Public, Justice of the Peace or any court employee who is not a Registrar has to be legalised by a Magistrate, Additional Magistrate or Assistant Magistrate or by a Registrar or Assistant Registrar of any division of the High Court of South Africa within the jurisdiction of which such Justice of the Peace exercises his or her function or such Notary Public is in practice, before documents are submitted to the Legalisation Section for legalisation purposes.
  • Documents must be bound together with the signature of the Registrar / Magistrate as the final signature of the first page, verifying the signature of the Public Notary or Justice of the Peace.  The documents must be bound with a ribbon and red seal and the dry seal / stamp clearly visible on the document.
  • A Registrar can only verify the signatures of a) an Attorney who is registered at the High Court as a Public Notary practising in the same jurisdiction of the relevant court or b) a Sworn Translator who is registered at the High Court in the same jurisdiction of the relevant court.
  • The country of destination should be clearly specified to ensure the correct procedure is followed by the High Court.
  • Copies of official documents signed by a member of the South African Police Services (SAPS) are not accepted.
Kindly take note that from Friday, 14 May 2021, the DIRCO - Legalisation Section, no longer accepts requests for personal submissions/walk-in customers. If you wish to submit documents for legalisation purposes
Physical Address
Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)
Attention: Legalisation Section
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road

Postal Address (We do not advise using this option) 
Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)
Attention: Legalisation Section
Private Bag X152

E-mail: (all legalisation enquiries)

  • The Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 (Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents). Source: The Hague Conference on Private International Law –
  • Rule 63 of The Rules of the High Court of South Africa, as amended by G.N. R.500 dated 12/3/82 and R.801 dated 23/4/82.
  • Rules of the High Court of South Africa as published in Government Notice R.277 dated 3rd March, 1967.