F.A.Q - Notary Public 


Frequently asked questions about our South-African Notary Public Services

n order to use certain documents in a jurisdiction outside South-Africa, you may be required to have such documents legalised for use in that country. The rationale behind this is that individuals, organisations and government authorities want to know that a document or signature is authentic and when a document comes from another country, they may want an international certification. This is where a notary public comes in. Notary publics have the authority to authenticate and witness documents and signatures on documents. Further steps in the legalisation process shall need to be carried out in order for the document to be used outside South-Africa.
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  • 1. We receive instruction to draft documents or you post the documents (if outside South-Africa) or come into our office for an appointment with all relevant documents and identification;
  • 2. If required we can assist with the translation of documents;
  • 3. We notarise the documents;
  • 4. We arrange for an apostille certificate or legalisation at The High Court, DIRCO and Local Embassy;
  • 5. We arrange for attestation at the relevant embassy or consulate; and
  • 6. You collect the documents from us or we can forward the documents to you, whatever country you may be in.
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Yes. Other fees shall apply for payment of:
  • 1. Postage or courier fees
  • 2. No Fees payable to DIRCO or High Court
  • 3. Consular fees to the relevant embassy or consulate
  • 4. Additional legalisation requirements that may be required in the country of use.
In order to give you a fee estimate, many things need to be considered such as:
  • 1. Urgency requirements
  • 2. Drafting requirements
  • 3. Level of legalisation required
  • 4. Varying consular fees payable to relevant consulate or embassy.
Once we have received your inquiry, we shall be able to give you an estimate of the total fees and disbursements required for legalisation of your documents.

Note that we shall also endeavor to give you an estimate of the additional legalisation requirements that may be required in the country of use. However, this will only be a rough estimate at best, as different countries have different requirements which are subject to frequent change. Although, you may find in many circumstances that the person, organisation or government authority requiring the document may agree to bear the costs of further legalisation required in that country.
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If you require the document for use in a non-Hague Convention Country, then yes, the document shall need to be notarised, before it is legalised at The High Court or DIRCO then attested at the relevant embassy or consulate.
To use a document in a country that is not a Hague Convention country, you will need to first have the document notarised. The next step will be to have the document legalised at The High Court. The next steps shall be DIRCO and further attestation at the embassy or consulate of the country where the document is to be used. This shall complete the legalisation process in Australia, noting that there may be additional legalisation requirements in the country where to document is to be used.
An apostille certificate is a certificate issued by The High Court or DIRCO  certifying that a document has been notarised by a notary public in good standing.

An apostille certificate will be recognised in Hague Convention countries. Provided that your document is to be used in a Hague Convention country, after notarisation, you may present the notarised document to The High Court for an apostille certificate.

This shall complete the legalisation process in South-Africa, noting that there may be additional legalisation requirements in the country where to document is to be used. For the avoidance of doubt, a document that has been notarised and apostilled by The High Court or DIRCO will not be recognised in a non-Hague Convention country.

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Yes 
Yes. If you wish, we can attend your office or home to notarise documents. However, hourly rates shall apply for travel time.
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You will need to bring with you:
  • 1. identification such as a current passport or identity document;
  • 2. Original documents to be authenticated, certified as true copy or witnessed.
If you are signing documents for and behalf of a corporate entity, you shall need to additionally bring with you original documents to show that you are authorised to execute documents for such entity.
If you require us to witness your signature on a document, we shall need to see you in person. If you require us to authenticate a document or certify a document as a true copy of an original, it is preferable if we can see you in person, however, you may instruct us from overseas and we shall not need to see you in person.
Yes. We have the expertise to assist with the process from end-to-end. We can:
  • 1. Draft Powers of Attorney, proxies or board resolutions (if necessary);
  • 2. Assist with translation of documents (if necessary);
  • 3. Authenticate or witness signatures on documents;
  • 4. Present the documents to The High Court, DIRCO for legalisation or an apostille certificate (if necessary);
  • 5. Present the documents to the relevant embassy or consulate for attestation (if necessary); and
  • 6. Forward the documents to your location anywhere across the globe (if necessary).
Yes. The legalisation process may require different processes as follows (depending on the country where the document is to be used):
  • (a) Hague Convention Countries – if a document is to be legalised for use in a Hague Convention Country (a country that has signed onto the Hague Convention), the document should first be notarised, before it is taken to DFAT for an apostille certificate. Click here for an updated list on Hague Convention Countries
  • (b) Non-Hague Convention Countries – If a document is to be legalised in a non-Hague Convention Country (i.e. a country not on the list above such as the United Arab Emirates) the document shall need to be notarised, taken to The High Court and DIRCO to be legalised and then the document shall need to be presented to the relevant embassy or consulate for attestation.
Please note that the above three steps are what one would generally expect to have to carry out in order to legalise your documents. However, different embassies or consulates may require additional documents or steps to be carried out. The above is only a basic guide. Please give us a call for a free consultation to work out exactly what steps you shall need to take.
  • This will depend on:
  • (a) What you need legalised – if you require us to draft documents for you, we will need to receive your instructions and draft the requisite documents.
  • (b) Translation – if translation is required, this adds an additional step, which will take more time. We can arrange for a sworn translator to translate the document on your behalf.
  • (c) If you instruct us on an urgent basis – if you wish for us to legalise the document on an urgent basis, we shall endeavour to push the process through at an accelerated rate. Additional fees and disbursements shall apply accordingly.
  • (d) If you are overseas – if you are overseas this shall take additional time as we shall need to receive documents to be authenticated, carry out the legalisation process and then forward the legalised documents back to you.
  • (e) Legalisation requirements in the country of use – there may be additional legalisation requirements that need to be carried out in the country of use, prior to you being able to use it there. These requirements vary from country to country.
    Please give us a call so that we can give you an estimate on how long the process should take on an urgent or non-urgent basis.
After a document has been notarised, if the document is intended for use in a non-Hague Convention country, it shall need to be legalised at The High Court and DIRCO.

The next step is to have it attested at the relevant embassy. Attestation is the final step in the legalisation process. A consulate would normally only consider attesting a document if it was notarised and legalised by The High Court and/or DIRCO.

Attestation is the acceptance and certification by the embassy that it is satisfied with the authenticity of the document presented to it. Once the document is attested, it is then ready for use overseas.
  • 1. email us at info@louwrenskoen.co.za;
  • 2. call us on +27 87 0010 733; and
  • 3. click on the contact us button at the top of this webpage page and make an inquiry.
If you are planning on travelling abroad to live the expat dream you may need certain documents legalised for use in that country. For instance, if you are married and moving to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with your spouse, you should take a fully legalised copy of your marriage certificate with you.

This is so that you may show the authorities there that you are legally married, and as such, allowed to live together. It is against the laws of the UAE for an unmarried couple to live together.

Just as important as your marriage certificate, you should arrange to have your credentials notarised and fully legalised for use in the United Arab Emirates.

Should you have any queries about legalising your documents please contact us for a free consultation.
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We are happy to see walk-in clients however do prefer if you book in advance. If you have not booked an appointment you may have to wait until a notary is available.
The length of the appointment will depend on the nature of the work to be undertaken. Typically the appointment will last no longer than thirty minutes.
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You will need documents notarised if
  • Your document is for use in or has been issued by a country other than South-Africa;
  • You have been specifically requested to do so by the issuer or recipient of your document;
  • You are required to make an oath, declaration or affirmation in front of a Notary Public as opposed to a Lawyer, Justice of the Peace or Commissioner for Oaths.
In South-Africa, Notaries are legal practitioners who are qualified to authenticate, prepare, attest, verify, witness and certify original and copy documents for use in South-Africa and internationally. Only a small percentage of legal practitioners in South Africa are also Notaries Public. 
Please see our ‘Fees’ page for charges relating to our services, which are set in accordance with the Notary Scale of Charges. If you are unable to determine the cost of your document, please send click here for an online quotation or message us requesting a quote here or call +27870010733
We do accommodate walk in customers at out offices in the Northern Pavilion of Loftus Versveld Stadium as we have a Notary Public in attendance most weekdays. To be safe we suggest you make an appointment to make sure that the Notary is available.
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As a general rule, where a signature is required to be witnessed on a document intended for use overseas, the witnessing must be done by a Notary Public. If your document is for use domestically, you will generally be able to have your document witnessed by a lawyer, Justice of the Peace, police officer or Commissioner of Oaths.
Yes we can assist with the whole intricate process. Click here to order or get a no obligation quotation. 
Check the schedule table of the Convention by clicking here

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If you have been asked by an overseas organisation to provide formal documents of any kind, then you will more than likely require this document to be Apostilled.

Having legal documents Apostilled will speed up the process of having your paperwork recognised and accepted as genuine when presented to overseas officials. A Notary Public is ideally placed to assist you with this – in many jurisdictions indeed, ONLY a Notary can do this.

Once a document has been Notarised and Apostilled by a Notary Public it can be accepted as legally sound in most countries. If you are sending your documents to a Country which is not a member of the Hague Convention get in touch – we will be able to correctly legalise it at the Embassy or Consulate.

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