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Can SAPS officers witness my signature or certify my documents?

Can a SAPS officers witness

It depends. A South African Police Service (SAPS) police officer may be able to witness your signature or certify your documents, depending on where your documents will be used.

Sometimes referred to as a “prescribed witness”, “qualified witness” or “authorised witness”, the person authorised to witness signatures or authenticate documents in South Africa depends on whether you’re using your documents in South Africa for legal purposes or abroad in another country.

Notarisation of document to be used within South Africa

If you live in one of the major cities in South Africa, such as Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, PE or Cape Town, and you want to use your documents within South Africa, you can in most cases have a SAPS officer witness your signature or certify your documents. You can also use a lawyer or a notary, but unlike a SAPS officer (which is a free service), you’ll probably have to pay to use a lawyer or a notary. It should be noted, however, that SAPS police officers will usually witness or certify signatures on documents relating to police matters. It is not common practice for police officers to witness signatures or certify documents for other legal purposes at a South African Police Service (SAPS) station.

Can a SAPS officers witness

As stated in SAPS website:

  • You can have copies of original documents certified at any police station, at any time.
  • The certification of copies is done free of charge.
  • You must provide your own copies. The police station’s resources such as photocopy machines and paper, are not for use by the public.
  • You must provide the original documents when requesting to have copies certified. Copies will not be certified if the original documents are not produced for verification.
  • Please be patient. Remember that the police station has certain priorities to deal with, and it might take a while before they can attend to you.

Notarisation of document to be used outside of South Africa

If you live in South Africa and you want to use your documents in another country, then you generally must have your documents notarised by a notary public. This means if your signature must be witnessed, then your signature must be witnessed by the notary public. If your documents must be certified, then your documents must be certified by the notary public. South African Police Service (SAPS) police officers generally cannot witness signatures or certify documents intended to be used for legal purposes in other countries.

                                                                           Can a SAPS officers witness

Apostille certification

An apostille is a certification issued under the Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (also known as the Hague Apostille Convention). It is an internationally recognised certification that authenticates the signature and/or seal of the public official who issued or certified the document.

It is an essential certification for documents intended for use in international transactions or legal matters. The purpose of an apostille is to simplify the process of verifying the legitimacy of a document across borders, in addition to supporting the process of embassy legalisation for certain countries.

Most documents require notarisation before they can be apostilled; common types include identity documents, affidavits, declarations, powers of attorney, travel authorisations, board resolutions, company documents, passports, proof of address, diplomas and certificates.

Do you have any questions?

Sending documents from Australia to other countries can be complicated. We make it simple.

Global Apostille is a Pretoria-based legalisation agency that assists corporations and individuals  in getting document notarisation, apostilles and embassy legalization services in South Africa. We make the legalization and apostille of South African documents simple for our clients.

Understanding that document authentication can be challenging and time-consuming, our main aim is to ensure our clients feel at ease. Our goal is to lessen this load by offering top-notch apostilling services at reasonable rates, without any hidden charges.

Global Apostille can handle various types of documents on your behalf from Birth Certificate to Power of Attorney. Our service offers a comprehensive solution, ensuring both official translation and legalization processes are straightforward. If you want to know more about our services, feel free to get in touch with us.

So, what’s next?

Not sure what you need? Contact us  at Email: info@apostillelegalisation.co.za  for a free quote, otherwise, call us on 012 348 3134 | 081 347 6060 to speak with our friendly team about your requirements.

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Can SAPS officers witness my signature or certify my documents?
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Can SAPS officers witness my signature or certify my documents?
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A South African Police Service (SAPS) police officer may be able to witness your signature or certify your documents, depending on where your documents will be used.
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Global Apostille
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Please note that we are not a law firm and are not regulated as such.

Global Apostille is a Pretoria-based authentication and legalisation agency that assist corporations and individuals in South Africa in obtaining Apostilles and Embassy legalisation service.

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