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Document Notarisation South Africa – All You Need to Know About the Process

Document Notarisation South Africa

In South Africa, the notarisation of documents is often seen as a necessary step in the complicated world of legal documents. The majority of notarial services deal with paperwork that is required for international use, indeed the notarisation of documents in South Africa allows for the official or legal use of written documents. The requirements and range of notarial services vary and are often determined by the laws of the jurisdictions in which the notarised document is to be used. Although a simple and straightforward process, the notarisation of documents in South Africa can cause confusion and doubt in the minds of people unfamiliar with the process. This article aims to demystify the notarisation process by outlining what to expect and offering tips for a hassle-free experience.

Notarisation: What Is It and Why is it Needed?

The purpose of Notarisation in South Africa is to authenticate legal documents. This is normally required to enable particular documents to be accepted abroad by courts, registries or other notaries.

The form of certification varies substantially according to the document and the country in which it is to be used. Generally, the notary is certifying the genuineness of the signature(s) on the document, the identity and capacity of the person signing and, if applicable, their authority to represent the company or entity they are signing for. We may also certify that the document is correctly executed in accordance with South African law. We can also certify true copies of original documents and the truth and accuracy of translations. In all cases, a notarised document bears the notary’s signature and official seal.

Notaries must:

  1. Confirm  the true identity of a signatory by careful examination of an identity document, such as a current Driver’s Licence or Passport;
  2. Ensure that a signatory fully understands the nature and effect of the contents of the document. But weighed against this, and very importantly, notarisation of a document does not involve the provision of legal advice. Notaries cannot and indeed must not advise on the legal implications of the document. That is the role of the deponent’s lawyer. ;
  3. In respect of a company, ascertain whether the signatory acting is an official representative capacity and has the company’s authority to sign on behalf of the company.; and
  4. Refuse notary services if a document constitutes a fraud or an unlawful act

Notarisation is required in several circumstances, including:

Sworn declarations and affidavits: These are legally binding documents that need to have the signer’s oath or affirmation verified.
Property transactions: Notarisation is frequently necessary for the legal validity of deeds, mortgages, and other property-related documents.
Powers of attorney: Notarisation is frequently required to provide someone with the legal right to act on your behalf.
Use of international documents: Notarisation may be necessary for foreign authorities to recognise documents for use in another country.

                                                        notarisation of documents
Document notarisation and translation

In South Africa, if a notary public is required to certify that you have understood the contents of a particular document, that document must of course be written in English or translated into English.  However, if the document is to be used abroad, the language in which your documents must be written varies from country to country. It is likely that each document will need to be written or translated into one of the official languages of the country in which it is to be used.

Extra Things to Think About During the notarisation Process

  • Check in advance with the notary, as there may be extra requirements for specific documents or jurisdictions. Several witnesses may be necessary in certain circumstances during the notarisation procedure. Notaries usually deal with original documents but can determine what copies are permissible if necessary.
  • Notaries are unbiased representatives and are unable to offer legal counsel. For legal matters, seek legal advice. The document’s legitimacy or legality is not guaranteed by notarisation. It only confirms the signature and identity of the signer. You can confidently approach the notarisation process and ensure your documents are appropriately recognised and acknowledged when needed if you are aware of the procedure and its goal.

Global Apostille, Document Notarisation services

We offer a full range of notarial services including sworn translations, authentication of original documents, verification of identity, verification of companies, obtaining notarisations or apostilles and obtaining legalisation of documents from embassies or consulates.

Our aim is to provide you with the most efficient, professional and convenient service and we look forward to helping you.

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Document Notarisation South Africa – All You Need to Know About the Process
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Document Notarisation South Africa – All You Need to Know About the Process
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In South Africa, the notarisation of documents is often seen as a necessary step in the complicated world of legal documents. The majority of notarial services deal with paperwork that is required for international use, indeed the notarisation of documents in South Africa allows for the official or legal use of written documents.
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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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