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Notarisation of ID documents in South Africa

This blog post aims to explain the process of notarising ID documents in South Africa, as well as the requirements a Notary is often required to meet to complete the process.

In our increasingly complex South African legal and bureaucratic landscape, the notarisation of ID documents serves as a crucial step in ensuring the authenticity and validity of your ID document. Whether you’re concluding a business contract, buying property or executing a will, notarisation adds an extra layer of security. In South Africa, the process of notarising identity documents follows specific procedures that are governed by law. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps of notarising an identity document as well as passports, driving licences, national identity cards, utility bills and bank statements.

The Role of a Notary in South Africa:

In South Africa, a notary is more than just a qualified legal practitioner. They are lawyers who have passed the Notarial Practice Examination, which covers matrimonial law, the law of trusts, deceased estates, property and ancillary rights, servitudes, taxation and more. Once they have passed, they apply to the High Court to be admitted and enrolled as Notaries, a testament to their advanced expertise.

Understanding identity documents Notarisation in South Africa:

At its core, authentication is about establishing trust and verification. In South Africa, when an identity document is authenticated, its authenticity is vouched for, ensuring its recognition both locally and internationally. However, when asked to ‘notarise’ their identity documents, many people are unsure what this means. What it actually means is that a copy of your identity document, i.e. your Green ID Book, passport or valid driving licence, rather than the original, is notarised or certified by a notary as a legitimate copy. When notarising a passport, you may be asked to notarise the whole passport, just the ID page or certain pages (those with residence permits, visas or restrictions). To avoid the document being refused, it is best to ask the person making the request which pages you need to have notarised. You don’t usually need to worry about this as the notary can usually make the copies for you.

Another common request when notarising ID documents is the inclusion of true likeness wording on the notarisation certificate, which states that the image on your ID is a true and accurate likeness of you (as long as you look like your picture!). Please remember to mention this at the beginning of your appointment with the Notary to ensure that this wording is included.

Once all the checks have been carried out, the Notary will attach a signed and sealed Notarial Certificate in which the Notary confirms that a copy of a document is a true reflection of the original, meaning that it is an accurate reproduction.

notarisation of documents

Apostille certification

If the copy of the ID document needs to be legalised for use within South Africa, a notarial certificate is sufficient, but if it is to be used abroad, an apostille is required. An apostille is a special certification that validates the authenticity of a document for use internationally. An apostille essentially acts as an international notarisation, certifying the origin of the document, the authenticity of the signature and the capacity of the signatory. It is an essential tool for individuals and companies involved 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.


Global Apostille, Document Notarisation services

Our notarial services include all forms of notary public certifications, as well as providing apostille legalisation, sworn translations for French, Spanish, German and Portuguese, 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

Notarisation of ID documents in South Africa
Article Name
Notarisation of ID documents in South Africa
This blog post aims to explain the process of notarising ID documents in South Africa, as well as the requirements a Notary is often required to meet to complete the process.
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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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