What are Consular Services
Contact Details
Deaths Abroad
Arrested Abroad
Consular Notarial Services (Legalisation of Official (Public) Documents)
End User Certificates
Service Delivery Charter
SA Representation Abroad
Foreign Representation in SA
SA Missions: Commissioner of Oaths
 
 

 

Consular Notarial Services (Legalisation of Official (Public) Documents)

Introduction / Prerequisite to request for consular notarial services / The following types original official (public) documents can be submitted directly to the Legalisation Section / Important notes (pertaining to the types of official (public) documentation that may be submitted directly to the Legalisation Section) / The following types of original documents must follow the route as explained below, before submitting to the Legalisation Section / When to follow the route of the Public Notary (or Sworn Translator) and Registrar of the High Court / Important notes (pertaining to documents that follow the route of the Public Notary (or Sworn Translator) and the Registrar of the High Court) / Office hours / How to submit documentation to the Legalisation Section / Processing times / Where to find us / Legal Instrument / Cost / Forms to be completed / Directory: Contact information

Introduction

Consular notarial services are rendered to South African citizens and foreign nationals requiring South African official (public) documents to be legalised for use abroad.  These services are rendered to provide legal validity to South African official (public) documents to enable a person to use the documents outside the Republic of South Africa. Legalising documents means that official (public) documents executed within the Republic of South Africa for use outside the Republic of South Africa are affixed, sealed and signed either with an Apostille Certificate (where countries are signatory to the Apostille Convention) or with a Certificate of Authentication (where countries are not signatory to the Apostille Convention).

Legalisation therefore basically means the process followed by which the signature and seal on an official (public) document is verified.

Note:  The full description of the Apostille Convention is The Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 (Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents).  Please visit The Hague Conference on Private International Law – http://www.hcch.net for further information on signatory countries.

Note:  South African diplomatic or consular representatives abroad can legalise official documents only if these were legalised by the relevant foreign competent authority in their country of accreditation, for use within South Africa. South African diplomatic or consular representatives abroad cannot issue Apostille Certificates, only Certificates of Authentication.

The DIRCO - Legalisation Section provides the following service:

  • Legalises official (public) documents executed within the Republic of South Africa for use outside the Republic of South Africa by means of an Apostille Certificate or a Certificate of Authentication.
  • Provides customers with guidelines to obtain the correct signatures/documents, if documents submitted are incorrect or incomplete.
  • Provides customers with information by telephone, mail and e-mail.

Prerequisite to request for consular notarial services

The document to be legalised is determined by the customer.  Legalisation staff are not able to advise customers as what documents they need to submit for i.e. foreign work/residence permits; application for foreign citizenship or registration of birth; or to obtain a foreign passport, etc. Customers are therefore advised to contact the foreign representative in South Africa of the country in which the document will be used directly to determine what documents they will need to submit and which documentation will be required for legalisation purposes and what their countries specific requirements are, etc.

The Legalisation Section can issue the relevant Apostille Certificate or the Certificate of Authentication subject to the following rules:

  • The customer needs to advise the Legalisation Section of the country in which the document will be used to enable the Legalisation Section to determine if an Apostille Certificate or Certificate of Authentication is required.
  • The period of validity of the document has not expired.
  • Refer below for the relevant important notes for additional guidance and information on the various different types of documentation.
  • All foreign documentation must be legalised from the country of origin.

The following types original official (public) documents can be submitted directly to the Legalisation Section, provided the documents were signed and stamped by the relevant issuing authority, as listed below:

  • The original unabridged or full birth, marriage and/or death certificates; original (valid) letters of no impediment (marital status);  letter confirming an individual's citizenship status (letters confirming naturalization) and renunciation letters as issued and duly signed and stamped by the authorised Home Affairs official.  (Refer to the “important notes” below for further guidance and information pertaining to these types of civic documentation.)
  • The original (valid) Police Clearance Certificate as issued, signed and stamped by the South African Police Service (SAPS) – Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management [previously referred to as the Criminal Record Centre (CRC)].  (Note:  A Police Clearance Certificate is only valid for six (6) months from date of issue.
  • The original adoption papers signed and stamped by the relevant Presiding Officer / Commissioner of Child Welfare of the Children’s Court (Department of Justice and Constitutional Development) or the Registrar of Adoptions at the Department of Social Development.
  • Original Confirmation Letters as issued (stamped and signed) by the Department of Transport – Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) confirming that the applicant holds a valid driver’s licence.  (Note: The Legalisation Section cannot legalise actual driver’s licences.).
NOTE:  Flow diagram:  To follow the process as explained above (when the destination country is signatory to the Apostille Convention) – and when the Apostille Certificate will be issued and affixed:


(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.)

NOTE:  Flow diagram:  To follow the process as explained above (when the destination country is NOT signatory to the Apostille Convention) – and when the Certificate of Authentication will be issued and affixed:




Important notes (pertaining to the types of official (public) documentation that may be submitted directly to the Legalisation Section)

  • The following documents are not accepted by the Legalisation Section, i.e. abridged certificates or computer printouts (in other words a shortened version of the unabridged certificate). The reason for this is that an abridged certificate is simply a computer printout and it does not contain the signature and stamp of the issuing authority.
  • The marriage certificate as issued by the marriage officer will not be accepted for legalisation purposes. If you wish the marriage certificate to be legalised, then the original unabridged marriage certificate, as obtainable from the Department of Home Affairs will be required.
  • The Legalisation Section does not accept certified copies of i.e. birth, marriage, death certificates; police clearance certificates; letters of no impediment (marital status); proof of citizenship; travel documents or identity documents, etc. The Legalisation Section also does not accept documents which was certified as a true copy of the original by a Commissioner of Oaths. 
  • “Old” documentation:  Please take note that although the original document is an original and valid document, the signature of the official (or employee) who originally issued and signed the document might not be available on the DIRCO – Legalisation Section signature database, neither be obtainable from the specific government Department, as the official (or employee) who originally issued and signed the document is no longer employed at the specific Department, which makes it impossible for the Legalisation Section to legalise the “old” document at such a late stage. Therefore it is advisable that the document should preferably not be older than one (1) year. The Legalisation Section furthermore recommends that customers must also verify with the relevant foreign representative in South Africa what their specific country requirements are.
  • Letter of No Impediments (marital status) can be legalised if on an original, official Home Affairs letterhead, signed and stamped by the authorised Home Affairs official (Head Office only).  (These documents are only valid for a period of six (6) months from the date of issue.)  Important:  The Department of Home Affairs confirmed that the Letter of No Impediments (marital status) are issued, stamped and signed by the authorised official at Head Office of the Department of Home Affairs only.  Letters as issued by the Regional Home Affairs offices will not be accepted for legalisation purposes, as these were issued without authorisation.
  • Note:  Documents which has been laminated will not be accepted for legalisation purposes.

The following types of original documents must follow the route as explained below, BEFORE submitting to the Legalisation Section:

  • All original documentation regarding the registration of companies and of close corporations, registration of patent designs, trademarks and copyrights must first be stamped and signed (every page) by the relevant Registrar at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Companies and Intellectual Property Commission Office (CIPC), who is authorised to sign documents for international purposes. 
  • Note:  If the CIPC does not verify the original CIPC documentation, and only provide copies thereof, then the client will have to follow the route of the i.e. Public Notary / Registrar of the High Court.
  • Export related documentation:

Export documentation must be stamped and signed (every page) – the original documentation by the authorised employee at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  (Please take note:  The Chamber will not certify government-issued documents i.e. food inspection certificates, veterinary health certificates, halaal certificates, etc. However, the Chamber can issue a short letter on its letterhead to the effect that the Chamber has examined the certificate, and that based on its examination of the certificate supplied, the information contained therein to be true and correct (and to include the ‘number of pages’ of the attached documentation). This letter on the original letterhead of the Chamber must be signed by the authorised employee and stamped with the Chamber seal and placed on top of the original document concerned.

  • School and transfer certificates (Grade 1 – 11):

School and transfer certificates:  Primary and secondary school certificates (grade 1 – 11):  The transfer card needs to be signed and sealed by the principal of the school and the education district director or deputy director.  The principal of the school needs to provide a letter confirming that the pupil studied at the school.  Then it should be taken to the Department of Basic Education (DBE) – to any of the authorised officials, who will issue a confirmation letter for the DIRCO – Legalisation Section to legalise the accompanying documents).

Secondary school certificates (grade 12):  The original grade 12 certificate, together with a copy should be taken to the Department of Basic Education (DBE) – to any of the authorised officials for verification.  Thereafter the documents should be submitted to the DIRCO – Legalisation Section to legalise.  (Refer to the section dealing with UMALUSI, if you hold a relevant certificate, as listed below.)

Note:  The Department of Basic Education (DBE) refers to the National Department based in Pretoria (and not the various regional offices).  Please refer to “Directory:  Contact Information” for the relevant contact information.

  • Matric certificates:

UMALUSI certificates:  UMALUSI requires a certified copy of the document to be verified as well as a certified copy of the requestor’s ID document or passport.  The certified copies may not be older than three (3) months.  These copies and proof of payment, as determined by UMALUSI, of the request for verification should be e-mailed to verification@umalusi.org.za or faxed to (012) 349-1099.  Banking details of UMALUSI: ABSA; Lynnwood Ridge; Cheque Account; Account Number 1630145178; Branch code – 333845; Reference No. – EVODIR002L.  The e-mail / fax must clearly indicate: VERIFICATION FOR THE DIRCO.  The application must clearly state the embassy/country and the information of the requestor as follows:  Embassy/High Commission/Consular name and address; name and surname; ID number; contact number; e-mail address; and contact person. UMALUSI will strive to ensure completion of the verification within a 24-hour working day period.  Once the request has been finalised, the requestor will be contacted to make arrangements for a courier service to collect the documents from the UMALUSI offices and courier them to the DIRCO – Legalisation Section.  (The cost of such courier service is payable by the requestor.)  The requestor may also collect the documentation from UMALUSI, per arrangement.

The qualifications verified by UMALUSI for this purpose are:

Senior Certificate (schools);
National Senior Certificate (schools after 2008/11);
National Senior Certificate (Colleges – N3 subjects and two languages); National N3 Certificate;
National Certificate (Vocational) – Levels 2, 3 and 4;
General Education and Training Certificate (ABET Level 4);  and
Subject Statements/Certificates and/or Learning Area Certificates for the above qualifications.

Please note the following exceptions where UMALUSI will not be in a position to do the verification:

  • All certificates issued before November 1992 must be verified by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) (schooling qualifications).
  • During the period between release of results and certification for Grade 12 learners – January to April for the November examination and January to August for those who have written the March supplementary examination, the verification of the statement of results will therefore be done by the Department of Basic Education (DBE).
  • In the event that the results have, for whatever reason, not yet been certified, the requestor will be referred to the Department of Basic Education (DBE) for verification purposes as UMALUSI can only verify those records which have been certified.
  • All primary and secondary school results (grades 1 to 11) are verified by the Department of Basic Education (DBE).
  • The Department of Basic Education (DBE) will only be able to assist if the institution is registered with the Department.  It is therefore recommended to contact the DBE directly to verify if the institution is registered, before submitting your documentation.
  • Note:  The requestor will be referred to the relevant Department in all instances mentioned above.  The Department of Basic Education (DBE) may have requirements that differ from those of UMALUSI, therefore, in the event that the requestor is referred, please contact the relevant Department for further information.

  • Tertiary Qualifications:

South African issued tertiary qualifications need to be verified by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

Note:  The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), both public universities and private higher education institutions, indicated that the DHET with effect from 29 November 2019, will no longer verify South African issued tertiary qualifications.  It must be noted that the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) will take-over this verification process with effect from 1 December 2019.

The original verification letter, as issued by SAQA must be submitted for legalisation purposes. If you wish to include a copy of your degree with the legalisation process, then SAQA must stamp and sign on the copy.  (Note:  For legalisation purposes, we require the copy that contains the original stamp and signature from the authorised employee of SAQA - the same employee who issued, stamped and signed the original verification letter.)

SAQA confirmed that they will assist with the stamping and signing on copies of the degree, if it confirms the following: The qualification title on the certificate must be the same as the registered title of the qualification on the SAQA NQF.  SAQA confirmed that unfortunately it frequently happens that institutions make up their own title for a registered qualification.  In such cases SAQA will confirm in the letter the qualification that the learner obtained BUT will not stamp and sign the certificate.

All applications must be sent to: verificationsletter@saqa.org.za.

  • Trade Certificates:

    The Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No. 97 of 1998) as amended legislates the quality assurance functions for which the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) is responsible.

The qualifications verified for this purpose are:

Occupational Certificates NQF Levels 2-8;  and

Trade certificates under the following categories:

Trade Certificates issued by the QCTO under the Skills Development Act – certificates issued from 1 November 2013 onwards;  Trade Certificates issued under the Department of Labour, Department of Manpower and the Department of Higher Education and Training;  Trainee certificates issued under Section 30 of the Manpower Training Act by the Department of Labour, Department of Manpower and the Department of Higher Education and Training;  Trade Certificates issues under the Black Builders Act;  and Replacement Trade Certificates issued by the QCTO.

Please note the following exceptions where the QCTO will NOT be in a position to do the verification of a trade certificate:  A trade certificate issued by a former Training Board or a Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA).  For the authentication of these certificates, the applicant must follow the process i.e. Public Notary / Registrar of the High Court.

NOTE:  QCTO requires a certified copy of the document to be verified as well as a certified copy of the requestor’s ID document or passport.  The certified copies may not be older than three (3) months.  The requestor must ensure that before the fee is paid, the QCTO can indeed verify the type of certificate.  These copies and proof of payment, as determined by the QCTO, of the request for verification should be e-mailed to verification@qcto.org.za.  Banking details of the QCTO:  ABASA;  Mid Corporate Pretoria;  Cheque Account; Account number 40 7837 0566; Branch code 632005; Reference No. DIRCO001.  The e-mail must clearly indicate:  VERIFICATION FOR DIRCO.  The application must clearly state the embassy/country and the information of the requestor as follows:  Embassy/High Commission/Consular name and address;  name and surname;  ID number;  contact number;  e-mail address;  and contact person.  The QCTO will strive to ensure completion of the verification within a 72-hour working day period.  Once the request has been finalised, the requestor will be contacted to make arrangements for a courier service to collect the documents from the QCTO offices and courier or deliver them to the DIRCO – Legalisation Section.  (The cost of such courier service is payable by the requestor.)  The requestor may also collect the documents from the QCTO office during working hours from 08:00 to 15:30 by arrangement.

  • Medical certificates:

All medical certificates issued by a medical doctor after a medical examination on a patient needs to be stamped and signed (every page) by the authorised official at the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).  By stamping and signing the certificates, the HPCSA confirms that the medical doctor is a registered medical practitioner in South Africa.  (Note:  The Legalisation Section does not legalise actual x-rays.  The results of the x-rays must be contained in the document issued by the medical practitioner, which should be stamped and signed by the HPCSA.).

  • Documents pertaining to the transportation of livestock, including pets, should be stamped and signed by an authorised State Veterinarian.
  • Divorce decrees and settlement agreements
Customers should contact the High Court where the divorce was granted directly and make the necessary arrangements for a current Registrar or Assistant Registrar (not a clerk of the court or a Registrar’s clerk) to sign and stamp the divorce decree and each page of the settlement agreement (should the settlement agreement be required), before submitting to our office for legalisation purposes.  Note:  If the country of destination is signatory to the Apostille Convention, then the relevant High Court where the divorce was granted could in fact issue and affix the Apostille Certificate directly.  In this case, the documentation must not be submitted to our office, as the rule will be applicable that 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.

NOTE:  The DIRCO – Legalisation Section does not take any responsibility for incorrect information provided, due to changes in the relevant authorities contact details; procedures; etc.  It is therefore the responsibility of the customer to verify information directly with the relevant institution concerned.

NOTE: Flow diagram:  To follow the process as explained above (when the destination country is signatory to the Apostille Convention) – and when the Apostille Certificate will be issued and affixed
(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.)


NOTE: Flow diagram:  To follow the process as explained above (when the destination country is NOT signatory to the Apostille Convention) – and when the Certificate of Authentication will be issued and affixed:



When (and relevant types of documentation) to follow the route of the Public Notary or Sworn Translator and Registrar of the High Court:

There may be other documents not listed above i.e. documents pertaining to customary marriages;  travel documents (passport) or identity documents;  or documents such as an affidavit, power of attorney;  work contracts;  and / or translations, which has to be verified by a Public Notary (Attorney registered with the High Court) or translated by a Sworn Translator (if this service is required), where after the verified documents must then be taken to the Registrar of the High Court of South Africa – in the same jurisdiction as the Public Notary or Sworn Translator, before submitting to the Legalisation Section:
Step 1:  Documents must be verified by a Public Notary (an Attorney registered at the High Court) or translated by a Sworn Translator (if the customer wishes the documentation to be translated) – of your choice.  Note:  The Public Notary will basically make a certified copy of the original document (which is the procedure, by which the copy of the original document, is “certified” as being “a true copy of the original document”).

Step 2: The certified documents or translated documents must then be taken to the Registrar of the High Court of South Africa – in the same jurisdiction as the Public Notary / Sworn Translator.  The Registrar will verify the signature and/or the seal of the Public Notary / Sworn Translator.  (Note:  Documents to be Apostilled (for countries that are signatory to the Apostille Convention) and Authenticated (for non-signatory countries).

Step 3: After Authentication (for non-signatory countries) by the High Court, the documents must then be submitted to the DIRCO – Legalisation Section for further authentication.

Flow diagram: Process when following the route of the i.e. Public Notary/Registrar of the High Court (when the destination country is signatory to the Apostille Convention) – and when the Apostille Certificate will be issued and affixed


(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.)

Note:  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.


NOTE: Flow diagram:  Process when following the route of the i.e. Public Notary/Registrar of the High Court (when the destination country is NOT signatory to the Apostille Convention) – and when the Certificate of Authentication will be issued and affixed:





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.
Office hours

The operating hours of the Legalisation Section to the public is from Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) from 08:30 to 12:30.

Festive period arrangements:  Please take note that DIRCO will close at 10:00 on Friday, 24 December 2021 (prior to the Christmas weekend) and a total office closure for the week of 28 to 31 December 2021.  (DIRCO will re-open on Monday, 3 January 2022.)

How to SUBMIT documentation to the Legalisation Section

Kindly take note that wef 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, then you have two (2) options to submit i.e. either using a registered courier company to submit on your behalf; or via registered mail (Post Office). NB: There is NO need to request for an appointment or DO NOT submit requests/documents via e-mail etc., as this is NOT REQUIRED! Please read the information below and follow the procedures, as clearly set-out on how to submit using either of the two (2) options provided.

Documents can be submitted to the Legalisation Section by one of the following means:

(Please take note that the addresses for submission of documents to the Legalisation Section differ, depending on the manner in which documents are submitted.)

Option 1:  Submission via a registered courier service (of your choice)
:

Physical address: Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), OR Tambo Building, 460 Soutpansberg Road, Rietondale, Pretoria, 0084 – Attention:  Legalisation Section.

Requirements: Ensure that the cover letter (an example can be downloaded from our webpage) is included within the package. It basically have to indicate the following i.e. we need to know the country of destination and your contact details, especially an e-mail address, in order to contact you once the process has been completed. Note: DO NOT stick this cover letter on the envelope. Please include this cover letter inside the courier package with your documentation!

Click on the link below to download the: Cover Letter:

COVER LETTER

Take note of the following before dispatching your parcel

  • It must be noted that wef Friday, 11 December 2020, all courier companies to deliver strictly between 08:30 and 12:30 from a Monday to Friday (except public holidays) to the Internal Mail Section that is based in the basement of our building.  If the courier driver / representative is unsure where to go, request him/her to receive directions from the security staff.
  • The staff from the Internal Mail Section will be signing for receipt of the said parcel and keep a register of all courier parcels received.
  • As per safety protocols all parcels received will firstly be disinfected and then the Internal Mail Section will deliver the parcels to the Consular Registry (according to scheduled delivery times), as from where the Legalisation Staff will receive the courier packages.
  • This arrangement is only for courier companies, and all documentation must be secured in proper courier packaging and contain an airwaybill for track and trace purposes. If courier companies does not follow this protocol, then the parcel will not be accepted at the Internal Mail Section.
  • Your documentation will be processed and you will receive and e-mail notification from the Legalisation Section, once the process has been completed. It must be noted that within this e-mail notification will be your specific reference number, as well as the procedure to be followed to make arrangements for collection via a courier service or you can opt for the choice to collect in person. It must be noted that the e-mail notification will only be forwarded once the documentation were actually completed (as per the processing times and procedures listed).
  • The processing times listed will be applicable from the date that the parcel was received by the Legalisation Section and not the date it was delivered to the Internal Mail Section.
  • The DIRCO - Legalisation Section receives large volumes of documentation from across the Republic of South Africa, as well as from abroad, therefore, it is requested to please be patient, and you will receive an e-mail notification once the process has been completed and when the said documentation will be ready for collection. If you want to check if your parcel was in fact delivered, then the best option is to contact your courier company directly to verify accordingly.  (Note:  The courier company will be able to provide proof of delivery.)
  • IMPORTANT:  The customer will be responsible to provide protected materials / bubble-wrapped envelopes etc., for transportation purposes, or make arrangements directly with the courier company (of your choice) to provide such materials when delivering, as to ensure the documentation are protected and not damaged during transportation.

Option 2:  Submission by registered mail:

Postal address: Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Attention: Legalisation Section, Private Bag X152, Pretoria, 0001.

Requirements: Include an A4-size self-addressed/pre-paid return envelope [registered mail] (no cash will be accepted), to allow the Legalisation Section to return the documents to the customer upon completion. Documents forwarded by mail must be accompanied by a covering letter, depicting the number of documents to be legalised, the country for which the legalisation is required as well as the full contact (telephone/e-mail) details of the sender.

Note:

  • Please do not use fast mail or ordinary mail, as there is no tracking system available with the Post Office for these types of parcels, in order to track and trace your parcel.
  • The customer must ensure that the correct current RSA Post Office rates for domestic deliveries are adhered to, and to ensure that the correct value of stamps are placed on the return envelope. For further information and current rates, please visit the SAPO website – http://www.postoffice.co.za.
  • It is recommended that customers based abroad must not make use of normal postal services, but rather make use of a courier company or refer to option 4 (below) for submitting documentation, as the Department will not be responsible for additional handling fees / charges resulting in requiring to clear the international item at customs / Post Office.
  • No notification will be forwarded iro receipt or return to the customer via registered mail, however, you may track and trace your parcel by using your specific tracking numbers (in-coming, as well as the out-going) directly with the Post Office. Refer to the Post Office website – Track my Parcel – https://www.postoffice.co.za/Tools/tracktrace.html.

Option 3: Submission via the South African diplomatic or consular representative abroad (Embassy, High Commission or Consulate-General):

Contact details: Refer to “Foreign Relations – South African Representation Abroad (Embassies and High Commissions)” for the relevant contact information.

Requirements: The mission must include a cover letter stating the country for which the document is needed.
Note:

  • If you are residing abroad, the services of the South African diplomatic or consular representative (Embassy, High Commission or Consulate-General) could be utilised – submit to the mission for onward transmission via the diplomatic bag to the Legalisation Section (at Head Office).  It is advised that the customer confirm directly with the relevant mission on the availability of the diplomatic bag to South Africa and vice-versa, as well as to provide the customer with an estimated time-frame for sending and receiving the documents back at the mission.
  • Unfortunately, this service will only be applicable where documentation are to be submitted directly to the DIRCO – Legalisation Section. Unfortunately, if you have a specific type of document which has a verification step or steps before it should reach our office, then it would not be possible to use this option. In this case, it is suggested that customers rather use the option of a courier service or utilise the assistance of friends/family members in South Africa that will be able to assist with the verification process, before submitting to our office. (If this is applicable to you, please refer to option 1 for further information.)

How to COLLECT documentation to the Legalisation Section (strictly by appointment)

Physical address: Department of International and Cooperation (DIRCO), OR Tambo Building, 460 Soutpansberg Road, Rietondale, Pretoria, 0084 - Legalisation Section (ground floor).

Requirements: Collection is directly from the DIRCO – Legalisation Section (ground floor):  The customer must firstly receive an e-mail notification from the Legalisation Section, to confirm that the said documents are in fact ready for collection.  At this stage the client can decide to either use the courier company to collect on their behalf or collect in person (either way, it must be done via scheduling an appointment to collect).
The request for an appointment form must be completed either by the customer or if the client wishes to use a courier company, in liaison with the courier company, or by the said courier company directly and e-mailed to legalisation@dirco.gov.za.

Note:  If the client will be using the option of the courier company to collect on their behalf, then the client will be responsible to provide the courier company with a copy of their letter of authority, which must include the specified address where it must be forwarded to, and the specific reference number which was allocated by the Legalisation Section (which is contained in the e-mail notification).

Click on the link below to download the:  Letter of Authority:

LETTER OF AUTHORITY

Click on the link below to download the: Request for an Appointment Form:

REQUEST FOR AN APPOINTMENT FORM

Note:  Collection appointments:

  • Appointments will only be scheduled during our public hours which are strictly from 08:30 to 12:30 (weekdays, except public holidays).
  • Appointments are made on a first come, first served basis.
  • Once the appointment has been scheduled, a confirmation of appointment will be e-mailed to the party that requested the said appointment. It will be required to request the relevant courier driver/representative to bring along copies of the confirmation and the letter of authority (to be provided by the customer) on the day of the appointment.
  • The printed confirmation is also verified by security against the appointments scheduled for the specific date.
  • Report to security (main entrance) at least half-an-hour before the confirmed appointment time. This is to ensure that the driver/representative reach the Legalisation Section on time for the appointment, as there are formalities to comply with to gain entry into the building and it is also a distance from the main security entrance to the Legalisation Section on the ground floor.
  • If the client/courier driver/representative misses the appointment for whatever reason, it will be required to re-schedule a new appointment. No special allowances or exceptions will be made. The client/courier driver/representative will not be allowed into the building after the allocated appointment time, as this will inconvenience the customers that has appointments scheduled. The client/courier driver/representative welcome to arrive earlier than the appointment time and wait in the demarcated area until it their time slot.
  • Only the person who has a confirmed appointment will be allowed to enter. One (1) person per appointment only.
  • Original identification will be required to enter the building with security, in the form of an original ID or passport. Note: Driver’s licences will not be accepted.
  • The client/courier driver/representative will not be allowed access to the building if he/she does not comply with the health and safety regulations in relation to COVID-19.
  • The client/courier driver/representative will not be allowed access to the building or the Legalisation Section, if he/she does not wear a mask that properly covers both their mouth and nose.
  • It is recommended that the client/courier driver/representative must bring their own pen to minimise contact with objects that many people touched. This is for everyone’s safety.
  • The courier company driver/representative will have to bring along copies of the confirmation and letter of authority (to be provided by the customer) on the day of the appointment.
  • The courier company driver/representative must bring along the relevant flyer/packaging/airway bills, etc.
  • IMPORTANT: The customer will be responsible to provide protected materials / bubble-wrapped envelopes etc., for transportation purposes, or make arrangements directly with the courier company (of your choice) to provide such materials when collectingfrom our office. The DIRCO – Legalisation Section is not responsible to provide these materials and will therefore not be held responsible for documentation during the transportation via a courier service from our office to the final destination, etc.
  • Return service is to be paid by the customer.

Message from the Directorate: Employee Health and Wellness:

1. All visitors coming to the OR Tambo Building are encouraged to download and complete the compulsory COVID-19 Symptom Questionnaire online, a tool used to reduce the potential risk of exposure in the building.

2. On the day of your appointment, you are requested to complete the form before entering the building.

3. Please find the link to access the e-form: COVID-19 SCREENING E-FORM.

4. You will be required to fill in your personal details and indicate if you display any COVID-19 related symptoms.

5. You will be asked to display the completed form to the security officials to allow you entry. (Take a screenshot to save the form.)

6. Please note: If you display two or more of the symptoms below you will be not be allowed to enter the building. Please consult your healthcare provider.

  • shortness of breath
  • fever/high temperature (≥38°Celsius)
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • general body pains/myalgia
  • diarrhoea
  • fatigue/weakness
  • loss of smell and/or taste
  • had close contact with someone who tested positive and were at high risk of being infected.

7. The e-form opens up every evening at 20:00 to allow registration for the next day.  And it closes at 17:00 every day.

Directorate: Employee Health and Wellness
Department of International Relations and Cooperation


Processing times

Documents received/submitted via a registered courier company: Customers will receive an e-mail notification, as soon as the documentation are ready for collection. (Within this e-mail notification will be the specific reference number allocated and the procedures to be followed to arrange for collection, which will strictly be by an appointment.) The customer will therefore only receive the said e-mail notification once the documents are in fact done and ready for collection. Note: The process starts once the Legalisation Section physically received the said parcel (not the delivery date at the Internal Mail Section). Due to the COVID measures and the fact that we have to work with 50% capacity restrictions, that there is approximately a 2 - 3 week period, therefore your patience during this difficult period will be appreciated!

Specimen signature requests: It is regretted that we are not able to provide an undertaking as to how long it will take the signatory to forward their specimen signature to the DIRCO – Legalisation Section. Therefore, it is depending on the response time from the relevant department / institution.

Please take note: The DIRCO – Legalisation Section will only keep documents pending (not collected by customers after notification was dispatched) for a maximum period of six (6) months only, where after the documents will be destroyed, if not collected.

Where to find us

Physical Address
Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)
Attention: Legalisation Section (NE2A-Ground Floor)
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
PRETORIA, 0084

Postal Address
Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)
Attention: Legalisation Section
Private Bag X152
PRETORIA, 0001

E-mail: legalisation@dirco.gov.za

Note: Due to the high volume of enquiries, there might be a delay in our response time.

Legal Instrument

  • The Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 (Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents). Source: The Hague Conference on Private International Law – http://www.hcch.net.
  • 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.

Cost

Our services are FREE OF CHARGE!


Forms to be completed

There are no forms to be completed, in order to legalise documentation.  However, customers need to follow the guidelines provided above, in order to ensure that the correct documentation are submitted for legalisation purposes.

Directory: Contact information

NOTE:  The DIRCO – Legalisation Section does not take any responsibility for incorrect information provided, due to changes in the relevant authorities contact details; procedures; etc.  It is therefore the responsibility of the customer to verify information directly with the relevant institution concerned.

 Department of Home Affairs:

Please take note that the application for a full or unabridged birth / marriage / death / naturalisation certificate or citizenship status letter, letter of no impediment (marital status) etc., is a personal matter that the applicant must attend to and the issuing of these documents are the sole responsibility of the Department of Home Affairs.

The Department of Home Affairs (Head Office in Pretoria) does not directly deal with members of the public.  Therefore members of the public must apply at any Regional or District Home Affairs office.  (Refer to the Home Affairs website – under contact us for a list of regional customer service centres nearest to you.) 

For further details pertaining to the requirements, costs and processing times, etc., contact the Department of Home Affairs, as follows:

Contact Centre:

Tel:  0800 601 190 (within South Africa)
Tel:  +27 11 461-9253 (abroad)
Tel:  0800 20 44 76 (compliments and complaints)
E-mail:  csc@dha.gov.za
Website:  http://www.home-affairs.gov.za

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI):  Companies and Intellectual Property Commission Office (CIPC):

Contact:

Enquiry Office – Companies and Intellectual Property Commission Office (CIPC)
Tel:  (012) 394-3949 / 5107 / 5297 / 5102 / 9973
Fax:  (012) 394-6107 / 6297 / 1015
Contact Centre:  0861 843-384 / 086 100 2472 (CIPC)
E-mail:  info@cipc.co.za
Website:  http://www.cipc.co.za

Chamber of Commerce and Industry:

Pretoria & Tshwane Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Tel:  (012) 342-3236
Fax:  (012) 342-1486
E-mail:  info.tcci@mweb.co.za

Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Johannesburg

Tel:  (011) 726-5300
Fax:  (011) 482-6514
E-mail:  info@jcci.co.za
Website:  www.jcci.co.za

Cape Town Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Tel:  (021) 402-4300
Fax:  (021) 402-4304
E-mail:  narieman@capechamber.co.za

Note:  Refer to the website of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) – http://www.sacci.org.za/ for further information pertaining to contact details of the Chambers across the country.

Department of Basic Education (DBE):

School and transfer certificates:
Tel:  (012) 357-3900 / 3255 / 3250 / 3256 (Mr John Makgoka:  Supervisor:  Certification Unit)
Fax:  (012) 328-6878 or 323-0603
E-mail:  nene.t@dbe.gov.za  
Website:  www.education.gov.za

UUMALUSI:

UMALUSI is a statutory Council, which reports to the Ministers of Education (South Africa).  It is primarily responsible for quality assuring qualifications in general and further education and training, and for certifying candidates who have successfully completed adult, school and technical college education.  The certificate issued by UMALUSI is the final document indicating the qualification achieved by a candidate in full or part (passed only some subjects toward the qualification).  UMALUSI, previously the South African Certification Council, is the only body mandated to issue certificates in general and further education and training, and has done so since November 1992.  It is also the Council’s responsibility to verify the authenticity of the certificates it issues.  UMALUSI endorses the Senior Certificates of candidates who have complied with the minimum admission requirements for bachelor’s degree study at an institution of higher education in South Africa.  It also determines whether a candidate in the National Senior Certificate or the National Certificate (Vocational) at level 4 has met the minimum requirements for higher certificate - diploma or bachelor’s degree studies.  Through its quality assurance processes, it ensures that such certificates represent consistent standards of education and examination.  UMALUSI further maintains records of all certificates issued to candidates.

Note:  All certificates issued before November 1992 must be verified by the Department of Basic Education (schooling qualifications) or the Department of Higher Education and Training (Vocational and Adult qualifications) as appropriate.

Tel:  (012) 349-1510
Fax:  (012) 349-1099
E-mail:  verification@umalusi.org.za
Website:  www.umalusi.org.za

South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA):

All applications must be sent to:  verificationsletter@saqa.org.za.

Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO):

The Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No. 97 of 1998), as amended legislates the quality assurance functions for which the QCTO is responsible.  In terms of section 26 D (4) and H (3) (b) of this Act, QCTO has the responsibility for issuing of certificates.

Tel:  (012) 003-1800 (switchboard)
E-mail:  verification@qcto.org.za
Website:  www.qcto.org.za

South African Police Service (SAPS) – Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management [previously referred to as the Criminal Record Centre (CRC)]:

South African nationals who work, travel and reside abroad require a Police Clearance Certificate for purposes such as court requirements, residence permission, securing employment or other purpose designated by the host country.  Therefore the service from the SAPS – Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management is available to South Africans who require confirmation of their criminal status.  Please take note that the application for a Police Clearance Certificate is a personal matter that the applicant must attend to and the issuing of a clearance certificate is the sole responsibility of the SAPS – Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management.

The Head (Attention:  Police Clearance Certificates)
Tel:  (012) 393-3709 / 393-3928 or 393-3712
Fax:  (012) 393-3909
E-mail:  crc_nameclear@saps.org.za or crc_client@saps.org.za or crc_clientserv.sec@saps.org.za
Website:  www.saps.gov.za (refer to information under the heading FAQ’s – Application for Police Clearance Certificates (PCC) for further information.

Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA):

Tel:  (012) 338-9300
Fax:  (012) 325-2074
E-mail:  info@hpcsa.co.za
Website:  www.hpcsa.co.za

Department of Transport – Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC):

Tel:  (011) 266-2000
Fax:  086 415-9120
E-mail:  ctc@rtmc.co.za
Website:  www.rtmc.co.za

Registrar of the High Court of South Africa:

North Gauteng High Court (Pretoria)

Tel:  (012) 315-7410/7711
Fax:  (012) 326-1995
E-mail:  smnike@justice.gov.za

South Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg)

Tel:  (011) 332-8290 / 8278
Fax:  (011) 332-8214
E-mail:  vpather@justice.gov.za

Western Cape High Court (Cape Town)

Tel:  (021) 480-2411
Fax:  (021) 423-0412
E-mail:  rudavid@justice.gov.za

Eastern Cape High Court (Port Elizabeth)

Tel:  (041) 502-6600
Fax:  (041) 582-2625
E-mail:  ffini@justice.gov.za

KwaZulu-Natal High Court (Durban)

Tel:  (031) 362-5800
Fax:  (031) 305-4550
E-mail:  nnako@justice.gov.za / imaharajh@justice.gov.za / hbridgelal@justice.gov.za

KwaZulu-Natal High Court (Pietermaritzburg)

Tel:  (033) 345-8211
Fax:  (033) 345-3815
E-mail:  pfente@justice.gov.za

Free State High Court (Bloemfontein)

Tel:  (051) 406-8100
Fax:  (051) 430-7041
E-mail:  bmasoka@justice.gov.za

For further information on Registrars of the High Courts refer to   http://www.justice.gov.za/contact/cnt_hcregistrar.html.


 
To add value and improve consular services to the public, this consular site is constantly under construction. For consular related services, information and enquiries you are not able to find on this site, please contact the Chief Directorate Consular Services or the Webmaster.

Last updated: 24 August 2021
Disclaimer | Contact Us | HomeLast Updated: 24 August, 2021 9:14 AM
This site is best viewed using 800 x 600 resolution with Internet Explorer 5.0, Netscape Communicator 4.5 or higher.
2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa