Apostille Certificate

    An Apostille Certificate is an official government Certificate issued in terms of the Hague Convention printed or stamped onto the reverse side of a single page document or attached to multiple paged documents with green notary ribbon making it become one inseparable document. It authenticates the seal and or signature of the public official or authority such as a notary or registrar issuing the document.


    Apostille register

    A register in which a Competent Authority records the particulars of each Apostille issued. The Apostille Convention requires each Competent Authority to maintain a register of Apostille's (Art. 7(1)).


    A formal declaration before an authorized official (a notary public) by a person signing an  instrument that such execution is his or her free act and deed. The term also refers to the  notary's certificate on the document indicating that it was so acknowledged


    To discharge the duties of an office; to give (as in the giving of an oath).


    A written statement of facts made voluntarily and confirmed by the oath or affirmation of the party making it before an officer authorized to administer oaths, i.e., a notary public.


    To make a solemn, formal declaration under the penalty of perjury that certain statements are true. An affirmation is legally equivalent to an oath and may be substituted for an oath when a document requires an oath for its execution, i.e., an affidavit.


    To attach or impress the notary seal to a document.


    To bear witness to or to certify.

    Certified copy

    A copy of a document or record, signed and certified as a true copy by the public who has compared the copy with the original record.


    The written notarial certificate on any sworn statement or affidavit completed by the notary public indicating that the document was sworn or affirmed to by the signer.


    To admit the existence or truth of a statement and accept responsibility.


    To declare positively or firmly; maintain to be true. An affirmation replaces "swearing before God".


    To prove or verify as genuine.




      A supplement or addendum to a will.


      To force into submission or compliance.


      A document describing the notary's appointment and term of office. South-African Notaries are apointed ex officio . By virtue of the characteristics inherent in the holding of a particular office without the need of specific authorisation or appointment



      The process of authenticating foreign public documents. Apostillisation has the same effect as legalisation but is the result of the simplified process established by the Hague Convention.

      L.S. (locus sigilli)

      Indicates where the official notary seal imprint is to be placed. Latin term Locus Sigilli means "place of the seal".

      Notary Seal

      An official stamp or embosser used by a notary to seal notarisations.


      Destination State

       The State other than the State of origin where a (an apostillised) public document has to be produced.


      A document by which a person conveys (transfers) fixed property.


      The person giving testimony in a deposition. Person signing affidavit.

      Digital Signature

      a specific type of electronic signature used to denote encryption technology. It is a process that provides for a secure signature on an electronic document, one that can prove the signature belongs to the person who signed it, and that can be associated with the document in such a way that any modifications to the document invalidate the signature.



      The act of generating a public document. This will generally involve drafting the document, and having it signed by the issuing official and/or sealed or stamped by the issuing authority. The execution of a public document is governed by the law that applies in the territory where the document is executed.

      Execute a document

      To perform all formalities necessary to make a document fully effective; often a matter of signing, but may require delivery or other elements.


      Putting documents, property, or funds in the hands of an independent third party. Place in trust.

      ex officio

      By virtue of the characteristics inherent in the holding of a particular office without the need of specific authorisation or appointment


      A pliers‐like device, that when squeezed together with paper between the jaws, makes raised areas and indentations on paper. Used as a protection device.


      Hague Conference on Private International Law

      (“Hague Conference” or “H.C.C.H.”) A permanent intergovernmental organisation whose purpose is to work for the progressive unification of the rules of private international law and under the auspices of which the Apostille Convention was negotiated and adopted.


      Issuance of an Apostille

      The act of completing an Apostille and attaching it to the underlying public document in order to authenticate its origin.


      A written document.


      Police Clearance Certificate

      A Police Clearance Certificate is the certificate issued by the Criminal Record Center of the South African Police Services which is a record of your convictions. This certificate is widely known as a Police Clearance Certificate, Police Clearance, Criminal Record, Arrest Record, Criminal Record, Certificate of Good Conduct etc

      Public document

       A broad concept that is the focal point of the Apostille Convention. Essentially, a public document is a document that is executed by an authority or a person acting in an official capacity, and includes the categories of documents listed in Article 1(2) of the Apostille Convention. The determination of what constitutes a public document is entirely a matter for the law of the State of origin.


      Protocol.  Every notary must keep a protocol and a register. The “minutes” (or originals) of every deed passed before him or her must be placed in chronological order and consecutively numbered in the protocol and an entry to that effect made in the protocol register. The documents in the protocol must be indexed and bound from time to time. The protocol must also be kept in a safe place. However, this does not include cases where he or she merely authenticates signatures or the correctness of a copy, or a noting slip in respect of a dishonored bill of exchange.


      A document authorizing a person to act as another's agent or attorney for a specified purpose.


      The person making the power of attorney.


      A formal declaration made by a notary declaring a default in payment on a promissory note.

      Permission to travel.

      Children of all ages, including infants, are required to have the same documentation as adults when traveling out of the country. In most cases, this includes a passport and any other paperwork required by the particular country you will be visiting.



      To cancel or rescind.

      Representative Capacity

      Having the authority to act for and on behalf of a person, corporation, partnership, trust, or other entity as:

      • An authorised officer, agent, or partner;

      • A public officer, personal representative, or guardian;

      • An attorney-in-fact for a principal;

      • An authorised representative or in any other capacity recited in the instrument.



      To sign a document.

      S.S. or SCT

      Indicates where the notarization is performed. Latin term Silicet means "in particular" or "namely". Commonly referred to as jurisdiction.


      Swear: To take an oath.


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