How functional is an Apostille Certificate
An Apostille Certificate dramatically simplifies the formalities associated with using public documents outside South-Africa.
If an South-African public document is affixed or attached with an Apostille Certificate certifying its authenticity, it will be automatically accepted as genuine in countries participating in the Hague Convention.
An Apostille Certificate is inappropriate if the country where the public document is intended to be used is not a signatory to The Hague Convention. For your South-African public document to be recognised in a non-participating country, it must be "legalised" or authenticated by the foreign country's diplomatic representative in South-Africa, which is often complex and expensive.
It is the signature, seal or stamp of a public official (such as a judge, notary public, or registrar) appearing on the face of a South-African public document that is authenticated.
An Apostille Certificate legalises a South-African public document by certifying its essential features (signature, seal or stamp), are authentic and genuine, and that it has been lawfully issued; it does not however, certify or prove its contents. See article on limited effect of an Apostille Certificate.
Apostilled public documents are accepted in all countries participating in the Hague Convention. Public documents legalised by a country's Embassy or Consulate are restricted in their use to the particular country which undertook the legalisation process in respect of those documents.
Louwrens Koen Attorneys offers an comprehensive document legalisation service either through the use of an Apostille Certificate or through the more onerous Authentication method. Which process to use is dependent on various factors? Should you have any questions as contact us that we can discuss your specific needs?
Louwrens Koen - Notary Public
Loftus Versveld Northern Pavillion (Gate12), 2nd Floor Office 4, 416 Kirkness Street, Arcadia, Pretoria