What is a Notary Public?
A position of high esteem and ethics, a Notary Public is a specially qualified attorney that is admitted and authorised by the High Court of South Africa to witness, draw, and attest contracts, take statements and authenticate the validity of certain documents.
When is a Notary Public Required?
There are documents known as notarial deeds which include, inter alia:
- Deeds of servitudes
- Deeds of cession of usufruct
- Trust deeds of donations
- Antenuptial and postnuptial contracts
- Notarial bonds
The law requires that these documents be notarially executed which means that they must be drafted by a Notary Public and signed and witnessed before a Notary Public. Notarial Deeds are kept in the Notary Public’s possession, and the Notary Public is legally obligated to keep a register of all Notarial Deeds and documents drafted by and attested before them.
Notary Publics also certify a range of legal documents:
- Birth certificates
- Death certificates
- Single status certificates
- Divorce certificates
- Police clearance certificates
- Copies of IDs and/or passports
- Educational documents
Authenticating Documents to be Used Overseas
If you are emigrating or applying for employment overseas, you will need your identity documents, qualifications, and travel papers to be notarised with an Apostille from the High Court of South Africa. The documents will be signed, sealed, and affixed with an Apostille Certificate for international use if the country they will be used in is a party to the Hague Convention. Contact one of the experienced notaries at Greyvensteins Attorneys to assist you. We have offices in Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha), Cape Town and Johannesburg.
If the country you are sending your documents to is not a party to the Hague Convention, the Notaries at Greyvensteins can assist you with notarising the document, authenticating them at the Hight Court, after which they must be sent through the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.