South Africa has joined the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents in the year 1995.

The documents only need to be stamped with an "apostille" by the issuing state's authorities in order to be valid in the state of destination.

Apostille Convention (Hague Convention or Treaty of 1961)

The Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (HCCH 1961 Apostille Convention) facilitates the use of public documents abroad. The purpose of the Convention is to abolish the traditional requirement of legalisation, replacing the often long and costly legalisation process with the issuance of a single Apostille certificate by a Competent Authority in the place where the document originates. The electronic Apostille Programme (e-APP) was launched in 2006 to support the electronic issuance and verification of Apostilles around the world.

The Convention has over 110 Contracting Parties, and has become one of the most widely applied multilateral treaties in the area of legal cooperation, with several million Apostilles issued each year.

Text of the Convention
Outline of the Convention

Contracting Parties
Competent Authorities
Apostille Handbook

e-APP Forum
e-APP Implementation Chart
List of e-wp-signup.phps

Model Apostille Certificate:

Explanatory documents:

Special Commissions:

Working Group on the authentication of documents executed by intergovernmental or supranational organisations:

Questionnaires & Responses:

e-APP (electronic Apostille Programme):


How to submit a document for legalisation

The process to submit your documents for legalisation depends on their location.

  • We deliver our services in South Africa by Email, DHL & Postnet
  • Overseas, we deliver legalisation services through DHL and FEDEX.