If you are planning on going abroad for work or study purposes and there may be certain requirements that need to be adhered to, such as notarising of documents by a Notary Public, and this is something you are not familiar with- we are happy to say that we have you covered!

A Notary Public is an attorney admitted by the High Court of South Africa to notarially certify documents and authenticate signatures, draw and attest notarial contracts and statements and authenticate the validity of signature on certain documents. A Notary Public is held to act with a higher standard of care, due to the ethical nature of the services which they render, including the specialist knowledge in the drafting of certain documents and authentication of documentation.

Notarial certification refers to the Notary Public confirming a copy of an original is indeed a copy of the original. Whereas, authentication of a document notarially requires the signatory to be identified fully and sign before the Notary Public.

Certain documents are required by law, only to be drawn notarially, in which case a Notary Public is required to draft the document. The document is then signed and witnessed in the presence of the Notary Public who places his/her seal thereon. These documents are known as notarial deeds and include antenuptial and postnuptial contracts, deeds of servitude, deeds of cession of usufruct, notarial leases, trust deeds of donation and notarial bonds, to mention a few.

A duplicate original of the notarised documents are kept in the Notary Public’s protocol. The Notary Public is required to keep a protocol of all the documents drafted by him/her and attested to before him/her. Each document is allocated a protocol number.

Documents a Notary Public can certify includes:

  • Copies of ID’s or Passports
  • Educational documents
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Birth Certificates
  • Death Certificates
  • Divorce Certificates
  • Police Clearance Certificates


Documents a Notary Public can authenticate includes:

·       Special and General Powers of Attorney

·       Affidavits

·       Letters of consent

·       Letters containing financial institutions.

Should you require any assistance with any of these service please feel free to contact Tuckers attorneys for all your Notary needs on 011 897 1900, 076 777 1920 or info@tuckers.co.za.

Article contributed by Fortunate Sebulele of Tuckers attorneys.