Documents can only be legalised if both the translation and the source document meet all requirements, which are:

·         The sworn translation must have been executed by a sworn translator that’s registered with the South African High Court

·         The sworn translation must have been legalised by DIRCO

·         The sworn translation must have been attached by the translator to the source document or a certified copy of the source document

What documents have to be translated?

Generally speaking, the following documents have to be translated:

·      Extracts from civil status records such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates

·          Diplomas and educational certificates

·          Powers of attorney

·         Court orders

·         Trade documents

·          Contracts

·         Authorization of agent

·         Affidavits

In most cases, you can have a document notarised by a Notary Public as long as the document’s notarial wording has been written in English and has been notarised in accordance with state law.

How to get your documents translated

1. Firstly, you will need to have your documents verified by a Public Notary or translated by a Sworn Translator of your choice.

2. Translated documents must then be taken to the Registrar of the High Court of South Africa in the same jurisdiction as the Public Notary / Sworn Translator. The Registrar will then verify the signature or the seal of the Sworn Translator after which documents have to be Apostilled (for countries that are signatories of the Apostille Convention) or Authenticated (for non-signatory countries).

3. After the High Court has authenticated the documents, they must then be submitted to the Legalisation Section of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.