How to do your own Document Attestation, Authentication, Legalization and Apostille in South Africa- Part-1

This is an informative blog about how to do your own Apostille/ Authentication and Attestation in South Africa for those wanting to emigrate and work in foreign countries- particularly the Middle East. Within this blog we explain the location, pricing and process for each department and we rated each government department and embassy. We did this by creating a rating table which explains our rationale for the scale out of 5- see the bottom of the blog for this scale. We have also made a comment about each South African Government department and Embassy. On the whole we believe that the government departments and embassies offer good services.We plan to update this quarterly and hope that we can add more institutions. Previously we wrote a blog which highlights the various document routes please visit:

 This blog focuses on the locations and more specific details of where to go to get your documents attested.

Check out the document process in a diagram video format : 


We have tried to put times,locations and pricing (if there is pricing) together that are accurate at the time of publishing. Obviously if you are based in Pretoria it would make sense to actually do this yourself. However, those that are based in different cities in South Africa or abroad it would make sense to use our services instead. We offer competitive pricing for a free estimate visit: 

Basic Process:

1. High Court/ Notary (Notary used to stamp in beginning of process only)
Notary- High Court- DIRCO (Foreign Affairs)- Embassy
2. Public/ Governmental Authority of Document
Authority (DHET, Umalusi, DOE, SAPS, Chamber of Commerce etc)- DIRCO (Foreign Affairs)- Embassy


Click below for an estimate or pricing:

Government- Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), Department Basic Education (DBE), Department International Relations and Co operation (DIRCO), Umalusi, South African Police Services (SAPS) and Department of Justice (DOJ)


Department of Education- Matric Certificates Pre- 1992 and replacement Matric Certificates

Address: 222 Struben Street,Pretoria

Business hours 8:00-16h00


Turnaround Time: Matric Replacement typically 4 weeks, Embassy Letter-for Matric Attestation- Next Business Day. Payment required.

Process: Lost Matric- require an affidavit stating the loss of a Matric certificate, and a certified copy of ID application form to apply for Matric application. Embassy letter- Certified copy of Matric Certificate and ID.

Payment: Take about R150-R200depends on what is required. R32 for an Embassy Letter.


Rating: 2 out of 5 May update ( 3 out of 5) The department has been consistent. 

Comment: There is security available at the premises however the area is not the safest. The service we believe is not as accurate and efficient as other departments. However, they still get the work done and transparency is good as you make payment and receive an invoice with a unique number for any services.


Department of Higher Education and Training

Attesting of Higher educational degrees and diplomas from South African institutions only

Address: 123 Francis Baard Street

Business Hours: 8:00-16:00

Turnaround time: Approximately 30minutes- timing varies

Process: Original degree/diploma Certificate together with a photocopy must be presented to the Official. Degree must be from a South African Government University or a registered private institute (This differs according to degrees offered at private universities). All foreign degrees must be presented in the country of origin. Not sure if they have a database of all degrees in South Africa. However, most of the established universities are very organized and they would have their own databases of degrees and qualifications.

 For private institutions please click on url below to see if your degree/diploma is registered:

Payment: No Payment Required.


Rating: 3 out of 5

Comment: Parking is a mission as it is a busy street. They require originals but this is not the case always hence why we would prefer a numbering system and even payment as it would ensure better transparency.


Department of International Relations and Co Operation

Final South African step in Degree Attestation/Authentication/Legalization, Notary of Birth and Marriage Certificates to be authenticated

Address: 460 Soutpansberg Road,Pretoria

Business Hours: 8:00-12:00 to collect within 45 minutes 12:30 drop off collect next day.

Turnaround: Over 5 documents to collect next business day, Over 20 Documents to collect in 2 working days.

Payment: No Payment required.



Rating: 5 out of 5 (May 2015 Update) we still rate them at 5. 

Comment: The biggest problem we have is that this department shows us that South African government can deliver at high standards! And this is a problem because if they can do it so can the rest of the departments. This department has been audited by PWC and maintains ISO 9001 standards. They number everything,are efficient, Free, consistent and transparent. Parking is safe and convenient- once registered to get in (you require identity).Excellent services and we hope that they can assist in training other departments.


Department of Justice : North Gauteng High Court

Address: Madiba Street, Pretoria

Business Hours: 8:00-16:00

Turnaround Time: To collect waiting +-30 minutes. No document limits- within reason.

Process: Documents such as Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates and other official documents must be Notorised by a notary attorney prior to arrival at high court. If the documents are for non Hague countries then the document is “Authenticated” this still needs to go to DIRCO and High Court. If a Hague convention country documents are Apostilled at High Court.

NB. European (EU) Countries (Germany, Spain, Portugal, UK etc)require that the original document is Apostilled at DIRCO. This means your for go your original Home Affairs document. The reason is that due to fraud/suspected fraud from SA Notaries. You can Legalize at certain European countries instead of using an SA Notary. German Embassy in Pretoria offers this service for a +-R200.

Payment: No Payment Required


Rating: 4 out of 5 ( May update 4 out of 5)

Comment: Parking at the High Court is challenging. We have always received excellent service from the High Court at no fee. There is no numbering system and I suppose we could fault this but they are extremely efficient.


South African Police Services- Police Clearance Certificate-

Bothongo Plaza West, CRC Client Service Centre,271 Frances Baard Street

Business hours: 8:00-16:00

Police Clearance Turnaround:Typically 15 Business Days

Process:   Take Fingerprints at a South African Police station or Embassy, foreign police station-

Payment: Payment of R96 required at a local police station or EFT. Proof of payment or receipt required. Keep Slip for collection!


Check progress of Police Clearance Checks: 

Rating:   3 out of 5 May update 2 out of 5 ( we have sent though documents with numerous delays) 

Comment: The parking and accessibility is difficult. Also, it takes 15 days minimum to get a criminal record back. This we believe could be more efficient.   However, they are consistent, transparent and accurate.


Umalusi- Matric Certificates Verification post- 1992

 Attestation of Matric Certificates post 1992

Address: 37 General Van Ryneveld Street, Persequor Techno Park- Pretoria

Business Hours: 8:00-16:00

Turnaround: Typically one business day

Process: Scanned certified copy of Matric and of ID to be emailed and then to collect embassy letter next business day.

Payment: +-R68 for an embassy verification letter.



Rating: 4 out of 5 May update (same rating) 

Comment: They meet all criteria except for efficiency. We believe that they could be more efficient. They have a database of all Matric Certificates. 

Embassies - Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia 

Qatar Embassy Pretoria

 For Qatar Authentication of Degrees, marriage, birth and company documents.

Address: 1077 Justice Mahomed Street Pretoria

Business Hours: 9:00-12:00 (For legalization/authentication)

Turnaround: Same day- Drop only documents between 9-12. Collect next day between 14:00-15:00

Process: Ensure all SA steps for various document routes are followed prior to arriving at embassy.

Payments: Cash only R180 per page (Price update 2016) 



Rating: 4 out of 5 - Rating First quarter 2015- 3 out of 5.

Comment: The Qatar embassy is efficient and you can collect the same day. However, currently you have to make payment to a security guard who gives the documents to an official. This we believe will change in 2015 as they have made upgrades to their facility.

Update May 2015: Qatar embassy has been inconsistent with the processing of documents in the last few months. At times we have waited a week for a degree document!!!

Check our pricing (Includes embassy fees, Notary, Travel and other fees- courier separate):


United Arab Emirates (UAE- Dubai & Abu Dhabi) Embassy Pretoria

For UAE authentication of degrees, marriage, birth and official company documents.

Note that since 11 April 2016- UAE will charge a separate fee for University Statement of results. Check with Employer if you require both. 

Address: 992 Arcadia Street-Pretoria

Business Hours: 9:00-12:00

Turnaround: Collect next business day. Expedited service same day collection.

Payment: Deposit into their South African bank account- R750 per document (Price update 2016)(Eg Degree)  for individuals and their documents. Business documents vary and can be several thousand Rand.   Proof of payment required prior to submission.

Website: No South African Website. Details:

 Rating: 4 out of 5 May 2015 rating: Same rating

Comment: The process is transparent and we believe that the official is fair. We believe that the UAE offers a great service. They could be faulted on efficiency- it takes a day to get documents unless you pay a higher premium.  Also, it is the highest fee at an embassy for authentication.  

Check our pricing (Includes embassy fees, Notary, Travel and other fees- courier separate):

 Kuwait Embassy- Pretoria

For the Kuwait authentication of of degrees, marriage, birth and official company documents.

Address: 890 Arcadia Street-Pretoria

Business Hours:   9:00-12:00

Turnaround: Same day or next business day- depends

Payment: R250 per document(Degree etc). Collect next business day prior to 12 noon (Price update 2016). 

Website:   No South African Website.


Rating: 4 out of 5

Comment: The Kuwait embassy is well priced and they are consistent. 

Check our pricing (Includes embassy fees, Notary, Travel and other fees- courier separate):

 Oman Embassy

For the Autnetication of Degrees, Marriage, birth and official company documents. 

Address: 11 Anderson Street, Pretoria,

Business Hours: 9-12 noon

Turnaround next business day. 

Payment: Degrees and Marriage R750 per document. (Price Update 2016)


Rating: 3 out of 5 

Comment: Most expensive embassy. At times pricing differs. Service is consistent and can collect same day if in available 

Check our pricing (Includes embassy fees, Notary, Travel and other fees- courier separate):

Saudi Arabia Embassy: 

For the Autnetication of Degrees, Marriage, birth and official company documents. 

Address: 711 Duncan street, Pretoria,

Business Hours: 9-11:30am

Turnaround- Same business day. 

Payment: $8 dollars online credit card. 


Rating: 4 out of 5

Comment: We have been pleasantly surprised by efficient service levels from the Saudi Arabian embassy in Pretoria. 

Check our pricing (Includes embassy fees, Notary, Travel and other fees- courier separate):