Notarial Services

Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

Documents used for legal purposes in South Africa can often be notarized free of charge at a South African Police Service (SAPS) station.  Contact your nearest SAPS station for details.

Consular officers perform services customarily provided by Notaries Public in the United States. To better serve customers, an appointment is required for this service with ACS. If you have multiple documents to be notarized, you should only make one appointment. You will pay $50 USD, at the Embassy or Consulate on your day of appointment, for each notary seal required.

The individual who needs to sign the document must appear in person at a consular office, present proper identification (a valid passport, other official photo ID) and pay the appropriate fee. If witnesses are required, you must bring your own. Do not sign the document until requested to do so by the Consular Officer. Depending on the nature of the document, the Consular Officer will either “take an acknowledgment” that your signature was done freely and with an understanding of the document’s contents or “administer an oath” whereby you swear or affirm the contents of a document are true.

In order to receive notarial services, you MUST confirm that you:

  • Understand the document that you must sign;
  • Know the locations in the document where you must sign in front of a notary. Please note that you might need to sign the document many times, but only those signatures that require a notary need to be signed at the time of your notarial appointment.
  • Know the locations in the document where the notary must sign.

If you are unprepared for your appointment you may be required to make a new appointment on a later date. American Citizen Services staff are not able to explain the document to you, nor are they able to tell you where to sign.

Notarial services may be provided for non- U.S. citizens only if the document to be notarized will be used in the United States.

Note: Consular Officers do not certify that the contents of submitted documents are true. The officer only certifies that you have made an oath or affirmation that they are. As a general rule, the Consular Officer only certifies true copies of documents issued by the US Department of State. For example, U.S. passports, Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), etc.  An affidavit is one’s sworn statement, please keep in mind the consular office assumes no responsibility for the truth or falsity of the representations that appear in the affidavit.

Online Notarization

Many states now accept documents notarized online.  Typical requirements for this services include a valid form of photo identification, internet access, and a camera-enabled device such as a laptop or smartphone.  Please check your state’s specific guidelines for this by reviewing your state’s State Notary Handbook.

What we CANNOT do:

  • Service of process – The American Citizen Services office is not authorized to serve legal documents in South Africa under the Hague Convention. Detailed information on the service of process in South Africa please visit the U.S. Department of State website.
  • Signature guarantee – U.S. banks or mutual fund companies often require signature guarantees. Unfortunately, we cannot legally perform a signature guarantee. Please check with your bank or stock company, here or in the U.S. for additional information.
  • Perform notaries on documents written in a language other than English.
  • Academic Credentials: We cannot notarize, certify, or authenticate academic credentials.  Instructions on how to obtain this service can be found here. Details please see below.

The charge for notarial services is $50 per seal, and the fee for each additional seal is $50.

Fees must be paid in U.S. dollars, South African Rands or by credit card at the time the service is provided. No U.S. currency notes issued before 2003 will be accepted.

Click for different types of notarial and authentication services.

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General are unable to authenticate diplomas or other documents from universities and other schools in the United States or provide notarial services related to such credentials. In an effort to be of assistance to U.S. citizens who wish to present academic credentials from the United States for use in foreign countries, a step-by-step guidance is provided on the State Department’s website.

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General do not provide apostille services. If you need a U.S. birth certificate apostilled, you must follow instructions for the state where the child was born. You may visit this comprehensive list of state websites for how to request a birth certificate. To apostille a U.S. birth certificate, you must follow the instructions listed on the individual state’s website.