Marriage Officer - Garden Route, Gavin Brown
Gavin Brown
Testimonials:

"Gavin has the ability to turn what can be a very formal process into an event filled with laughter, love and emotion..."

"The wording that you recommended for our vows was so beautiful – thank goodness we didn’t have to write our own!..."

"Rudi and I would just like to say thanks once again for the beautiful ceremony and making our day very special..."

"We would highly recommend his professional yet warm and personal services as a marriage officer..."

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Apostille Stamp / Seal

An Apostille seal is used to authenticate legal documents for use in foreign countries. A document with an Apostille requires no further certification from an embassy or consulate in order to be legal.

Apostille seals were introduced thanks to the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. The convention established rules governing the international recognition of legal documents.

An Apostille seal means the document can be used legally in a foreign country. However, only countries that signed Article 12 of the 1961 Hague convention will honor an Apostille. Apostilles are seals used on documents as proof of authentication by the government where documents originated. Over 90 countries have ratified the Hague Convention that recognizes that governments can legalize documents intended for use in other countries where they are required. Marriage licenses are one such type of document that requires an Apostille.

The following countries are members of The Hague Convention and therefore require and recognize an Apostille Seal on an unabridged marriage certificate.

Caribbean

  • Most island nations in the Caribbean have signed the Hague Convention. They require apostille seals on marriage licenses before they will deem them authentic. Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago are the countries in this region that signed the convention.

Oceana & Pacific Nations

  • Several countries in the Pacific region are members of the Hague Convention. These include Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa and Tonga. They require marriage licenses issued in foreign countries to bear an Apostille seal.

European countries

  • European countries are the biggest subscribers to the Hague agreement and comprise Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, FYR of Macedonia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

 

Asia

  • Not many Asian countries are members of the Hague convention that recognize the apostille certificates. Brunei Darussalam, Chinese Hong Kong and Macao, India, Japan and Seychelles require apostille seals on incoming marriage licenses. You’ll need to present authenticated documents before they will be considered before the registrars.

Middle East

  • Only two middle eastern countries require the use of apostille authentication on foreign marriage licenses. These are Israel and Turkey, both of which are Hague Convention members.

African Countries

  • Hague Convention member countries in Africa are Botswana, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. They all require apostille seals on marriage license documents that are presented at courts or registrars.

South America

  • Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, Suriname and Venezuela are the only South American Hague Convention countries. Their courts require an apostille seal on incoming foreign marriage license before they will recognize their validity.

Central America

  • Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Panama all subscribe to the Hague Convention and abide by rules pertaining to apostille seals. Mexico especially is a stickler to protocol surrounding the use of apostilles. A foreign marriage license is not worth the paper it’s written on without one.

North America

  • The US is a Hague Convention member nation and is the only North American country requiring foreigners to provide apostilles on marriage licenses.

What is the process for obtaining an Apostille Stamp / Seal on an unabridged marriage certificate for couples who get married in South Africa and who reside overseas or who want their marriage to be recognized overseas?

 

As the marriage officer, I will apply for the unabridged marriage certificate on behalf of the couple after their marriage when I submit the relevant documents to Home Affairs. The unabridged marriage certificate is authorized from Pretoria. It can take anywhere between 1 month to 6 months from date of wedding for me to obtain the unabridged marriage certificate. Once I have the unabridged marriage certificate in my possession I then courier it to The High Court in Cape Town where it is sent to the legalization department for the Apostille Seal to be affixed. It is then couriered back to me and I will then post (via registered mail) your unabridged marriage certificate with the Apostille Seal.

 


 

Apostille Stamp / Seal

What is an Apostille Stamp and why do documents need to be affixed with an Apostille Stamp?

Answer: An Apostille stamp is used to authenticate legal documents for use in foreign countries. A document with an Apostille Stamp requires no further certification from an embassy or consulate in order to be legal. Documents like Birth Certificates and Marriage Certificates in fact any legal document can be affixed with an Apostille Stamp.

Documents get affixed with an Apostille Stamp at The High Court in Cape Town. South Africans who travel overseas for any length of time, might need to have important legal documents affixed with an Apostille Stamp.

Couples residing outside of South Africa who get married in South Africa require an unabridged marriage certificate which needs to be affixed with an Apostille Stamp. As a registered marriage officer I am able to apply on your behalf for the unabridged marriage certificate and to get it affixed with an Apostille Stamp.

Apostille seals were introduced thanks to the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. The convention established rules governing the international recognition of legal documents.

An Apostille seal means the document can be used legally in a foreign country. However, only countries that signed Article 12 of the 1961 Hague convention will honor an Apostille. Apostilles are seals used on documents as proof of authentication by the government where documents originated. Over 90 countries have ratified the Hague Convention that recognizes that governments can legalize documents intended for use in other countries where they are required. Marriage licenses are one such type of document that requires an Apostille.

How to go about getting a document Apostilled?

  1. Post the documents that you need to be Apostilled to me via registered mail to:

Gavin Brown
PO BOX 4370
George East
6539

  1. Send me the tracking number and transfer R500 into the following account:

Name of account: LP Brown
ABSA Bank
Branch: George, South Africa
SWIFT Code: ABSAZAJJ
Branch Code: 632005
Cheque account number: 40 4001 0332
Your bank might ask you for the physical address of our bank. Here it is:
106 York Street
George
6529
South Africa

Bank telephone no: +27 44 803 3000

Please note that international SWIFT transfers take at least 5-6 working days to clear. Kindly inform us as when payment has been made.

  1. Once I receive your document(s), I will arrange for them to be affixed with The Apostille Stamp. This is done at The High Court in Cape Town and takes one week. I will then post you your Apostilled document(s) via registered insured mail. From the time I post it to you, it will take 4-5 working days.
  1. On request, I will provide you with contact details of people who have used my services and can vouch for the professional service I offer.