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Notarial services in Australia (including legalisations)

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​​​​​​Services we provide

What we can do:

Within Australia, DFAT provides a small number of notarial services. These include:

  • issuing of Certificates of no Impediment to Marriage (CNI)
  • issuing Apostille and/or Authentication certificates. These certificates legalise the signatures and/or seals on Australian public documents.

What we cannot do:

We cannot certify copies of documents or witness signatures. If you require these services then you should contact another provider. For example, a Justice of the Peace or Australian notary public lawyer.

We cannot legalise foreign documents or documents issued by non-government organisations.

What is an Authentication and/or Apostille certificate?

Some foreign authorities require DFAT to issue your document with an Apostille or an Authentication certificate. We call this “legalisation services”.

Legalisation describes the process where DFAT verifies the signature, seal or stamp on an original Australian public document. When DFAT confirms the signature and/or seal on your document matches our records, we will issue the Apostille or Authentication certificate. Then you can present the document to your foreign authority.

Do I need an Authentication or an Apostille certificate?

The Authentication and Apostille certificate both serve the same purpose. The country receiving the document decides which certificate type they will accept. Each country has different requirements. DFAT staff cannot advise clients of foreign requirements.  If you need advice then you should contact the country’s High Commission, Embassy and/or Consulate in Australia.

What documents will DFAT issue with an Apostille or Authentication certificate?

DFAT will issue original Australian public documents with an Authentication or Apostille. Australian public documents are issued by:
       - Australian government agencies or officials, or
       - Australian notary public lawyers.

The Apostille or Authentication certificate will verify the signature and/or seal of the officer, agency or notary public lawyer who has signed/issued the document.

DFAT will only accept original documents.

DFAT will not accept laminated, framed and damaged documents. You will need to arrange a replacement document.

Please take the time to read the below table. It describes what documents we can accept, and what additional steps you may need to take.

Type of documentRequirements and other information
Government documents
Australian birth certificates, including ceremonial certificates and extracts.Submit the original certificate issued by the state/territory Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.
Australian marriage certificates.

Submit the original certificate issued by the state/territory Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.

We cannot accept the ceremonial certificate that you get on the day of your marriage ceremony.

Australian death certificatesSubmit the original certificate issued by the state/territory Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.
Single Status or Record of No Result certificatesSubmit the original certificate issued by the state/territory Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.
Papua New Guinea (PNG) birth certificates You need to take your document to an Australian notary public lawyer before DFAT can issue an Authentication or Apostille certificate.
Court documents (including Divorce certificates).

Submit the original documents issued by a state, territory or federal court.

Scroll down for information about electronic documents if your original court document is electronic.

Police Criminal Record Checks or Finger Print ReportsSubmit the original document issued by the Australian Federal Police or a state or territory police force.
Other Australian government issued documents.Submit the original documents issued by a state, territory or federal government agency.
Documents issued by authorised  Australian chambers of commerce and industry

We will issue an Authentication certificate if the document is issued by an authorised Australian state, territory or local Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Foreign chambers must be affiliated with the Australian Government, or endorsed by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in order to be acceptable.

We cannot issue an Apostille certificate on these documents. The documents need to be notarised by an Australian notary public first if you need an Apostille certificate.

For a list of registered business chambers, please visit https://www.austrade.gov.au/contact/faqs/what-is-a-certificate-of-origin

Other Australian Commercial Documents (e.g. ASIC, ATO or TGA documents).We can issue an Authentication or Apostille certificate on original documents that have a signature on them.

We can issue an Authentication certificate only if the document does not have a signature.
Medical documents.An Australian notary public lawyer or appropriate certifying officer at either Department of Health, or the state government equivalent, needs to sign or certify your medical document.
TranslationsA translator certified by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) needs to issue your translation. The Australian government endorses NAATI as the standard authority for translations.

From 1 July 2018, we will only accept translations completed by a NAATI Certified Translator or a Recognised Practicing Translator. We cannot accept translations done by a NAATI Accredited Translator after 1 July 2018.

The translation must include the translator's signature, official NAATI stamp and a short statement confirming the translated document is a true and accurate translation of the original. A copy of the original document, signed by the translator, needs to accompany your translation document.
Documents prepared by an Australian notary public in a foreign languageSubmit the original document issued by the Australian notary public lawyer.
Private documents (e.g. Power of Attorney, Will, bank statements, company documents).An Australian notary public lawyer needs to notarise your document.
Electronic Documents

If your original document is electronic, you must provide the relevant state or territory office your document in its original electronic form. DFAT can only issue an Authentication or Apostille certificate on a printed copy we have done ourselves.

Please call us on 1300 235 960 or email Authentications@dfat.gov.au

Photocopies or certified copies of documents.

An Australian notary public lawyer needs to notarise your document.

We cannot accept certification from a Justice of the Peace, pharmacist or police officer etc.

DFAT can issue an Authentication or Apostille certificate on a copy of an Australian passport only. DFAT will certify a copy of your Australian passport as the issuing authority.

Foreign documents.Foreign documents should generally be referred to the High Commission, Embassy or Consulate of the country of the issuing authority.

Please contact us on 1300 935 260 or Authentications@dfat.gov.au to ask specific questions about foreign documents.
Education Documents
Primary and Secondary School documents

An authorised officer from the relevant Australian state or territory government education body needs to sign the document. We cannot accept documents signed by the school administration.

Government Education Contacts:

ACTACT Government Education Directorate (Primary Schools) & ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies

New South WalesNSW Education Standards Authority & NSW Department of Education

Northern Territory -Department of Education

Queensland - Queensland Curriculum & Assessment Authority & Department of Education and Training

South Australia - SACE Board of South Australia

TasmaniaOffice of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards & Certification & Department of Education

Victoria -Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority and Department of Education Victoria

Western AustraliaSchool Curriculum and Standards Authority and Department of Education WA

 

TAFE and CIT documentsWe will accept your original documents.
Australian University documentsYou need to contact your University to verify your degree as a "true and accurate record". This could be available via an online portal. Under this table we list the details on how to verify University documents. Once verified, we can accept your documents.

This includes photocopies of University documents notarised by an Australian notary public lawyer.

The Authentication or Apostille will be placed directly on your degree or academic transcript.
Australian Private Schools and CollegesAn Australian notary public lawyer needs to notarise your document.
Photocopies of education documents

An Australian notary public lawyer needs to notarise photocopies of documents.

We cannot accept foreign education documents, including those notarised by an Australian notary public lawyer.

 

Australian University contacts for verifying content as a 'true and accurate record'

Australian Capital Territory

 

New South Wales

 

Northern Territory

 

Queensland

 

South Australia

 

Tasmania

 

Victoria

 

Western Australia

Where can I find a notary public lawyer?

A notary public lawyer is not the same as a Justice of the Peace (JP).

You will find a list of notary publics on Supreme Court or Law Society listings for each state or territory. You can also search ‘Notary Public’ in telephone directories using your post code.

Services provided by an Australian notary public will incur a fee.

What if my document is not Australian?

DFAT may not be able to assist if you have a foreign document. You should contact the High Commission, Embassy or Consulate of the country that issued the document.  DFAT can only apply Authentication or Apostille certificates to Australian issued documents.

I want to get married overseas - can DFAT help?

DFAT can't advise on what country specific requirements will be. For this kind of information, you can contact the High Commission, Embassy or Consulate in Australia for that country. Alternatively, if you have a contact point in the country who is assisting with your wedding arrangements, they will be able to assist.

Some countries may require DFAT to issue a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI). If you need to get one of these certificates, you need confirm the following before lodging your application:

  • If the CNI is a requirement;
  • If you can use a 'Single Status Certificate' or a 'No Record Result Certificate' issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages instead of a CNI;
  • If the CNI needs to be issued in Australia or at the Australian mission in the country where you are intending to marry; and
  • If it needs an Authentication or Apostille certificate.

If you can use a Single Status Certificate or a No Record Result Certificate, please contact your state or territory's Registry of Birth, Deaths and Marriages. DFAT does not issue these certificates.

If you still need a CNI, you need to download the Application for a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage form. The form is a Commonwealth statutory declaration and requires an authorised witness for your signature.

In Australia, you can have your signature witnessed by any of the authorised witnesses listed here on the Attorney General's Department website.

Overseas, the authorised witnesses are a Consular/Diplomatic Officer or Authorised Consular Employee at the nearest Australian High Commission, Embassy or Consulate. You can also approach a foreign notary public lawyer.

You also need to submit the following documents with your application:

Applicant

  • Australian passport
  • Foreign passport with evidence of permanent residence in Australia
    • If you can't provide an Australian or foreign passport, then you need similar identity documents instead (such as a birth certificate, citizenship certificate or ID card). If this document does not have your photograph on it then you must supply at least one form of photo ID.
  • Divorce Certificate for previous marriage (if applicable)
  • former partner's Death Certificate (if applicable)
  • If under 18 years of age, copy of the judicial authorisation to marry issued by an Australian court of law

Partner

  • Australian passport, or
  • Foreign passport
    • if you can't provide an Australian or foreign passport, then you need similar identity documents instead (such as a birth certificate, citizenship certificate or ID card). If this document does not have your photograph on it then you must supply at least one form of photo ID
  • Divorce Certificate for previous marriage (if applicable)
  • former partner's Death Certificate (if applicable)
  • If under 18 years of age, copy of the judicial authorisation to marry issued by an Australian court of law

Documents can be originals or certified as true copies by an authorised local provider.

Application form - Certificate of no impediment to marriage (CNI)

How can I get an Authentication, Apostille or Certificate of No Impediment?

In Australia, it is possible to request a CNI, Apostille and/or Authentication certificate by mail. You must include:

  • A completed Document for Legalisation Request form, including payment details.
  • Registered or Express post envelope. If DFAT do not receive a Registered or Express post envelope, our standard process is to return your documents by regular mail. Please note, there is no Australia Post tracking for ordinary mail.
  • For Authentication and/or Apostile requests, the original documents that require processing.

For CNI Applications

  • The completed CNI Application form, in addition to the Document for Legalisation Request form
  • Supporting evidence for your CNI application

We recommend that you send your document via registered post, and include a self-addressed registered post envelope for its safe return. Keep a copy of both tracking numbers. DFAT cannot take responsibility for documents lost in the mail.

Lodging your form via mail

Melbourne

Australian Passport Office Authentications Section
GPO Box 2239
MELBOURNE VIC 3001

Sydney

Australian Passport Office Authentications Section
GPO Box 2239
SYDNEY NSW 2001

Alternatively, you can lodge in person at an Australian Passport Office in Australian capital cities. Lodgment in person is by appointment only. Please contact us on 1300 935 260 or Authentications@dfat.gov.au to make an appointment. You can arrange for someone else to attend on your behalf.

Business hours for lodgments are from 8:30am until 1pm, Monday to Friday.

We will not accept your documents if you do not have an appointment.

How much does it cost?

Apostille and Authentication

$83

Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage

$146

Please note these fee increase in line with CPI on 1 January each year.

How long does it take?

Processing times can vary. Please contact us on 1300 935 260 or Authentications@dfat.gov.au for up-to-date processing times.

There can be delays experienced at the end of the school year and during peak holiday periods as the demand on our service increases during these times.

We will not accept incomplete requests. We will return your documents to you via mail with a letter telling you what to do next.

There may also be a delay if DFAT has to contact the issuing authority of your document. In this case, we will contact you to let you know. We will also provide you with options if we expect the delay to be lengthy.

Further enquiries

Email: authentications@dfat.gov.au
Telephone: 1300 935 260