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Notarial services and document legalisation overseas

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​Services we provide

DFAT can provide a number of notarial services overseas. This includes:

  • 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.
  • certifying copies of documents (Australian documents, or foreign documents to be used in Australia)
  • witnessing signatures on Australian forms
  • witnessing signatures on Australian Statutory Declarations
  • administering an Australian Affidavit

Some people may need to travel a long distance to attend the closest Australian mission. Please confirm (website, phone or email) what their opening hours are, or if need an appointment.

Please remember that it is your responsibility to understand what your receiving authority needs. If you are unsure, please contact your receiving authority before coming to see us.

Please note: Australian Consulates operated by an Honorary Consul are not able to provide notarial services.

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 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 contact your closest Australian overseas mission.

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 call us on 1300 935 260 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 can't advise on what country specific requirements will be. 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 is unable to provide advice on what a country's specific requirements. 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 yout 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 or 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 or 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. Documents not in English need to be accompanied by a translation. In Australia, the translation needs to be prepared by a translator certified by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). Overseas, translations need to be prepared by a translator recognised by the Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.

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

How will we charge for this service?

DFAT will charge you the fee for a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage. This fee includes the fee for us witnessing your signature on the form.

Certifying copies of original documents

DFAT can certify copies of original documents. The documents must be Australian, or documents that will be used in Australia. We will photocopy your documents and apply the following certification: "This is a true copy of the document presented to me". These are DFAT approved words and cannot change. If you need a different form of words, then you will need to take your documents to an alternative provider.

If you have a photograph that needs certifying, DFAT may be able to assist. When you satisfy DFAT that you are the person in the picture, will certify your photograph. You must provide sufficient photo identification to support this.

We will state that the photograph is "a true likeness of [your name]". We will not certify that the photograph is a "true photo". If you need a different form of words, you will need to take your photograph to an alternative provider.

You can take your original documents to your nearest Australian mission. Please ensure you confirm beforehand their opening hours and whether or not you will need an appointment.

How will we charge for this service?

DFAT will charge you one certification fee per document that requires certifying. We will not place multiple documents on one page. Each document will be photocopied and certified separately.

Witnessing signatures

Each receiving authority may have different requirements for how your signature needs witnessing. Make sure you confirm that a Consular/Diplomatic Officer or Authorised Consular Employee is authorised to witness your signature. You must bring your passport, or another form of identification which shows both your photo and signature, with you so we can confirm your identity.

Please remember that DFAT cannot provide legal advice. If your document is a Will or Power of Attorney, make sure you have confirmed it will be legal if witnessed by a Consular/Diplomatic Officer or Authorised Consular Employee. DFAT will not guarantee the legal effectiveness of a document. We may request written instructions from your legal representative to confirm we can provide the service.

Statutory Declarations

A statutory declaration is a written statement of fact or belief. The person declaring the statement acknowledges that it is true and correct. They also acknowledge the penalties the Government can enforce for making a false or misleading declaration.

Australian statutory declarations are for use only in Australia. DFAT will not witness an Australian statutory declaration for use in a foreign country.

If you need to have an Australian statutory declaration witnessed while you are overseas, DFAT may be able to assist. Please confirm with your receiving authority that a Consular/Diplomatic Officer or Authorised Consular Employee is an authorised witness for your declaration. You must bring photo identification with you.

If English is your second language, and you wish to complete your statutory declaration in your local language, you must write the English translation underneath on the same declaration. We will not witness your declaration if you have written it all in a language other than English.

DFAT's role is only to establish your identity and watch you sign the declaration. We do not endorse or rely on the content of the declaration itself.

How will we charge for this service?

DFAT will charge you the relevant witnessing fee for each signature that requires witnessing on your document. If two officers need to witness your signature, we will charge you two fees. If two people's signatures require witnessing on one document, we will charge you two fees.

Certification of Identity

If you need verification of your identity, DFAT may be able to assist. DFAT verifies a person's identity using only the DFAT Identity Certificate. We will not complete individual forms from other organisations or agencies. Before approaching us for this service, please ensure you confirm with your receiving authority:

  • That the DFAT Identity Certificate is acceptable
  • What documents need certifying in order to verify your identity

If you are applying for compensation under the National Redress Scheme, please contact your nearest Australian overseas mission. We will be able to assist you to verify your identity for the Department of Social Services.

Annex 12.1 - DFAT Identity Certificate - Identity Certification Only.pdf

Property Transfers (Buying/Selling land or property in Australia)

Each Australian state and territory has different rules in relation to land or property transactions. To have a property transfer document witnessed overseas, you should have clear written instructions from your legal representative. This will guide DFAT through the requirements for your specific transaction.

If you need verification of your identity for your property transaction, you must attend the Australian overseas mission in person. You will need the document that needs witnessing and the original identification documents for verification of your identity. DFAT will establish your identity, watch you sign the property transfer form, certify copies of your identification documents then prepare a DFAT Identity Certificate to verify your identity.

How will we charge for this service?

DFAT will charge you the relevant witnessing fee for each signature that requires witnessing on your document.

DFAT will charge you the relevant certification fee for each identification document that requires certifying to verify your identity.

The DFAT Identity Certificate is free of charge.

Annex 12.2 - DFAT Identity Certificate - Witnessing Signature and Identity Certification.pdf

Affidavits

What is an Affidavit?

An affidavit is a legally binding statement of fact used as evidence in court or other legal proceedings. The person making the affidavit must swear an oath (a religious statement) or make an affirmation (a non-religious statement) that the contents of the affidavit are true and correct. It is an offence to swear or affirm false statements.

DFAT's role is to establish the identity of the person making the affidavit and administer the oath/affirmation. We do not endorse or rely on the content of the Affidavit.

Given the importance of an affidavit, you need to make sure you have confirmed with your legal representative, or receiving authority, if there are special instructions for how we will administer your affidavit. It is important to make sure you are requesting the correct service from us.

If an affidavit contains attachments or is multiple pages, DFAT will bind the pages together as a general rule. Please confirm with your legal representative, or receiving authority, whether the binding of the pages together will mean your affidavit is not legal.

Please note that DFAT cannot provide you with legal advice. You must confirm the details of your requirements before approaching us for assistance.

Please contact your closest Australian overseas mission to confirm if you need an appointment for this service.

How will we charge for this service?

DFAT will charge you the relevant witnessing fee for each signature we will witness on your document.

Fees for Notarial Services overseas

The fees for all notarial services is on display in the reception area of the mission. We display the fees in Australian dollars and the local currency. The fees for notarial services increase on 1 January every year. Fees paid for notarial services are non-refundable.

Fee schedule from 1 January 2019

The table below lists notarial services fees in Australian dollars.  

Service Fee (AUD)
Administering an oath or receiving a declaration or affirmation$72
Effecting, or attempting to effect, service of a document and issuing a certificate or affidavit of service or attempted service of a document$72
Witnessing a signature or seal on a form or declaration$72
Preparing a declaration or other document$72
Verifying and certifying a copy of a document or part of a document$72
Signing a document, or affixing a seal to a document or other article$72
Preparation and issue of an Apostille certificate$83
Preparation and issue of an Authentication certificate$83
Preparation and issue of a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage$146

Payment options will vary depending on local banking facilities in the country. Please contact the mission directly if you have any further questions.

How long does it take?

Processing times can vary. Please contact the Australian overseas mission if you have any questions regarding processing times. There can be delays if:

  • DFAT has to contact the issuing authority of your document;
  • You are unsure of your requirements;
  • We need other documentation from you.