FAQ2021-11-03T01:31:58+00:00

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Notary Services2018-03-22T21:00:44+00:00

The law in most countries requires that a signature on a document be witnessed or other procedures applied before the document can be used for legal purposes or in a court of law.

Within Australia, services such as certifying true copies, statutory declaration and other witnessing services are conducted by Australian Notaries Public, Justices of the Peace or other authorised officials. If a document that has been certified or witnessed is then to be used overseas, it is normally only the signature of Australian Notaries Public that can be legalised (through Apostille or Authentication) by DFAT.

Notarial services are legal acts, which allow a written record to be used for official or legal purposes including in a court of law.

The range of, and requirements for, notarial services are varied. It is the client’s responsibility to know which service he/she requires.

Determining which stamp is required2018-03-22T21:00:39+00:00

The onus is on the client to know which stamp is required on their document. In Australia, they should check with the Embassy/Consulate of the country where the document is to be used. An overseas client should check with the local authorities as to which stamp is acceptable to meet local requirements (or the Embassy/Consulate of the receiving country). In some cases, the client may have received advice from the legal adviser in Australia or from the institution requiring the document.

Common Australian Government documents that require Notarisation2018-03-22T21:00:32+00:00

The most common Australian Government documents that require notarisation are:

  • Birth Certificates
  • Marriage Certificates (from the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages – not the certificate issued by the celebrant at the church or time of ceremony)
  • Death Certificates
  • Divorce Certificates/Decree Nisi, or orders stamped by an Australian Court
  • Citizenship Certificates (either issued from Australia, or signed by an Authorised officer at an Australian mission)
  • National Police Criminal Records Checks issued by the Australian Federal Police (not ones issued by private companies)

Photocopies of original Australian Government documents cannot be authenticated or apostilled in Australia or overseas unless they have been notarised as a ‘true copy’ by an Australian Public Notary within Australia.

Common private documents that require authentication or apostille2018-03-22T21:00:27+00:00

The most common private documents that require authentication or apostille are:

• Powers of Attorney
• Affidavits
• Wills
• Bank statements
• Company documents
• Photocopies of documents

The above categories of documents, if presented in Australia, must be notarised by an Australian Notary Public before being presented to DFAT for legalisation.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission2018-03-22T21:00:21+00:00

Recently, ASIC began to issue extracts electronically without a signature or seal. These can be authenticated as a “document issued by ASIC” if we are satisfied the document was sent by ASIC (by siting the original email and attachment or printing for the client).

Chambers of Commerce and Industry2018-03-22T21:00:16+00:00

Documents that have been signed by a relevant Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry can be accepted however we will need to verify the document by contacting the department.

Education Documents2018-03-22T21:00:11+00:00

As of 1 July 2014, all education documents presented for legalisation must have been issued by an institution accredited by an Australian accredited education authority.

Foreign education documents must be referred to the Embassy/Consulate of the issuing country (even if they bear the ‘true copy’ certification of an Australian Notary Public. Clients may be required to send the document back to the country of origin to have it authenticated or issued with an apostille.

TAFE/CIT or other Australian Public State Technical College

Original school reports, certificates and general education documents from Australian Public State Technical College such as CIT and TAFE can be authenticated of apostilled if it bears the stamp of the issuing institution or the signature of an authorised public appointed officer with appropriate authority to issue the document. For example an original TAFE degree should be signed by an officer holding the position of Managing Director. The signature of an authorised officer from the student administration of the issuing administration does not qualify for legalisation purpose as this officer is not directly appointed by the State official. In this example of TAFE schools, Managing Directors are appointed by the relevant Minister in the State having direct responsibility of the education or skills portfolio.

Private School/Religious School/Private College

School reports, certificates and general education documents from Australian private institutions must be certified by an Australian Public Notary. It is the signature of the notary which converts these private documents to public documents, and allows authentication or apostille. In some Australian states and territories, the Department of Education will stamp these documents for clients.

Australian University2018-03-22T21:00:05+00:00

Due to the increased risk of fraud, all Australian university education documents must be verified by the central Student Administration office or the nominated representative of the issuing institution as a ‘true and accurate record’ before the document can be legalised by DFAT.

Notarised true copies of Australian university documents must be verified by the issuing institution, either on the original or on the copy. A statement by a Notary that the document is a ‘true copy’ does not satisfy the verification requirement.

If a foreign education document is presented with a certificate from an Australian Competent Authority stating the degree has been verified (for example, the Australian Medical Practitioner Authority for a medical degree or Engineers Australia, for engineering degrees), this certificate may be legalised by DFAT if attested to by a Notary Public.

Copies of Foreign Documents2021-11-18T01:19:25+00:00

The notary public must verify the signature on the underlying document before being notarised and require a notary certificate.

Photographs2018-03-22T20:59:54+00:00

The wording on the back of the photograph, or on the form, must state that the signatory “certifies the photograph to be a true likeness of (name of the individual)” Staff cannot attest or certify that the photograph is “a true photo of” (name of individual). An example is for photographs to be attached to an Australian Drivers Licence application form, or for an overseas citizen to be registered as an approved practitioner by an Australian organisation – like the Dental Association.  The individual in the photograph must be physically present for a photograph to be certified.

Translations2018-03-22T20:59:49+00:00

Translated documents must bear the signature of a government translating service (recognised by a foreign government, with the signature of the Foreign Affairs department of that country) or the signature and seal of a translator that is accredited by NAATI (National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters).. The translation and a copy of the original document, both bearing the translator’s signature and NAATI issued translator stamp may be bound and authenticated or an Apostille applied as it is the translator’s signature which is being authenticated and not the underlying document. If the documents cannot be bound, i.e. because the birth certificate has been apostilled, then the translator should complete a Statutory Declaration giving the particulars of the document that was translated and state that the translation is true and correct. The translation provided by the translator should include a declaration or statement that the translation is a true and accurate translation of the original.

Electronic documents2018-03-22T20:59:44+00:00

Electronic documents can pose problems for us, as they contain electronic signatures and seals and the original is not physically issued to the client by the issuing authority. In general, if the organisation does not issue public documents with live signatures and seals , we can accept electronic signatures and seals for authentication and apostille. You can also accept multiple print outs of the same document (for example, divorce documents from Australian courts with computer generated seals).

We will request that the client log on to their phone and forward to us the link. We will then download their document from the official site or portal. This will help us to ensure its authenticity.

Oaths and Affirmations2018-03-22T20:59:38+00:00

Steps to witness an affidavit:

  • We will check your photo ID to confirm you are the person named on the document.
  • Ask you (deponent) to sign the affidavit at the end of the written statement, in the place indicated on the document.
  • Advise you to now swear an oath or make an affirmation to the truth of the statement and the authenticity of your signature, and your identity.

The deponent to repeat the following words:
‘I swear by Almighty God that this is my name and handwriting and that the contents of this my affidavit are true and correct in every particular , so Help me God.’

Other forms of oath

You may request that they be sworn by some other form of oath as follows:

The following forms of oaths are effective if the consular officer receives an affirmative answer to the question: ‘Are you bound by that oath (or by that ceremony you have performed) to speak the truth’.

Buddhist
‘I declare, as in the presence of Buddha, that I am unprejudiced, and if what I shall speak shall prove false, or if by colourful truth others shall be led astray, then may the three Holy Existences, Buddha, Dharma and Pro Sangha, in whose sight I now stand, together with the Devotees of the twenty-two Firmaments, punish me and also my migrating soul; and I accordingly swear that this is my name and handwriting (or mark) and that the contents of this your affidavit are true.’

Muslim
A copy of the Koran is handed to the deponent. The deponent places his/her right hand flat upon the book and left hand upon his/her forehead and brings his head down to the book and into contact with it. The deponent then regards the book for some moments.
The deponent is asked: ‘What is the effect of the ceremony you have performed?’
Deponent should reply: ‘I am bound by it to speak the truth and I swear (or declare)

Arabic
Some people will only take the oath on the Koran in the original Arabic language.
The deponent places his/her right hand upon his forehead and left hand upon the book. The Deponent then bends down to the Koran and kisses it. The consular officer says: ‘By the ceremony that you have just performed are you bound by your conscience to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?’

The deponent answers: ‘I am’.

Us: ‘Do you swear that this is your name and handwriting (or mark) and that the contents of this your affidavit are true?’
Deponent: ‘I do.’

Administering an affirmation

If the deponent indicates they have no religious belief, or that taking an oath is contrary to their religious belief or conscience, the person may be permitted to make an affirmation in lieu of swearing an affidavit. An affirmation has the same legal effect as an affidavit, but it is not taken on the Bible and does not refer to religious belief.

‘I, do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that this is my name and handwriting, and that the contents of this my affirmation are true.’

Affidavits2018-03-22T20:59:33+00:00

What is an Affidavit?

An affidavit is a written statement that allows the person making it to present evidence in court or other legal proceedings. The person making the affidavit must take an oath (a sworn commitment based on religious belief) or make an affirmation (a secular sworn commitment) that the contents of the affidavit are true and correct. It is generally an offence to swear to or affirm false information.

Our role is to witness the affidavit and administer the oath or affirmation. We do not attest to the authenticity or truth of the content of the evidence or information.

How can I get an Affidavit?

The precise form that an affidavit takes is dictated by the relevant Commonwealth, state or territory legislation under which the affidavit is made or the proceedings in which the evidence contained in the affidavit is to be relied on. An affidavit that has not been drawn up correctly may not be legally effective. It is your responsibility to provide the document/s in the correct form and to provide any additional witnessing/administering instructions which should have been provided to you. Please obtain clear instructions from your legal advisor or the entity requiring the affidavit before taking it to us. We do not provide legal advice on these types of documents and take no responsibility for the correctness of the form of an affidavit.

Check with your legal advisor if you have doubts.

Amending an affidavit

Affidavits must not be amended once they have been sworn or affirmed. If an affidavit needs to be corrected, either a second affidavit clarifying the matter in question to the first affidavit must be made, or the first affidavit must be re-sworn.

Preventing fraud

In the case of an erasure, any words or figures written over the erasures are to be written in the margin and the erasure and the words written in the margin initialled by the deponent and the consular officer.

When there are large spaces at the end of statements or between them, the client should be prompted to draw a Z-shaped line through these to ensure nothing can be inserted later. Statutory Declarations in particular often require this.

 

Which stamp do I need – authentication or an apostille?2021-11-18T01:23:27+00:00

You should check with the local authorities requesting the document as to their requirements in order to ensure that the appropriate service is provided for your documents to be accepted. We cannot advise clients of foreign requirements. We can provide the following general information.

Apostille
As a general rule, countries that are party to the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents require an apostille on documents that qualify as Australian public documents. A full list of countries that are party to this convention can be found at the Hague Conference on Private International Law website.

Some countries will accept an apostille for certain types of documents, and many require an original government document to have been issued within 3 months of the apostille being affixed. You must check the local requirements.

Online verification is available for apostilles issued by Australia on or after 14 December 2015.

Authentication
As a general rule, documents going to countries that are not party to the Hague Convention require an authentication. It is important to confirm the requirements with the foreign receiving authority as some countries impose specific requirements on how an authentication should be prepared. For example, you may not be allowed to have an Australian notary public certify your foreign document as a true copy for the purposes of having an authentication affixed. It may be required to be signed by their Embassy in Australia after DFAT has stamped it and their Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the capital city.

Can I get both certifications?
There may be occasions when you wish to use the same document in multiple countries, some of which may be signatories to the Hague Convention and other which are not. To ensure that your document is acceptable to the receiving country, it would be in your best interests to have two original documents legalised – one with an authentication and the other with an apostille.

What documents can be legalised?
Overseas, we can only authenticate Australian public documents or foreign documents intended for use in Australia that have already been authenticated by the local foreign affairs department or other approved agency.

In the case of Australian public documents, in order to be accepted for authentication or apostille, you must present the original document issued by an Australian government department or agency with an official signature or seal.

As a general guide the documents most commonly requiring an apostille are original birth, death, marriage, divorce or change of name certificates issued by a Registry Office in Australia, or an Australian Court and original AFP criminal history checks.

Laminated or damaged documents will be refused for legalisation. Replacements will need to be obtained from the issuing authority.

Education documents presented to DFAT for an authentication or apostille must have been issued by an Australian accredited education authority. See the Australian Qualifications Framework website for more information on who can issue education documents in Australia. If your education document was issued by an institution in a foreign country, it will need to be authenticated or apostilled by that country, not by DFAT.

In the case of private documents, such as a power of attorney or an article of association for a company, it must first have been certified and or witnessed by an Australian notary public (in Australia) or an Australian diplomatic or consular officer in accordance with the Consular Fees Act 1955 ​for an authentication. Copies of documents made by consular and diplomatic officers cannot be issued with an apostille (except copies of Australian Passports).

Where you want to use a copy of an Australian Public document to obtain an apostille, you will either need to post the documents to Australia and have a copy made by an us , or, if you are currently located in an Apostille Convention country, arrange to have a local Notary Public certify the document and then approach the local competent authority for an apostille (not the Australian high commission or embassy).

For example, you are currently in India (Apostille Country) and you have an Australian (Apostille Country) document (eg a birth certificate) that you need to send to Italy (Apostille Country) in support of a visa application. A copy of your Australian document can be certified by a Notary Public in India, and then the competent authority in India would issue an apostille confirming the notary who made the copy is a true notary.

What do I need to do to have my document legalised?

Government documents

An original Australian Government document (such as a certificate from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Australian court document, police issued fingerprints or AFP/State police check) . A photocopy of an Australian government document (including a copy of an Australian passport) Your document must be certified, signed and sealed by us.

Private documents
An Australian private document (including company documents, wills and powers of attorney) Your document must be certified, signed and sealed by us.

Commercial documents

An Australian commercial document with a signature or seal from ASIC, the ATO, the TGA or trademarks office. Note – Some commercial documents issued by Australian government agencies such as ASIC or the ATO only use computer generated signatures or seals. You can submit the document to us without further requirements if it contains a signature or seal (whether ink or electronic). Electronic documents or printouts from online ASIC registers with no signature or seal can only be authenticated (not apostilled)

A business chamber or chamber of commerce and industry document These can only be authenticated. If you require an apostille, your document must be certified, signed and sealed by us.

Education documents
Your degree or award must be verified and signed as a ‘true and accurate record’ by the central student administration office of the issuing institution, unless that institution has a public online verification register. For other documents most universities have an existing arrangement with DFAT to have certain staff provide a verification of content. When you contact your university’s student administration centre to arrange this, let them know that your document needs to be signed for DFAT. See below for list of universities with online verification or contacts for central student administration offices. Copies can be certified by an us. The notarial certificate should state the record has been verified with the issuing institution. A statement by a Notary that the document is a ‘true copy’ does not satisfy the verification requirement.​

An Australian state technical college (CIT, TAFE etc), or tertiary institution qualification or document issued by an Australian public education institution​. Copies can be certified by us.

An Australian secondary school qualification (such as HSC, VCE etc) or document. Your document must be verified and signed by an authorised officer of the relevant state or territory issuing organisation (Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia) or us.

An Australian public primary school document Your document must be signed by an authorised officer of the state/territory Department of Education. Most education departments have an existing arrangement with DFAT to have certain staff provide this service. An Australian private college/school/tertiary institution qualification or document Documents from Australian accredited private schools, colleges, and institutions offering tertiary qualifications​ will need to be certified and sealed by us.

Foreign language documents
Your translation must be completed, certified and signed by a translator accredited through the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI). The translator must sign both a copy of the original document, and the translated document and certify that it is a “true and accurate translation of the text provided on the attached”

W​hat is a Notary Public?2018-03-22T20:59:22+00:00

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

Within Australia, notaries public are senior legal practitioners who prepare, attest, witness and certify original and copied legal documents for use overseas. DFAT officers are not notaries public. A list of Australian notaries public can be found on Supreme Court or Law Society listings for each state or territory. You can also search in telephone directories using the search ‘Notary Public’ and your post code. Alternatively use the Society of Notaries responsible for your state.

Statutory Declarations2018-03-22T20:59:16+00:00

What is a Statutory Declaration?

A Statutory Declaration is a written statement of fact or belief and may generally be made in relation to any matter. The person making the declaration acknowledges that it is true and correct and that a person making a false declaration may be liable for penalties.

Commonwealth, state and territory jurisdictions in Australia all provide for making of Statutory Declarations.

How do I make a statutory declaration?

On the form which has been provided to you, you should write in clear letters the declaration you wish to make, including your full name, occupation and address. Do not sign the declaration before seeing us.

You should also bring with you your passport/drivers licence as this will be used for proof of identity. We will need to confirm your identity and then witness you actually signing the declaration. The signature on the declaration will then be compared with the signature in your identity document.

By witnessing your signature, we are simply confirming your identity as the person claiming to make the declaration. We are in no way attesting to the truth or veracity of the content of the statement. Statutory Declarations can be made in foreign languages, however you will need to confirm if there are other requirements by the requesting authority to allow it to be accepted (i.e. if it must be translated into English for use in Australia, and the translator make a separate declaration).

 

 

How long does it take?2018-03-22T20:58:57+00:00

Processing time may vary in individual requirement, depending on several factors including the size of and the number of documents. Generally for simply matters it will take no longer than 15 minutes.

There may be a delay if:

  • a signature of the official who has signed the document needs to be contacted.
  • obtaining verification of electronic documents.
Documents Legalisation Request Form2018-03-22T20:59:07+00:00
What documents can you Notarise?2019-06-12T21:15:30+00:00

We can notarise almost any type of document. The most common types of documents we notarise are:

  • Foreign Documents in language other than English (with or without translation)
  • Identification Documents (passport, drivers licence, birth, death and marriage certificates etc)
  • Statutory Declarations
  • Address Documents (Bank Statements, Electricity Bills, Rates etc)
  • Travel Authorisations
  • TAFE Certificates, Diplomas etc.
  • Wills & Trusts
  • Executorships
  • Family Documents (Custody and guardianship agreements)
  • Power of attorney
  • Court documents (Affidavit etc)
  • Property and Loan documents
  • Corporate Documents (e.g Memorandum of understanding documents)
  • ASIC Searches
  • Commercial and Employment documents
Do all documents used overseas need to be notarised?2021-11-18T01:16:30+00:00

Yes, a Justice of the Peace is not authorised to witness documents for international use.

Can we certify copies of documents via Zoom?2021-11-18T01:18:15+00:00

No, you will need to mail to us the original document. If this is a passport, you will need to mail this to us. Once Notarised a courier will be arranged to forward back the original to you, along with the notarised copy.

Can we notarise documents in a foreign language?2021-11-18T01:20:15+00:00

Yes, we can notarise a document that is in a language other than English. We do not require translation.

I need documents translated. Can you help?2021-11-18T01:22:25+00:00

Yes, we can. We are happy to arrange for your documents to be translated.

Why do I need a Notary?2021-11-18T01:25:07+00:00

You may need a notary public for many things, such as selling or buying a house abroad, opening a foreign bank account, giving a power of attorney, certified copies of documents such as examination certificates, opening a branch office of your company or business abroad, getting translations of documents certified, if you marry abroad and so on.

The need for a notary public is dictated by the requirements of the country where the document is to be used. For example, if you are not in Spain, but wish to buy a property there, it is usually necessary to give your lawyer the power to deal with the purchase and registration of your ownership.

This is done by means of a power of attorney, which is signed by you, the purchaser, in front of a notary. You cannot sign it in front of anyone else, and the text must be in Spanish. The notary public will confirm your name and identity and sign the document and seal it with his or her official seal. Often, an apostille is needed to verify the signature and seal of the notary.

The document then will usually need to be further authenticated by having DFAT confirm the validity of the notary’s signature and seal. This is done by apostille or authentication which is an official certificate attached to the back of the document.

Zoom2022-01-12T07:49:33+00:00

Remote Notarisation is where the Notary uses Zoom to provide the Notarisation service to a client. This involves the Notary sending a Zoom link to the client and witness the client executing the documents.

How does it work?

After booking your appointment, your Notary will email you a link to your Zoom appointment. Please have a hard copy of the documents you need Notarised, along with your photo identification (passport or drivers licence).  If you require a wet signature of the Notary on the document, you will mail the signed documents to us, we will then seal the documents and return these to you via express post. If you only need an electronic copy,  you will email us your signed documents following our Zoom meeting,  we will seal these and email back to you.

How do I pay?

We accept all major credit cards. Payment is made during the Zoom meeting.

Can you certify copies of documents via Zoom?

You will need to mail us the original documents, and we will post these back to you, along with the certified copies.

 

 

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