Authenticating official, government and personal documents and information for use overseas
Witnessing signatures on documents and authenticating identity and status
Certifying copies of documents to be true copies
In all cases a copy of the relevant documents is kept in a Notarial Register for future reference if required.
Authentication of the Notary's signature and seal
Occasionally an overseas authority may require the signature and seal of the notary to be legalised (certified as correct) by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
Sometimes, the notarial seal and/or the DFAT legalisation may have to be certified at the consulate or embassy of the overseas country to which it is being sent.
Australia is a signatory to a Convention (The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents of 1961) that overcomes the double requirement of legalisation by DFAT and then certification by the consulate. Member countries issue an Apostille. The Apostille is a statement identifying the signature of the notary and is affixed to the notary's signed and sealed certificate. Apostilles are also issued by DFAT.
Making an appointment
You will need to bring evidence of identity such as.a current passport or driver's licence and confirmation of your residential address
If the document is not in English it will be necessary to establish whether a translation is required for the required notarial certificate to be given
The notary is often required to certify that the signatory understand the document being signed. If you do not understands the contents, you may need legal advice, either obtained before making the appointment, or from the notary
It is a good idea to bring with you any instructions you may have received from the overseas authority to ensure that its requirements are met
If you are able to send a copy of the required document to the office before your visit this will save time and probably expense
The Public Notaries Act provides for the gazettal from time to time of a Recommended Fee Scale. The fees for the various items are based on the time taken to do the work. Ask for an estimate or for a fixed fee when you make the appointment.