July 10

I’VE BEEN TOLD I NEED AN APOSTILLE. WHERE AND HOW DO I GET IT?

If you have an original document issued by an Australian government department (ie, birth certificate, marriage certificate, citizenship certificate), also known as a public document, you can obtain an apostille from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). If you have a private document (ie, power of attorney, contract) or a copy of a public document, you must notarise that document before DFAT will issue you with an apostille.

In Australia, only DFAT has the authority to issue an apostille. For more information, also visit

Leave the apostille to us!

Many of our notary public clients will apply to DFAT for an apostille themselves, however, this can be troublesome and time-consuming (especially post-COVID as you can no longer ‘just walk in’ to the DFAT office without an appointment). If you want us to help you apply for an apostille, please advise us at the time of making an appointment to obtain a quote inclusive of the DFAT apostille fee and our service fees. We would be pleased to assist you.

IMPORTANT:
If the intended destination country is NOT a signatory to the Apostille Convention, then your documents sent to that country must be authenticated by DFAT and authenticated by the intended destination country’s foreign representative office in Australia before the documents will be recognised in the intended destination country.

October 5

Legalisation, Authentication and Apostilles

Embassies and Consulates

Documents notarised by an Australian Notary Public for use overseas may be required to be “legalised” or “authenticated”, before accepted by foreign governments or businesses.

Foreign governments or businesses usually require Australian notarised documents, as well as other Australian public documents, to be either “apostilled” by the Australian government, or “legalised” by their Embassies or Consulates in Australia.

The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) issues Apostille Certificates or Authentication Certificates, authenticating the seals and signatures of Australian Public Notaries.

Those who require documents to be notarised should first make enquiries with the appropriate Embassy or Consulate of the country where their document is to operate, to ensure that their document does not need to be apostilled, authenticated or legalised.

Legalisation and Authentication

“Legalisation” is the process by which the signature and seal of a Notary Public is authenticated before a notarised document is valid in a foreign country.

The need for the authentication process is to establish a chain of authentication with respect to the signature and seal on notarised documents. That is, by authenticating notarised documents, DFAT verifies the signatures and seals appearing on notarised documents.

Apostilles

DFAT either affixes or attaches Apostille Certificates or stamps onto notarised documents originating in Australia for use in most foreign countries.

It does so because since 1995, it has been a signatory to “The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirements of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents”.

Not all countries are signatories to this Convention and those countries that are not still insist that notarised documents be “legalised”.

Italy, Greece, The Netherlands, Russia and UK are among signatories to the Hague Convention; UAE, China, Vietnam and most Middle Eastern countries are countries that have refrained from ratifying the Convention.

An Apostille Certificate, signed by an officer of DFAT, confirms that the notarised document has been signed by the named person acting in his or her capacity of a Notary, and bears the seal of such Notary Public.

Fees are payable to DFAT for Apostille and Authentication Certificates.

It is not the responsibility of a Notary Public to advise on the official requirements or processes of the Australian Government or the foreign country where the notarised document is destined for use. You should make your own investigations.

For a full explanation of the legalisation process, including Authentication and Apostille Certificates, visit www.apostille.com.au

March 8

FAQ about our Notary Public Services

What is a notary?

Notaries are experienced lawyers appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, based on their qualifications and experience. He is authorised to witness signatures and certify international documents.

How do you have a document notarised?

Bring the documents to our office in Bentleigh, Melbourne. If Misko needs to witness a person’s signature, that person must come to our office. Contact us on (03) 9557 2915 or [email protected] for a fixed quote or an appointment. Most international documents are needed urgently. If so, an appointment can usually be arranged within 24 hours or even sooner.

What do you bring?

If Misko is witnessing your signature, you must bring photo identification, like a passport and driver’s licence. However, if all you need is a copy certified as a true copy of original, all you need to bring is the original.

Can the notary come to you?

It is cheaper for you to come to our office. However, Misko will notarise documents at your home or office if required. This is useful if you are trying to get a number of people together to sign a document at the same time.

How can you certify documents when there is no original?

Some documents like government records or bank statements can only be found online. How can you get a certified copy when there is no hard copy paper original? The solution is, when you come to our office you show Misko the website where he can see that the website is official, and check the original document online. Misko can then certify a true copy of the original.

What does it cost?

The fees for notarising documents at our office are starting from $90 for one document and $30 per document for any additional documents, plus GST. The quote can be obtained at the time of making an appointment.

What do you do after the documents are notarised?

Most notarised documents are required by overseas governments or lawyers. Their requirements vary from country to country and even from department to department. Often, after the documents are notarised, they must be certified by the Australian government (DFAT) to authenticate Misko’s notarial seal. This process is called Apostille. We can arrange this for you. Sometimes the documents need to be certified by a foreign embassy or consulate. We can also arrange this. You should check with whoever sent you the documents to find out whether Apostille or any other authentication is required.