Do you have questions? Well, we have the answers!
In order to use certain documents in a jurisdiction outside Australia, you may be required to have such documents legalised for use in that country. The rationale behind this is that individuals, organisations, and government authorities want to know that a document or signature is authentic and when a document comes from another country, they may want an international certification. This is where a notary public comes in. Notary publics have the authority to authenticate and witness documents and signatures on documents. Further steps in the legalisation process shall need to be carried out in order for the document to be used outside Australia.
A notary public, or notary, is a public officer, usually appointed by a State or Territory Supreme Court, and given statutory powers to witness documents, administer oaths, and perform other legal functions of a national and international nature.
A Justice of the Peace or solicitor in Australia may provide similar services, with the clear distinction that they are not allowed to witness documents for use in foreign countries. Notaries have this exclusive right and are the only true international solicitor in Australia.
All Notaries’ seals and signatures must be officially recorded in a data base held by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), who is authorised to issue apostille or authentication certificates certifying that the signatures, seals, or stamps of Notaries on documents are authentic.
In order to apply to be a New South Wales Notary Public, you must be a New South Wales Lawyer with at least 5 years of experience and have completed the prescribed Notarial Practice Course. The applicant may then apply to the Legal Profession Admission Board (the Board). Upon appointment, the name of the notary is entered on the Roll of Public Notaries maintained by the Board.
Yes. Other fees shall apply for payment of:
In order to give you a fee estimate, many things need to be considered such as:
Once we have received your enquiry, we shall be able to give you an estimate of the total fees and disbursements required for legalisation of your documents.
Note that we shall also endeavour to give you an estimate of the additional legalisation requirements that may be required in the country of use. However, this will only be a rough estimate at best, as different countries have different requirements which are subject to frequent change. Although, you may find in many circumstances that the person, organisation, or government authority requiring the document may agree to bear the costs of further legalisation required in that country.
If a document is to be signed by an individual and witnessed by a notary public, the notary public shall need to verify the identification of the individual. This is a simple matter of the individual bringing 100 points of identification (such as a current driver’s licence or passport) to the appointment. Please note that the notary shall require you to bring in original identification documents and it is at the sole discretion of the notary as to whether they accept the identification.
If the document is to be signed by an authorised representative of a company, the authorised representative shall need to bring 100 points of identification and also documentation evidencing that that they are authorised to sign documents on behalf of the company. It is up to the notary to determine whether the evidence given is sufficient, and the notary may refuse to attest the signature of the authorised signatory in the event that they are not satisfied.
Please be aware the notary shall need to make and keep copies of the identification and authority documents for our records.
There may be. Each country has different requirements. For instance, for document to be used in the United Arab Emirates, once a document has been notarised, legalised by DFAT, and attested by the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Australia, the document may then need to be presented to authorities in the United Arab Emirates such as the Department of Justice in and the Department of Foreign Affairs. Once these steps have been carried out in the United Arab Emirates, the document may be used over there.
If you require a document to be used in a country that does not have English as the main language, you may be required to have the document translated. For example, a document for use in Brazil may be required to be translated to Portuguese. The requirement may be that the Portuguese translation is the document that needs to be signed and witnessed. If this is the case, we can arrange for a NAATI translator to do a legal translation of the document. The notary may then be able to witness and attest to the signature on the document.
If you require the document for use in a non-Hague Convention Country, then yes, the document shall need to be notarised before it is legalised at DFAT then attested at the relevant embassy or consulate.
To use a document in a country that is not a Hague Convention country, you will need to first have the document notarised. The next step will be to have the document legalised at DFAT (rather than obtaining an apostille certificate). The next step shall be attestation at the embassy or consulate of the country where the document is to be used. This shall complete the legalisation process in Australia, noting that there may be additional legalisation requirements in the country where the document is to be used.
An apostille certificate is a certificate issued by DFAT certifying that a document has been notarised by a certified and formally appointed notary public. An apostille certificate will be recognised in Hague Convention countries. Provided that your document is to be used in a Hague Convention country, after notarisation, you may present the notarised document to DFAT for an apostille certificate. This shall complete the legalisation process in Australia, noting that there may be additional legalisation requirements in the country where the document is to be used. For the avoidance of doubt, a document that has been notarised and apostilled by DFAT shall not be recognised in a non-Hague Convention country.
Yes. We offer services associated with notary services such as the drafting of documents including powers of attorney, proxies, and board resolutions.
Additionally, Bannermans Lawyers provides high quality specialist legal services to the strata, development, construction, and insurance industries. Since the firm’s establishment in 2007, it has applied its expertise and industry experience to becoming Sydney’s leading strata law firm, employing a team of over 30 staff, including approximately 20 highly skilled lawyers.
You will need to bring with you:
If you are signing documents for and behalf of a corporate entity, you shall need to additionally bring with you original documents to show that you are authorised to execute documents for such entity.
If you require us to witness your signature on a document, we shall need to see you in person. If you require us to authenticate a document or certify a document as a true copy of an original, it is preferable if we can see you in person, however, you may instruct us from overseas and we shall not need to see you in person.
Yes. We have the expertise to assist with the process from end-to-end. We can:
Yes. The legalisation process may require 3 different processes as follows (depending on the country where the document is to be used):
(a) British dominions – if a document is to be legalised for use in a British dominion, the only legalisation requirement should be notarisation by an Australian notary public. Countries in the British dominion include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Island.
(b) Hague Convention Countries – if a document is to be legalised for use in a Hague Convention Country (a country that has signed onto the Hague Convention), the document should first be notarised, before it is taken to DFAT for an apostille certificate. Click here for an updated list on Hague Convention Countries
(c) Non-Hague Convention Countries – If a document is to be legalised in a non-Hague Convention Country (i.e. a country not on the list above such as the United Arab Emirates) the document shall need to be notarised, taken to DFAT and legalised and then the document shall need to be presented to the relevant embassy or consulate for attestation.
Please note that the above three steps are what one would generally expect to have to carry out in order to legalise your documents. However, different embassies or consulates may require additional documents or steps to be carried out. The above is only a basic guide. Please give us a call for a free consultation to work out exactly what steps you shall need to take.
This will depend on:
(a) What you need legalised – if you require us to draft documents for you, we will need to receive your instructions and draft the requisite documents.
(b) Translation – if translation is required, this adds an additional step, which will take more time. We can arrange for a NAATI (National Accreditation Authority for Translators) translator to translate the document on your behalf.
(c) The country the document will be used in – if the document is to be used (i) in a British Dominion, once the document is notarised it may be ready for use in a British Dominion (ii) in a Hague Convention country, once the document has been notarised, you shall only need for the document to be apostilled at DFAT or (iii) in a non-Hague Convention Country, you shall need the document to be legalised at DFAT and then the document shall need to go to the relevant embassy or consulate for attestation.
(d) If you instruct us on an urgent basis – if you wish for us to legalise the document on an urgent basis, we shall endeavour to push the process through at an accelerated rate. Additional fees and disbursements shall apply accordingly.
(e) If you are overseas – if you are overseas this shall take additional time as we shall need to receive documents to be authenticated, carry out the legalisation process and then forward the legalised documents back to you.
(f) Legalisation requirements in the country of use – there may be additional legalisation requirements that need to be carried out in the country of use, prior to you being able to use it there. These requirements vary from country to country.
Please give us a call so that we can give you an estimate on how long the process should take on an urgent or non-urgent basis.
After a document has been notarised, if the document is intended for use in a non-Hague Convention country, it shall need to be legalised at DFAT. The next step is to have it attested at the relevant embassy. Attestation is the final step in the legalisation process. A consulate would normally only consider attesting a document if it was notarised and legalised by DFAT. Attestation is the acceptance and certification by the embassy that it is satisfied with the authenticity of the document presented to it. Once the document is attested, it is then ready for use overseas. Note however, further legalisation may be required in the country of use, such as certification by the DFAT equivalent in that country.
If you are planning on travelling abroad to live the expat dream you may need certain documents legalised for use in that country. For instance, if you are married and moving to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with your spouse, you should take a fully legalised copy of your marriage certificate with you. This is so that you may show the authorities there that you are legally married, and as such, allowed to live together. It is against the laws of the UAE for an unmarried couple to live together.
Just as important as your marriage certificate, you should arrange to have your credentials notarised and fully legalised for use in the United Arab Emirates. Prior to commencement of employment in the UAE, your employer may need to submit your fully legalised credentials to the UAE Department of Immigration in order to obtain your visa.
Should you have any queries about legalising your documents please contact us for a free consultation.