Where can I get an authentication or apostille?

The competent authority is DFAT

Google is full of wonderful and helpful information. Many of our clients find us through searching Google, especially when they are looking for assistance with authenticating or stamping their document with an apostille. Many clients have never heard of a notary public before and use that as a search term, as well. Regardless of how they come to find us, or even how you come to find this article, the important thing is that you are here and hopefully you find the information that you are looking for here as well.

As you may have already found out, if you are in Australia but you need to send your documents overseas, it is likely that you need to have your documents notarised by a notary public – this is the kind of service that we provide. As a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney, we assist many clients with notarising their documents.

The purpose of notarising documents depends on the intended destination country or the purpose of that document. In most cases, the role of a notary public is to provide confidence to whoever is relying on the notarised document in the intended destination country that the signature is real, or the document is genuine, or that the facts are true. However, the process of notarising documents is only as good as the notary public who notarises the document.

In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) are responsible for confirming that a notary public is legitimate. Notarised documents can be submitted to DFAT, through the Australian Passports Office in each capital city. DFAT will confirm that the notarised documents have been properly notarised by a notary public – meaning the document bears the notary’s signature and seal. Accordingly, any notary public in Australia who wants or needs to have their signature and seal verified by DFAT must also submit copies of their signature and seal to DFAT who maintains a database of recognised notaries.

Depending on the intended destination country, DFAT will either stamp the notarised document with an authentication or an apostille. This is part of a process known as legalisation which is necessary for some intended destination countries to recognise that the document has been properly notarised. We have various other articles on this website in which we discuss the process of obtaining an authentication or an apostille and the respective requirements of each.

If you are not sure of what you need or what your intended destination country normally requires, you should try our new feature ‘online chat’ which should appear on the bottom right hand corner of your screen during normal business hours. If you are reading this outside of normal business hours, you can leave a message or submit an email.

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Do you have any questions regarding this article?

Whether you're notarising a document for the first time or the hundreth time, the requirements, processes, and terms can be confusing and daunting - or just a pain and a hassle (especially if you need an apostille, or to authenticate or legalise as well). Don't worry! We're here to simplify it, explain it, and help you with what you need to achieve it.

Contact us or visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about our notary public services. We've also created a flowchart to help explain notarisation, apostille, authentication and legalisation.

So, what's next?

Visit our Notary Fees page for a free quote for our notary public services or just call us on +61 2 9687 8885 to speak with our friendly team about your requirements.

Why choose Phang Legal for your notary public services?

We're a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney known for our experience and expertise in notarising documents for other countries, our low-cost fixed fees and service offering, and our availability to help on short notice. With our offices conveniently located in Parramatta, the geographic centre of the Sydney metropolitan area, we help clients from across Sydney and beyond with personal, professional and timely notary public services.

Ern Phang, Notary Public
Ern Phang
Notary Public

This website is maintained by Phang Legal, a boutique law firm in Parramatta and a leading provider of quality notary public services to satisfied clients across Sydney.

Ern Phang is a director of Phang Legal and a notary public (since 2005). Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public and the issues faced by his clients in sending documents to other countries.

All information contained in this article is for general purposes only and correct at the time of publication. Only rely on information and advice specific to your situation and current at the time you wish to rely on it.