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?

If you have never had to have a document notarised before, you may find our role as a notary public, the notary public services that we provide, and this whole process (especially authentication, legalisation and apostille) to be confusing and daunting. Do not worry! We are here to try to simplify it, make it easy for you to understand, and to guide you or assist you with achieving your desired goal.

Please contact us or visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more information regarding this article or our notary public services.

Click here to see the flowchart that we created to help you understand the process regarding notarisation, apostille, authentication and legalisation.

So, what next?

If you are now ready to proceed with having your document notarised, please visit our Notary Fees page for a FREE quote on our notary public services or just call us on 02 9687 8885 and speak to our friendly staff about your requirements.

Why choose Phang Legal for your notary public services?

We are a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney known for our low-cost fixed fee notary services, our availability to provide notary public services on short notice, and our focus on personal and timely notary public services. With our offices conveniently located in Parramatta, the geographic centre of the Sydney metropolitan area, our notary public assists clients from across all suburbs of Sydney and beyond.

Ern Phang, Notary Public


Notary Public

This website is maintained by Phang Legal, an incorporated legal practice in Parramatta and a leading provider of notary public services to clients across Sydney. Extensive experience and low-cost fixed prices ensures quality services and satisfied clients.

is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and a notary public. Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public and the kinds of issues faced by his clients in sending documents overseas.

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

Posted: 2016-07-08 17:00:43 / Last edited: 2018-05-26 15:09:09