Authenticating and Legalising copies of your Australian Passport

Sending copies of your Australian passport overseas may sometimes mean your passport has to be authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and legalised by the foreign office of the intended destination country.

Why would I need to send evidence of my Australian passport overseas?

Your Australian Passport is:

  • Proof of your identity. In Australia, in the absence of some form of national identification scheme, an Australian drivers licence or a passport would generally be your primary form of photo identification. When you travel abroad,  your passport would still be your primary form of photo identification, unless you are a citizen of or have photo identification documents issued in the country that you are visiting.
  • Proof of your Australian citizenship. If you need to prove to another country that you are an Australian citizen, then one of the easiest ways to do this is by providing them with a copy of your Australian passport. In fact, the Australian passport is probably a better form of evidence of Australian citizenship than the Australian Citizenship Certificate. The Australian Citizen Certificate is issued at the time you become an Australian citizen however it does not show or prove that you are still an Australian citizen. On the other hand, the Australian passport is renewed every so often meaning at least at the time you renew your Australian passport you would have been an Australian citizen.
  • Proof of your entitlement to travel on an Australian passport and visas to enter and remain in other countries. If you use your Australian passport as your travel document, then it would be associated with your visa to other countries or evidence that you are entitled to leave/enter Australia.

Should I send a copy of my passport or my original document overseas?

Your passport is your personal identity document and your travel document. There should really be no reason for you to send your original passport overseas (except when you travel with it) and so if you need to provide proof of your passport you should only send a copy of your passport.

How do I copy my Australian Passport for use overseas?

You can have a copy of your Australian Passport authenticated by DFAT. Otherwise, you can also have it copied and notarised by a notary public. Some intended destination countries may also accept copies that have been certified by a justice of the peace, but you should check with the intended recipient whether this will be sufficient.

What else do I need to do before I can send a copy of my Australian Passport overseas?

If you are sending a copy of your passport to another country, then depending on the intended destination country, you may also need to have that copy authenticated by DFAT and then legalised by the foreign office of that intended destination country. Instead of authentication and legalisation, some countries will recognise an apostille issued by DFAT and some counties follow their own processes and protocols to recognise that the copy of your passport is correct and valid.

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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.