Spain – Signing and sending documents with an apostille

Important documents for Spain

Do you need to send documents from Australia to Spain? For many of our clients sending documents to Spain, the process involves having those documents notarised by us and then stamped with an apostille from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The process can be a little confusing if you haven’t done it before, but that’s why you’re reading this article – we do it all the time, so let us help explain.

Step 1 – Notarisation

As a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney, we assist many clients with notarising their documents. Notarisation generally means their documents have been attested/endorsed by us in some way or another.

For example, if we’re witnessing someone sign the document, then we notarise the document on the basis that we witnessed the person sign the document in our presence and that we’ve also confirmed that person’s identity according to their photo identity document (usually their passport). One of the most common requests that we receive is to notarise the power of attorney for Spain. When signing a power of attorney, you appoint someone (ie, your attorney) in Spain to look after your personal, property or business dealings on your behalf.

We can also make copies of original Australian government documents, like birth certificates, marriage certificates, or death certificates, and we notarise those copies on the basis that they’re certified copies of the original documents.

We also verify certain documents like education documents such as school reports, college or university degrees or transcripts or other qualifications, and we can verify work experience and employment paperwork, doctor and medical records, police and criminal history checks, company and business documents – and the list continues.

Essentially, we help people overseas confirm the truth, validity, and genuineness of certain documents or acts (ie, signing) originating in Australia.

When it comes to sending these documents to Spain, then the notarisation is also done for the purpose of obtaining an apostille from DFAT, which is an essential step in ensuring the documents will be accepted in Spain.

Step 2 – Apostille

The apostille is an internationally recognised stamp issued by DFAT. Countries that are members of the Apostille Convention will recognise documents that have been stamped with an apostille issued by other member countries.

Since Australia and Spain are both members of the Apostille Convention, documents from Australia and intended for Spain must be stamped with an apostille (the reverse is also true, in that documents from Spain intended for Australia should also be stamped with an apostille in Spain before they will be accepted in Australia).

In Australia, DFAT is the issuing authority for the apostille which means that all documents intended for other member countries must be stamped with an apostille from DFAT. Documents that can be stamped with an apostille include public documents, like original Australian government documents, or private documents (some of those we’ve already outlined in the example above) which have been notarised by a notary public. This means that most clients who want to send documents from Australia to Spain must follow this two-step process of notarisation followed by an apostille.

What can we do for you?

If you’re sending documents from Australia to Spain, then we can help you with notarisation and we can arrange for the apostille from DFAT.

In most cases, notarisation is as simple as making an appointment with us. We’re usually readily available to take appointments throughout the week and can often assist on short notice (or at least make time in between appointments if appointment times are already booked). Our processes are simple and fast, and our notary fees are fixed and low cost. We’re usually able to notarise documents at the time of the appointment or shortly after (especially if the notarisation requires verification and a response from third parties).

If you’re signing documents that need to be used in Spain, then you’ll need to come in person to sign those documents in front of our notary public. Our notary public will confirm that you signed your documents in their presence, that they witnessed you sign your documents, and that they verified your identity according to your photo identification document (generally your passport).

For clients who have their documents notarised by us, we can also help with arranging for the apostille from DFAT if they prefer to avoid the time and hassle of doing it themselves. When handled by us, the apostille process is as simple as leaving the documents with us to make all of the necessary arrangements. In all cases, whether you decide to do it yourself or ask us to do it for you, the apostille process will take some time and cannot be done immediately.

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

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.