Skip to content
Home > Can I find a notary public in the library?

Can I find a notary public in the library?

Can I find a notary public in the library?

Probably not. It’s unlikely that you’ll find a notary public in the library (unless they’re there to read or borrow something), but they wouldn’t be working there. You may sometimes find justices of the peace working or providing witnessing or certifying services from libraries. Do you need a notary public or a justice of the peace?

A person who is authorised to witness signatures or certify documents (sometimes referred to as a ‘prescribed witness’, ‘qualified witness’ or an ‘authorised witness’) depends on whether you’re using your documents in New South Wales (or any other state in Australia) for state purposes, in or across Australia for Commonwealth purposes, or overseas in another country.

Where are you going to be using your documents?

If you live in New South Wales and you want to use your documents in New South Wales, then in most cases you must sign your documents or have them certified by a justice of the peace. You can also use a lawyer or a notary public, but unlike a justice of the peace which is a free service, it’s likely that you’ll need to pay for using the services of a lawyer or notary public.

If you live in New South Wales or any other state in Australia, and you want to use your documents in Australia, then there’s a long list of people who can witness or certify your documents for Commonwealth purposes – and this includes an accountant. By comparison, the number of people who can witness or certify your documents for use in New South Wales is relatively limited.

If you live in Australia and you want to use your documents in another country, then you generally must have your documents notarised by a notary public. This means if your signature must be witnessed, then your signature must be witnessed by the notary public or if your documents must be certified, then your documents must be certified by the notary public.

Do your documents need to be stamped with an apostille or authenticated and legalised?

If you are sending your documents to another country overseas and you have been asked for your documents to be stamped with an apostille or authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), then your documents must be notarised by a notary public. DFAT does not accept documents signed by other prescribed, qualified or authorised witnesses.

Who can witness my signature or certify my documents?

Is a librarian in a public library a notary public?

No, a librarian in a public library is generally not a notary public in Australia.

In Australia, a notary public is a senior lawyer who has completed further qualifications to be admitted as a notary public. This means they have been a practising lawyer for many years and completed further studies before they can become a notary public. Accordingly, a librarian (even if they worked in a public library) would not be a notary public unless they are also a practising lawyer and have satisfied the requirements (experience and qualifications) to become a notary public as well.

Phang Legal - Celebrating 20 Years of Service

Do you have any questions?

Sending documents from Australia to other countries can be complicated. We make it simple.

If your documents must be stamped with an apostille or authenticated and then legalised, we can help with that too. We’ve also created a flowchart to explain the process.

Not sure what you need? Contact us or visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

So, what’s next?

Visit our Notary Fees page for a free quote for our notary public services. Otherwise, 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. We’re known for:

  • Our experience and expertise in notarising documents for other countries;
  • Our low-cost fixed fees and service offerings; and
  • Our availability to help on short notice.

Our office is 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
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 and beyond.

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 countries all over the world.

All information on this website is for general purposes only and correct at the time of publication. Only rely on information and advice that is specific to your situation and current at the time you wish to rely on it.
Home > Can I find a notary public in the library?