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Does the post office provide notary public services?

Does the post office provide notary public services?

Highly unlikely.

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, unless there is a notary public working in the post office, the post office would not be able to provide notary public services.

Australia Post can still provide witnessing and certifying services, but it depends on what your documents need to be witnessed or certified and where your documents will be used. If you know that your documents can be witnessed or certified by Australia Post, you can skip ahead here, otherwise read on.

Do you really need notary public services?

Sometimes referred to as a ‘prescribed witness’, ‘qualified witness’ or an ‘authorised witness’, a person who is authorised to witness signatures or certify documents depends on whether you are 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.

If you live in New South Wales and you want to use your documents in New South Wales, then in most cases you will need to 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 is likely that you will 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 is a long list of people who can witness or certify your documents for Commonwealth purposes – and this includes:

  • An agent of the Australian Postal Corporation (Australia Post) who is in charge of an office that provides postal services to the public; or
  • A permanent employee of the Australian Postal Corporation with 5 or more years of continuous service who is employed in an office supplying postal services to the public.

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?

How do I get my signature witnessed or my documents certified by the post office?

If you are using your documents in Australia for a Commonwealth purpose, you can arrange to have your signature witnessed or your documents certified by Australia Post. Check out their website for more information:

https://auspost.com.au/id-and-document-services/witnessing-documents

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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.
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