Certifying an Australian birth certificate
Your birth certificate is an important document that you can use as part of your proof of identity. Your birth certificate is primarily evidence of your birth and who are your parents. If you were born in Australia, then your birth certificate should be issued by the relevant registry in the state where you were born. For example, if you were born in New South Wales, then your birth certificate would have been issued by the New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
What information is contained in an Australian birth certificate?
A birth certificate is an official copy of the information provided to the Registry. This should include:
- name of the person, their gender (at birth), their date of birth and their place of birth
- information about their legal parents
- information about their brothers or sisters and
- date of registration and registration number.
Sending an Australian birth certificate to another country
If you’re sending an Australian birth certificate to another country, you may also need to have that original birth certificate stamped with an apostille from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade if the intended destination country is a member of the Apostille Convention. If the intended destination country isn’t a member of the Apostille Convention, then you must arrange for DFAT to authenticate the original birth certificate before legalising it with the foreign representative office of the intended destination country.
If you want to keep the original birth certificate and only send a certified copy, then the certified copy of the birth certificate must be notarised by a notary public before it can be stamped with an apostille or authenticated by DFAT.
Depending on the intended destination country, you may also need to have the Australian birth certificate translated from English into the official language of the intended destination country. We usually recommend arranging for the translation to be done after all the legal processes have been completed (ie, legalisation) and after the documents have arrived in the intended destination country.
Regardless of whether you are sending the original birth certificate or a notarised copy of an original birth certificate to another country, you must be able to produce the original birth certificate.
Why would I need to send an Australian birth certificate to another country?
We help many people send Australian birth certificates to other countries. Some of the most common reasons to do this are to:
- Prove that they are the parents of a child
- Prove who are their parents
- Prove a date or place of birth
- Assist with immigration applications
- Assist with family law cases and legal action
- Assist with estate issues and inheritance disputes
- Provide supporting evidence for travel consent documentation
How do I obtain an Australian birth certificate?
You should receive a birth certificate from the relevant registry after you register the birth, however, you can still apply for additional/replacement certificates – especially if you want to send that birth certificate (or a certified copy) to another country.
Additional or replacement birth certificates are available from the registry in the state where the child was born.
- For birth certificates issued in New South Wales
- For birth certificates issued in the Australian Capital Territory
- For birth certificates issued in Queensland
- For birth certificates issued in Victoria
- For birth certificates issued in Western Australia
- For birth certificates issued in Tasmania
- For birth certificates issued in the Northern Territory
If you’re ordering a replacement birth certificate solely for the purpose of sending it to another country, or if you’re not available to collect it (especially if you’re not living in Australia), you can ask for that birth certificate to be delivered to our office or mailing address and we can help you with processing whatever it is you need to do on your behalf.
Attesting, certifying and notarising copies of Australian birth certificates for use in another country is one of our core notary public services
What documents do we attest and notarise?
Some of the documents that we regularly attest and notarise for clients include:
- Power of attorney or Letter of Authority signed in Australia appointing someone to handle your property, business or personal financial matters on your behalf – as well as the Revocation of Power of Attorney. The power of attorney is probably the most frequently requested document to be signed, attested and notarised by our office.
- Property transfers and dealing documents signed in Australia for transacting property in other countries.
- Legal and court forms and documents signed in Australia for legal matters and court proceedings in other countries.
- Personal and commercial agreements or contracts signed in Australia for use in other countries. If you’re signing on behalf of a company, you may also need ‘company documents’ such as a certificate of good standing.
- Photo and personal identification documents such as passports or Australian drivers licences. Other forms of identification can also be attested and notarised, but generally other countries require photo identification in the absence of a national identity card system in Australia.
- Personal certificates from Australia such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, and Australian citizenship certificates. These certificates are generally issued by the relevant registry in each Australian state or by the Australian Government.
- Financial documents like bank statements issued by Australian banks, financial statements or tax-related documents from the Australian Tax Office.
- Court documents issued by Australian courts, such as divorce orders, Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.
- Education documents from Australian institutions, such as school reports, college degrees, university testamurs and transcripts. These documents must be verified with the issuing institution before they can be attested and notarised.
- Employment documents from Australian employers, like referral letters, references and recommendations, and payslips. These documents must be verified with the issuing employer before they can be attested and notarised.
- Company documents relating to Australian companies, like certificates of good standing, attested copies of certificates of incorporation, resolution and minutes, constitutions and memorandum of association etc. These documents must be obtained directly from ASIC for public information or produced by the director if they relate to corporate register documents.
- Criminal history documents issued by Australian police agencies like the Australian Federal Police or state police, or by private organisations accredited by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.
Usually, if documents must be certified, you must be able to provide the original hard copy document to us. Some documents, especially if those documents are only available as electronic documents, can be emailed to us directly by whoever issued the documents. Whenever possible, we will also verify documents with whoever issued the documents to complete the notarisation.
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?
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.
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.