Law In Australia On Notarization of Documents to Use Overseas


There can be a number of situations in which you may have to deal with a foreign country. Maybe you want to move to one, you may want to get a foreign education, you even may want to get a job somewhere or do business with some company overseas. More importantly, you will need an international attestation and notarization for all those documents by an official notary public before you actually get the permission from your country along with the other one, to do anything in the respective foreign country. So you should learn about the procedure, the laws, and regulations thoroughly before beginning your quest for everything to go smoothly.

Who are notary public and what do they do

Notary services are legal acts that mark any document as authorised, to be used for official or legal purposes. Once a document is notarized, it is equivalent as swearing under oath in a court of law – you and all the signatories in the document vow that every information in the document is true to your and their knowledge.

You can go to the state government office to get your document notarized where a notary public official will be appointed to you. When all the signings are done, the notary public renders his/her own details – such as his/her signature and/or seal, and notary commission details.

Fraud, identity theft, and forgery are very common problems in every business; especially when foreign legal documents or paperwork for overseas business is the matter at hand. A notary is hence appointed to prevent the participants from committing fraud as well as to protect them from being the victim of one. For documents to be used overseas, a notary public’s witness is therefore mandatory.

What is the law In Australia on notarization of documents to use overseas 

When it comes to dealing with official and legal documents, you cannot take anything lightly. You should familiarize yourself with all the laws and requirements beforehand for the notarization of your documents for using them overseas in order to avoid any confusion and unnecessary hassle when you get into the process.

When do you need a public notary for your overseas documents

You will need to have notary international and document services for your overseas documents in the following cases –

If the documents you have need to be enforced or recognized overseas. For example, if you have created power of attorney from Melbourne, but need it to be recognized as well as enforced in another country, you will require to contact notary services in Melbourne to get them attested.

If you are applying for a foreign passport

If you are signing any legal document or any kind of contract that is written in a foreign language

What would you need in a case of international attestation and notarization

There are two divisions of the law for international attestation and notarization. For cases like these, the countries in the world are divided into two parts – the countries that signed The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille Convention) or “the Treaty ”, and those who did not. According to this treaty, a country’s diplomatic body or embassy does not have to mandatorily authorize notarized documents. Instead, the Treaty requires the Foreign Affairs department in the country of origin.

Depending on which country you are dealing with, the requirements for notarization will vary. So before getting into any procedure, you will need to check if the country you are engaging with has signed the Treaty.

Australia is one of the countries which have signed the Treaty. So if you wish to have your documents recognized in the countries which also have signed the Treaty like UK, US, Greece, Italy, Russia, and some more; all you have to do is apply to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for an apostille, with the help of a notary international and document services.

If you are dealing with a country that has not signed the Treaty, such as China, Vietnam, or the UAE, you will need your document authenticated by the DFAT and present it to the respective embassy or consulate. Only with their approval, you can then send the document overseas.

What is the procedure to have your documents legalized

As we mentioned earlier, not all documents to be used overseas need to be notarized. However, the DFAT cannot confirm if you need international attestation and notarization of your documents, only the overseas authority can tell you that. This means contacting the individual, business, organisation, educational institution or government agency – whichever you will have to be concerned with – directly and asking them if your documents need to be legalized for their acceptance of them.

The Australian Government can legalize some documents in Australia. You can contact any of the Australian Embassies or consulates, or the Australian Passport Offices in each state and territory to get an apostille done. However, if you are opting to send it by mail, you will have to send your forms and original documents via registered post, which should include your credit card authorisation and a self-addressed registered post envelope for its safe return.

There are different procedures that you need to go through to get an apostille for your government-issued documents, private ones, commercial ones, education ones, and foreign language documents.

Government-issued documents:

To obtain an apostille for documents such as certificates from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, police issued fingerprints, Australian court documents, AFP/State police check or other documents, you have to submit the documents to the passport office.

In case you need an apostille for a photocopy of an Australian document issued by the government, including passports, you will need to contact one of the notary services in Melbourne to get it notarized.

Private documents:

Private documents such as company documents, powers of attorney, wills, and other such documents presented for apostille need a certification, a sign, and a seal by an Australian notary public.

Commercial documents:

If you need to have authentication or an apostille for Australian commercial documents bearing the signature or seal of ASIC, ATO, TGA or trademarks office (whether ink or electronic), all you have to do is submit the documents to the passport office.

Foreign language documents:

If you need to apply for an apostille for a foreign language document such as a translation, both the original document and the translated document need to be first completed, certified and signed by an accredited translator affiliated with the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd.


Now that you have all the knowledge in the area of overseas documents notarization, we hope you will not have any more confusion in the process. Nevertheless, when you go to notarizing your documents, complications can always occur. To avoid them, do your homework before going for notary public acknowledgment of your documents, and only go to an expert overseas notary service in Melbourne to get it done.


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Written by rudyard

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