We provide full public notary services for clients who need official documents certified for use outside of Australia.

Michael Smith, who is one of our senior lawyers, is a registered Notary Public (also known as a Public Notary). He can assist clients with the certification, execution and authentication of documents to be used in other countries in a simple, cost effective way.

The situations where our notarial service can assist clients include:

  • Verification of the valid execution of documents for use overseas;
  • Preparation and witnessing the execution of Powers of Attorney or Wills for use overseas;
  • Certifying the accuracy of Australian public documents;
  • Certifying the identity of persons;
  • Administering oaths, affidavits and declarations.

When you meet with us for notarial services, this is what you can expect:

  • You will be asked to confirm your identity, using your identification documents;
  • You will then tell us about your situation, and what help you need;
  • We will then provide that help, for example, by reviewing and executing the relevant document or confirming the authenticity of a document;
  • We will then complete and sign a “notarial act” which is basically a document confirming the actions taken in the point above. This notarial act will then be attached to the relevant document, signed and sealed by the Notary Public with a special Notary Stamp.

After you have had your documents notarized by us, you may also need to have the documents authenticated. We can explain what this involves when we meet with you, but there is some more information about this further down this page if you want to read more about it now.

Please call Michael on (02) 9411 4466 or email him at msmith@avlawyers.com.au to discuss the steps involved, and the likely cost, of helping you with all of your notarial needs.

Want to know more? Here is a quick Q&A that might be of help:

  • What is involved in notarizing a document?

    Given the wide variety of services a Notary Public provides, this will vary from case to case. In almost all situations, it will involve confirming the identity of a person named in, or signing a document.  We ask that you contact us in advance of your meeting, to enable us to ascertain what will be required, prepare the necessary documentation and advise you as to what you will need to bring to your meeting.

  • What ID will I need to bring with me?

    In most instances it will be necessary for our Notary Public to verify your identity. In this regard you should bring multiple forms of identification, including a passport, driver’s licence and Medicare card. If you do not have any of these we can discuss what other documentation may be sufficient.

  • What happens if a document to be notarized is written in a language other than English?

    If any documentation is in a foreign language it will generally be necessary for this to be translated. In order to be confident of the translation, we require that any translations are prepared by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.

  • Do we need to contact the overseas party to understand what is required by them?

    Where a document has been prepared by an overseas lawyer, it may be necessary for us to correspond with them, in order to confirm the correct form and requirements for the document to be used in their jurisdiction. We will only be in a position to work out whether this is needed after getting your full instructions.

  • Once the document is notarized, what happens next?

    This largely depends on the country that the document is being sent to. Some countries will accept the validity of a Notary Public’s seal and signature, while others require this to be authenticated. Authentication will involve the documents being sent to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and, in some instances, the consulate of the destination country.

  • Is authentication required for British Commonwealth countries?

    Many of the members of the Commonwealth will accept the authenticity of an Australian Notary Public’s signature without any further verification. These include the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.

  • What is an Apostille, and which countries require it?

    Some countries require that an authentication called an Apostille be added to the document, to authenticate the Notary Public’s seal and signature. This applies to countries which are signatories to the Apostille Convention of 1961. In this situation, all that is required for a document to be authenticated, is that DFAT affix an Apostille to the document. Anyone can visit DFAT’s website and confirm the validity of an Apostille.

  • How do I get an Apostille?

    From a practical perspective, once the document has been notarized, it will be posted to DFAT, which will attach the Apostille before returning it to either the Notary Public, or directly to you.

  • What about countries requiring Consular Authentication?

    For any country not included above, the process for authentication of a Notary Public’s seal and signature is slightly different. Once we have notarized the document, it is sent to DFAT, which confirms the Notary Public’s seal and signature. The document is then taken to the Australian consulate of the destination country, which will authenticate the signature of DFAT on the document. Once this process is complete, the document may be used in the destination country.

If you have any questions regarding the services our Notary Public can provide, or would like to make an appointment, please contact us here.