Notarisation Basics:

Why have documents notarised?

To minimise fraud and forgery, most countries require important commercial or personal documents which originate from, or are signed in, another country to be notarised.

After authentication with a notary's seal and signature, is anything else required?

Foreign jurisdictions often also require certification of the notary's seal and signature. See our DFAT and Apostilles page for more information.

Notarial Services Basics:

For more information about preparing to visit us, please see our Seeing a Notary page.

Witnessing signatures

When a notary is required to witness the signing of a power of attorney or other document for use overseas, the document must be signed in the notary’s presence. 

Proof of Identity

Effective notarisation requires a notary to verify:
  • the signer's identity; and 
  • that the signer understands what they are signing.

Unless personally known to the notary, signers must be satisfactorily identified by the production of, at least, a current passport or some other document issued by a government department or agency which includes a photograph and specimen signature.

Company documents

Effective notarisation of company documents ordinarily requires a notary to verify:
  • that the company exists; and
  • the signer’s status within the company; and 
  • that the signer has authority to sign on the company's behalf. 

Often, a notary will require evidence that appropriate corporate governance has been adhered to in relation to the company documents.

Common Notarial Services:

What documents require notarisation?

It depends on the laws of the destination country. The most commonly notarised documents (or document requests requiring the advice of a notary) are:
  • Powers of attorney for people and companies
  • Documents relating to patents, trademarks and copyrights
  • Probate documents and wills
  • Contracts for the sale of property or businesses
  • Instruments of transfer of land
  • Copies of personal documents such as passports, degrees, diplomas, certificates and references
  • Affidavits and declarations including statutory declarations
  • Company constitutions and other company documents
  • Certificates of law
  • Adoption applications
  • Birth, Death and Marriage certificates 
  • Certified language translations 
  • Divorce certificates or decrees issued by the Family Court of Australia 
  • ASIC Certificates of Incorporation of Australian companies 
  • No Impediment to Overseas Marriages certificates
  • Change of Name documents such as Deed Polls 
  • Commercial and corporate documents 
  • Doctors’ and dentists’ applications for overseas employment
  • International Affidavits, sworn statements and depositions 
  • Notarial certificates of Good Standing in respect of Australian companies 
  • Copy Passports, drivers licenses and other identity documents 
  • Australian original public documents for use overseas 
  • Original university, TAFE and secondary school degrees, certificates and transcripts certified by an authorised officer or copies certified by a Notary Public 
  • Police certificates issued by State or Federal Police attesting to the absence of a criminal record. 
  • Probate, Letters of Administration and deceased Estate documents 
  • Single Status certificates
  • Life certificates

Certification of Copy Documents

For example Passports, Educational Qualifications and Birth, Death and Marriage certificates.

Apostilles Advice

We can advise you about the requirement for an Apostille on a document and how to obtain this from the Department of Foreign 
Affairs and Trade. See our DFAT and Apostilles page for more information.

Consent to Travel Documents 

 Drafting and Notarisation of Consent to Travel Document (for when a child is travelling without one or both parents).