Authorities overseas need to know if they can trust a document when they receive it. It is very easy to forge documents and so a system was devised to ensure documents and signatures were verified. Apostilles are issued by governments and put the faith of government in the validity of document. Documents issued by the Australian Government such as Passports and Birth Certificates only need an Apostille to be used overseas. All other documents will need to be notarised before they can be apostilled. In this way a foreign entity can say they trust the Australian Government so they can trust the notary so they can trust the document.

In Australia a public notary is a lawyer who has been practising law for a minimum of 5 years. The lawyer must attend training and pass a test to become a Notary Public. There are two main functions a Notary performs:
1. Verify documents are true
2. Verify signatures are signed by a verified person

Generally it is only government issued documents such as passports and birth certificates that can be apostilled without being notarised. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade keep a list of all the government documents which do not need to be notarized before they are apostilled. Government issued pay slips for example must be notarized. If your do not need to have your signature witnessed then you can send your original documents with copies to be notarized and then apostilled. If you need your signature witnessed you will need to arrange a time with one of our notaries to witness your signature. Please give us a call today to arrange a time to talk with a notary.