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Telephone: 0435 588 775
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OF THE NOTARIAL ACT
The notarial act must usually be authenticated before it will
recognised and given effect in the state of destination.
Authentication may be by way of apostille
- The Convention
of 5 October 1961, Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for
Foreign Public Documents, known as The
Hague Apostille Convention
("the Convention"), provides a relatively simple method, for those
states in which the Convention is in force ("States Party"), for the
seals of notaries to be authenticated in the state of origin and
recognised, and given effect, in the state of destination.
- Australia is a State
Party to the Convention. In the case of
any document to be used in another State Party, authentication is
provided by way of "apostille".
a special certificate, provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs
and Trade ("DFAT"), for a fee. It is placed directly on the document
itself or on a separate attached page (called an "allonge").
- Information about
apostilles may be found in this
brochure, published by the Hague Conference on
Private International Law.
- The Hague Conference on
Private International Law maintains this
status table of "Contracting Parties" to the Convention.
- The Adelaide office
DFAT is at 5th Floor, Allianz House, 55 Currie Street,
Adelaide. Appointments for apostilles and
authentications are mandatory and are available only between
8.30am and 1.00pm on weekdays
(excluding public holidays). The telephone number for
appointments is 1300 935 260. The service is subject
to a 24-hour turnaround. More information is
available at the Smartraveller website.
- In the case of
any document to be used in a state of destination which is not a State
Party to the Convention, authentication is provided by
way of legalisation.
process entails two stages
following the notarial act:
authenticates the notary's signature and seal, by the provision of a
certificate, called an "authentication", either placed directly on the
document itself or on an
diplomatic or consular mission of the state of destination then
The process can be
protracted and expensive,
especially if the state of destination has no diplomatic or
representation in Australia, or if its legalisation procedures are
opaque or onerous.
- Lists of foreign high
commissions, embassies and consulates in Australia are on the DFAT website.
Countries and jurisdictions which do not require
authentication of Australian
- Most states which
are members of The Commonwealth, or are British
Overseas Territories, do not require any form of authentication of an
notary's signature and seal. Notable exceptions are Bangladesh, Cyprus,
India, Kenya, Pakistan and South Africa.
- The various
the United States of America have different
requirements, dependant on the nature and purpose of the document
concerned. For example, some US states do not require an apostille
the document relates to real estate or is permitted or required to be
registered or recorded in any municipal, county or state office.