Authentications and Apostilles
Overseas governments sometimes need proof that Australian documents, or the signatures of Australian officials on documents, are genuine before they will accept them. We are able to certify that a signature, stamp or seal on a document is genuine by checking it against a specimen held on file, and then stamping the document with an Authentication or Apostille.
This is a legal process. We will only issue stamps once we are satisfied the signature, stamp or seal on a document is not fraudulent. Instances of attempted fraud in the past mean that we need to be cautious about issuing an Authentication or Apostille.
Which stamp do I need, an Authentication or an Apostille?
That depends on the country you are dealing with.
- As a general rule, countries that are party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents require an Apostille on documents which qualify as Australian public documents. A full list of countries that are party to this convention can be found at the Hague Conference on Private International Law website.
- Documents going to countries that are not party to the Hague Convention generally require an Authentication. These countries include China, Vietnam and most of the Middle East.
Please check with the government of the country concerned to find out which stamp you need, and which documents (if any) you need to have stamped. This advice can only be provided by the overseas government you are dealing with, or with those countries that have embassies and/or consulates in Australia.
How do I get an Authentication or Apostille?
You need to give us a document with an original signature, seal or stamp on it. That means either the original document or a notarised copy. We can stamp any official Australian Government document with an original signature, stamp or seal on it.
If the document is not an official Australian Government document (such as legal documents or medical certificates) the document (or a copy of it) must be notarised by an Australian Notary Public (Notaries are senior legal practitioners who authenticate, prepare, attest, witness and certify original and copy legal documents for use overseas.) before you bring it to us.
In Western Australia, documents to be authenticated can be certified by Australian Public Notaries, Western Australian Justices of the Peace and Federal, State or Local Government officials if the document is issued by their agency.
- Translated documents must either be notarised by an Australian Notary Public, or have been translated and signed/stamped by the accredited translating service - the National Authority for Accredited Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). If you are dealing with a private translation company, please ensure the translator signs the document and that they include their NAATI details.
- All business documents must be notarised or certified by the relevant chamber of commerce/industry or notarised by an Australian Notary Public.
- Marriage Certificates must be issued by the Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages.
- All tertiary education documents must be signed by an Australian Notary Public or signed and stamped by the central Student Administration area of the issuing institution. Please note that some universities will not sign and stamp their documents, in which case the document must be notarised by an Australian Notary Public.
If you need your document bound with a ribbon and seal, the document must be signed on every page by the person whose signature we are authenticating (ie. a bound document must carry the same signature of the same Australian Notary Public or Government Official on every page). Binding costs $20.00 extra.
You may wish to have your document bound by an Australian Notary Public instead before you bring it to us for the Apostille or Authentication. Please check with the receiving country if they will accept a Notary Public's binding.
How much does it cost?
- Apostille: AUD $60 per single-sided one page document
- Authentication: AUD $20 per single-sided one page document
- Binding: AUD $20 per document in addition to the above charge (for double sided one page documents and documents of two or more pages)
Where to obtain an authentication or apostille
Documents can be lodged and collected at Level 17, Exchange Plaza, Sherwood Court, Perth. Our counter hours are 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday. No appointment is required.
In most cases, documents can be processed in 24 hours (available the next working day). There may be a delay if we do not have a specimen signature on file of the person who has signed your document (this means we will need to verify their signature).
Documents can also be sent via post. Please include your contact details, return postal address and an indication of which country the documents are intended for. You will also need to include a bank cheque or money order made payable to the "Collector of Public Monies" or your credit card details (we take Visa and MasterCard).
Our address is:
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
GPO Box D196
PERTH WA 6001
The cost of returning your document by ordinary post is included in the fee. Please include a self-addressed Registered or Express Post envelope if you wish your document to be returned to you via either of these methods.
If you are overseas and wish to have your document returned by Express Courier International (ECI) (Australia Post) please include additional payment of:
- AU$41.60 - USA/Canada/Middle East
- AU$44.30 - Europe/rest of the world
Please note all payment must be in Australian dollars
For further information please call us on (08) 9231 4499 or e-mail email@example.com