5. Certifying copies and witnessing documents

5.1 Certifying copies

Officers in State and Territory offices should not certify documents as being true copies of an original document (unless the Department is the author of the original document).

Clients seeking certified copies of documents for use overseas should be referred to a Notary Public or, where applicable, the government authority that issued the document. The Department may then subsequently be able to authenticate or place an Apostille on the document. Clients should be informed that it is their own responsibility to determine whether a certified copy of a document will be acceptable in the receiving country.

Officers at overseas posts may certify copies of documents in limited circumstances in accordance with the provisions of the Consular Handbook.

The Fee prescribed by the Consular Fees Act should be collected.

5.2 Witnessing signatures

State and Territory offices need not, ordinarily, witness signatures. Clients should be referred to their lawyer or a Justice of the Peace (if the document is to be used overseas, the client should be referred to an authority whose signature the Department can authenticate or issue an Apostille on).

It is acceptable however to witness signatures on Certificates of No Impediment to Marriage if you are witnessing in the capacity of permanent public servant with five or more years service. A fee should not be charged for signing in this capacity.

Officers at overseas posts may witness signatures in accordance with the provisions of the Consular Handbook.

The Fee prescribed by the Consular Fees Act should be collected.

Previous | Table of contents | Next