A notary (also referred to as a notary public or public notary) is a practising lawyer appointed by Statute or Commission to hold a unique public office. They have the internationally recognised power and authority to prepare certificates of Australian law. This includes documents such as contracts and deeds, authenticated by his or her signature and official seal, in a manner which renders them acceptable to the judicial or other public authorities in the countries in which they are produced.
A notary public also has the authority to administer oaths to the effect that a person signing a legal document was in fact, under oath when doing so. Notaries also perform other administrative functions of an international nature, and can provide official verification of the identities of the signing parties enough to satisfy the Courts and to verify statements made as accurate and therefore, legally binding.
What does a Notary do?
- attests documents and certifies the execution of the documents.
- prepares and certifies certain legal documents.
- administers oaths, witnesses affidavits, statutory declarations and other documents. certifies copies of the documents.
What is an Apostille?
In Australia, an apostille is a certificate issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) certifying that a document has been notarised by a notary public. An apostille will only be recognised in a country that is a party to the Hauge Apostille Convention. To obtain an apostille, you must first contact a notary public to notarise your documents.
What is Authentication?
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will authenticate notarised documents by certifying that the documents were notarised by a notary public. Once DFAT have authenticated the document, you must take that authenticated document to the relevant consulate or embassy before it can be sent to the intended country for use.