What is an “Apostille”?

In 1995, Australia became a contracting State to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (or Apostille Convention of 5 October 1961). Notarised documents for use in countries that have also signed up to the Convention no longer need to be legalised, but are instead sealed with an “Apostille”.

All members of the European Union (including the United Kingdom) have signed up to the Convention.  So, too, has India, South Korea, Japan, the United States of America, Hong Kong, New Zealand and many other countries.  To check whether, a country has ratified the Convention, see here.

An Apostille is a special kind of certificate provided by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (‘DFAT’). It confirms (among other things) that the Notary’s seal and signature matches the Notary’s seal and signature on their records.  An Apostille looks like this:


Obtaining an Apostille from DFAT means you do not need to get separate confirmation from a Consulate or Embassy of the relevant foreign country to complete the authentication of your notarised document (so-called ‘legalisation’ – see here).

Our Notaries’ seals are on file with DFAT and we can help you arrange for DFAT to issue you an Apostille in respect of a document notarised by us.

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