What is an ‘authentication’?

Notarisations, legalisations, apostilles – we have discussed previously what these terms mean and when you might need to understand the differences between these terms, but how about ‘authentication’?  What is an ‘authentication’?

In addition to its apostille certification work, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) can also certify that a Notary Public’s signature, stamp or seal on an Australian public document is genuine by providing, amongst other things, a certificate or stamp in the form of an ‘Authentication’.

Whether your document needs to be authenticated will depend on whether the relevant country (i.e. country where the document is going or being presented) is a signatory to the Hague Convention.  If it is not, then generally it will need to be authenticated.  If it is, then it will need an apostille.

To check whether a country is a signatory to the Hague Convention, see here.

In all cases, it’s best to check with the relevant Consulate or Embassy about the particular country’s requirements before you visit a Notary Public or DFAT so as to save yourself time and money.

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