Legalisations (Authentications and Apostilles)
Some foreign authorities may request a document to be issued with an Apostille or an Authentication (legalisation) certificate. Legalisation verifies that the signature, stamp, or seal on it is genuine. We can legalise Australian documents for use overseas.
Authentication or Apostilles
The Australian government legalises documents by issuing either an apostille or authentication certificate. We apply either an apostille or authentication certificate to the original document you supply (we cannot legalise copies of documents). The apostille or authentication certificate verifies the signature, stamp, or seal on the original document, or that of the Notary Public for documents they have notarised. We cannot advise which one you need. You must ask the receiving authority overseas which one they will accept.
Documents we can legalise
We can legalise many types of documents for use overseas. Documents must be Australian public documents. This means documents that are:
- originals issued by an Australian government agency or official
- originals issued by an Australian educational institution
- copies notarised by an Australian Notary Public
We can only legalise private documents once they have been notarised by an Australian Notary Public. If a document is notarised, it becomes a 'public document'. Please visit Smartraveller for more information on the types of documents we can legalise.
Preparing your documents
- Ask the overseas authority which documents they need. Ask them which ones you must also get legalised. Consulate staff cannot advise clients of foreign requirements.
- Find out if you will need either an apostille or an authentication for your documents. Consulate staff cannot advise.
- Confirm the documents are eligible for legalising by DFAT. If in doubt, contact us first.
- If your documents are not eligible as-is, you may need to get them notarised first. Find a Notary Public in Australia. Send your document to them. Once notarised, we can legalise it.
Is an Appointment required?
Legalisations can be completed by mail/post. Complete the Notarial Services Request and Payment Form here. The processing time is two business days. Your documents can either be mailed to you (postage fees apply) or collected in person at an appointment.
If your original document is electronic, you must provide your document in its original electronic form. DFAT can only issue an Authentication or Apostille certificate on a copy we have printed ourselves directly from the source. You may be asked to log in to a portal while at an appointment to prove the authenticity of the document or have the issuing authority send the document directly to us before your appointment. Scanned copies are not electronic documents for our purposes and cannot be accepted. If your original document is electronic, you must provide your document in its original electronic form. DFAT can only issue an Authentication or Apostille certificate on a copy we have printed ourselves directly from the source. Documents we can legalise | Smartraveller
Educational Documents - Special rules apply to the legalisation of educational documents. More information can be found at: Documents we can legalise