How to Notarise a Document

A notarised document is a document signed in front of and witnessed by a Notary Public. These documents are often created in Australia and used overseas. A power of attorney for an overseas country such as India or Colombia are good examples. Other common requests include the notarisation of bank statements and identity documents.

Notary Publics in Australia charge a service fee.

Questions? Read on or Call 03 8648 6541 or text 0483 045 589 (7 Days).

Can your firm prepare Notarised Documents?

Our firm focuses on preparing Notarial Certificates for you to use overseas. If you require legal documents to be drawn up that can be used in another country, we suggest that it is preferable that you try to obtain the services of a lawyer in the country in which you intend to use that particular document.

For example, if you require a Power of Attorney document, a lawyer in the country in which you intend to use the document will be able to draft the Power of Attorney in accordance with that country’s laws.

Whilst it is possible to download forms and templates from the Internet in order to devise documents for use overseas, we suggest that you contact a lawyer for advice before making any changes.

In the event that you do not engage the services of a lawyer in the overseas’ jurisdiction where the document will be produced, and you ask us to prepare the document for you to use outside Australia, we do not accept responsibility for the document’s validity and acceptability, or consequences that may arise from the use of the document. Our firm will be unable to ascertain whether the document will be legally enforceable, and you will have to make your own enquiries to satisfy yourself whether you have met the requirements of the host country.

Do my documents need to be in English or in any other language?

The language your documents are required to be written in will vary from country to country. It is most likely that each document should be written or translated into one of the official languages of the country in question.

In the event that a Notary Public is required to verify that you have understood the contents of a particular document, it will be necessary for that document to be written or translated into English. Documents will also be required to be written or translated into English if the Notary needs to understand its contents.

Whenever you require your legal documents to be translated, it is good idea to hire a NAATI accredited translator to be complete the translation. You can find an accredited translator by visiting the NAATI website at

Can you supply stamp paper or bonded paper?

As bonded or stamp paper is not generally available in Australia, most Notaries are unable to supply or print legal documents on this type of paper.

In some countries, (for example, India) certain legal documents are required to be printed on the green paper-type and/or on prepaid duty paper. Our clients’ experience has shown us that if documents prepared by a Solicitor overseas are printed in Australia using A4-size paper, then these documents may need to be formally stamped or marked by the relevant authority in the host country after the required duty has been paid.

If it is necessary for your legal documents to be printed on stamped or bonded paper, you will need to arrange for your overseas lawyer to prepare and send you a hard copy of these documents by mail.

However, this firm does have green “legal” sized paper to assist clients, particularly from India, who require Powers of Attorney and the like on the requisite “green” paper.

Does your firm have any document templates or sample wording that clients can use?

As each country uses different documents and legal wordings, our firm is generally unable to provide clients with standard document templates that would be suitable. However, for Indian clients we are able to assist with draft Powers of Attorney which can be printed on green legal paper.

Some clients have successfully downloaded and used templates from the Internet when requiring legal documents for overseas use. But it is important to be aware that information found on the Internet is not always reliable. For this reason, our firm suggests to clients that any legal documents should be prepared by a lawyer in the country where the documents will be used. This gives you the confidence that the documents prepared for you are legally valid within that country and that you will not incur unnecessary delays or costs.

Can I print my documents from my email or USB stick at your office?

Our firm currently implements a strict IT policy. It states that in order to protect our computer network from viruses and malware that downloading and accessing data from unfamiliar sources is prohibited.

Your documents will need to be printed before you visit one of our offices. Our office in the Melbourne CBD is close to many print shops including Snap Printing, Kwik Kopy and Officeworks. Alternatively, you may prefer to print your documents at a local Internet café close to our office.

Can documents be notarised electronically?

Currently, it is not possible to notarise a document digitally. In Australia, all documents must be in physical form (i.e. paper) in order to be notarised. Any documents you wish to have notarised must be printed and bought with you to your appointment.

The issue of electronic notarisation has been raised with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) but DFAT has yet to consider the subject.

Can my documents be bound for me?

When your documents have multiple pages and must be legalised through the issuing of an Apostille or authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), we will bind your documents for you. A Notarial Certificate will be included with each binding.

As DFAT charges a different fee for bound documents, it may be cheaper to submit a bound document for legalisation than stamping each page individually. To find out more about the binding of documents, please visit: DFAT

Before going ahead and binding your document, we will discuss with you the different options so that you can choose the most cost-effective solution, while ensuring that your document will be legally recognised in the host country.

When I require certified copies of my original document, should I bring my own copies?

It is possible for us to copy your documents in our office or outsource the copying of larger, complex documents to local print shops on your behalf. Please be aware if we are required to outsource the copying of your documents, this additional cost will be charged to you as an out of pocket expense. Alternatively, you may prefer to arrange the copying of larger documents at a local printer close to you or one of our offices.

Can someone else bring the documents or do I need to present when the documents are notarised?

You will be required to attend in person when the document to be notarised bears your signature and the Notary Public needs to witness the signing of the document. However, you may send someone else if you only require a certified true copy of an original document.

Regardless, whether you personally attend or send another person on your behalf, that person will be required to have their identity verified for our records. In order for a person to have their identity verified they must produce personal photograph identification, for example, an Australian drivers licence or passport.

I have already signed a document that needs to be witnessed. Can my document still be notarised?

Your document can still be notarised but you will need to sign it again in front of Notary Public so that s/he can witness your signature. Even though a re-signed document may still be legally valid in the host country, it may cause confusion and lead to the document being rejected. For this reason, you may prefer to reprint the document so that it only signed and witnessed one time.

Our Notary Public can provide you with a Notarial Certificate for the document. The certificate will confirm that the document is a certified original or certified true copy of the original document but that the Notary Public did not witness the signing of the document.