Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s the difference between a Notary and a Justice of the Peace? A Queensland JP can certify and attest documents for this State, or by recognition statutes, other parts of Australia. A Notary is required to certify and attest documents for use around the world.
What’s the difference between a Notary and a Solicitor / Lawyer? It depends on the country, given the notarial branch of the legal profession is probably the oldest. In Australia and other common law countries the role of Notary bears similarities to both solicitor and JP, generally in regard to international certification and attestation but also in drawing up documents. In civil law countries the notarial role is more domestic and inquisitorial in nature.
Do you draft up documents to be used overseas? Not generally, as this work should be done by a lawyer with knowledge of both law and procedure for the country in which the documents are to be used. Once made, we can notarise the documents. It is best the lawyer is in the destination country but for a list of local lawyers speaking languages other than English, click here.
Can you advise me on how these documents should be used overseas? We do advise on the notarial work but you should get assistance from a professional (usually a lawyer or notary) in the destination country about what is required there. Unfortunately, with so many nations around the world we could never know the law and procedure for everywhere.
Do I need to prove my identity to you? Yes you do need to prove identity (ID) to us, by photo ID. This is usually by producing your passport, national ID card or Australian drivers licence for our inspection. Secondary ID includes your birth certificate, Centrelink or Medicare card.
Do I also need a notary certified copy of identification? For simple matters – usually yes. For formal Apostille / Authentications – always yes. As much as you need to prove identity (ID) to us, formal proof is likely required by other interested parties to your documents. If in doubt, ask a lawyer or notary in the destination country about what is needed. Proof of ID is generally a notary certified copy of your passport, national ID card or drivers licence. If the document mentions an ID number, that is the one we need to see.
Can you arrange for the documents to be sent to DFAT? We can, but it is quicker and cheaper for clients to make those arrangements themselves. Look at our Apostilles page for how it can be done either by post or in person.
How much are your fees – simple matters? For simple matters our fees are $100 for the first document and $50 per document thereafter plus GST. Rememember a certified copy of ID is usually requried too.
How much are your fees – for formal Apostille / Authentications? For notarial certificates (for use with Apostille or Authentication) it is $100 for the certificate, $50 for certified copy of ID and $50 per document thereafter plus GST.
What if I have a large bundle of documents? For large volume matters, we are happy to agree a reasonable, fixed fee.
Do I need to make an appointment? Yes. Generally we take appointments between 9.30 and 11.30 am.