Notarizing documents in Australia
The American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Consulates General provides notary services for those persons wishing to execute documents in the presence of a U.S. consular officer. This service is available to both American and foreign citizens who need to have documents notarized for use in the United States.
Please note, the United States and Australia are signatories to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. The convention removes the requirement of diplomatic or consular legalization of foreign public documents and replaces it with an Apostille. It is possible to have documents notarized by a local notary public for use in the United States if the notary public's signature is authenticated with an Apostille. An Apostille can only be provided by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Please refer to lists below for Australian Notaries Public currently on file with the U.S. Consulate General. Document notarized by an Australian Notary for use in the U.S. requires an Apostille to be affixed:
- Notaries Public in New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory
- Notaries Public in the Northern Territory
- Notaries Public in Queensland
- Notaries Public in South Australia
- Notaries Public in Tasmania
- Notaries Public in Victoria
- Notaries Public in Western Australia
- An additional public list of Australian Notaries, which is not maintained by the Department of State, can also be found at http://www.notarylocator.com.au/.
Please note that Australian Justices of the Peace are not recognized in the U.S.
Types of Notarial Services
An Acknowledgement of Execution is a notarial service which verifies that a particular person signed a given document. To "acknowledge" is to admit, affirm, or declare; to recognize one's acts, assuming obligation or incurring responsibility. It is often used for legal agreements, deeds, powers of attorney, bills of sale, and business documents. It is also used when more than two signatures are required on the document but all of the parties who must sign are not present. We can notarize (or acknowledge) only the signatures of those who are present to sign in front of us and who have proven their identity.
An Affidavit is a sworn statement, made by you. Affidavits may be used in many different situations for many different purposes. We cannot advise you on the specific language needed in your Affidavit; please consult a lawyer or other advisor for that type of assistance before coming to see us to notarize the document.
Notary Services NOT provided by the American Citizens Services section
- Authentication of a Public Notary’s seal and signature
The United States and Australia are signatories to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. The convention removes the requirement of diplomatic or consular legalization of foreign public documents and replaces them with an Apostille. An Apostille can only be provided by the host country’s Government. Please refer to Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website to obtain an Apostille.
- Medallion Signature Guarantees
U.S. Consular Officers are not authorized to provide signature guarantee/medallion stamp guarantee service. Only a financial institution participating in the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) medallion signature guarantee program is authorized to affix a medallion imprint. Please refer to the Securities Exchange Commission or your financial institution for further information.
- Certified Copies of Documents NOT Issued by the Department of State
For certified true copies of non-Department of State documents, please refer to the relevant issuing authority or office:
- Australian Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce certificates — Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages
- U.S. Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce certificates — Vital Records for your State
- School/University certificates, degrees, academic transcripts etc. — contact the school or university
- Other non-Department of State documents — contact the issuing authority
The American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Consulate General provides notary services for those persons wishing to execute documents in the presence of a U.S. consular officer. For us to notarize your documents, you must:
- Make an appointment. All services are provided by appointment only;
- Bring a government-issued photo ID, such as a valid passport or current Australian or U.S driver’s license;
- Ensure that you understand the contents of the document. A Consular Officer cannot explain it to you;
- Have completed the document with the appropriate names, places and dates. Do not sign the document - you are required to sign it at the Consulate in front of the Consul;
- Supply witnesses, if your document requires the presence of witnesses;
- Pay the appropriate notarial fee at the Consulate.
For more information on notarial and authentication services please refer to the Department of State’s website.
Notarization Through the Consulates
The U.S. Consulates General provide notary services for people wishing to execute documents in the presence of a U.S. consular officer. This service is available to both American and foreign citizens who require documents notarized for use in the United States. Appointments for notary services must be scheduled via our online appointment system.
Alternatively, documents can be notarized by an Australian notary for use in the United States. This is a two-step process:
Step 1: Have your documents executed in front of an Australian Notary Public. See here for your nearest Notary Public.
Step 2: Have the signature and seal of the Notary Public authenticated by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) by means of an Apostille. DFAT can apply an Apostille to Australian vital records (birth, death, and marriage certificates; probate documents; all documents certified by court officials, the Patent Office, and Companies Registration Office, etc.). This Apostille will make the notarization of this document legal in the United States under the conditions of the Hague Convention. Please contact the office, or representative, requesting these documents to ensure that an Apostille applied under the conditions of the Hague Convention is acceptable.
For further details, please refer to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website to obtain an Apostille.