To comply with foreign requirements, Australian documents sometimes need additional government legalisation before they can be used overseas. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provides a number of legalisation services to help Australian documents meet the requirements of foreign governments. If you have an Australian document that needs to be used in a foreign country or by a foreign government, you will need to contact that country's embassy to check what their requirements are.
The services that DFAT can provide depend on whether you and your documents are in Australia, or already overseas.
Within Australia, DFAT state and territory or passport offices are authorised to provide the following services:
- issuing of Certificates of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI) (including witnessing the signature on the application form)
- legalisations of documents (Apostilles and Authentications)
Overseas, most Australian Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates are authorised to provide the following services:
- witnessing and taking of affidavits, oaths or affirmations
- witnessing you signing Commonwealth statutory declarations and other Commonwealth forms (some state government forms and private sector forms are also allowed to be witnessed by DFAT staff)
- witnessing applications forms for, and issuing of, Certificates of No Impediment to marriage (CNI)
- witnessing notices of intended marriage
- performing authentication of signature and/or seals on Australian public documents
- certifying true copies of documents (that are either Australian or intended for use in Australia) or photographs (needed to accompany Australian forms)
Apostilles can only be issued by DFAT in Australia, and cannot be issued by Australian embassies, high commissions or consulates overseas.
For more information about these processes, click on the relevant box below.