What is an apostille?

Using your document overseas

Apostille – pronounced  a-pos-teel.

Before a public document can be used in another country, its origin may need to be authenticated with an apostille.

In Australia, apostilles are issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and are recognized by each of the 86 countries that are signatories to the Hauge Convention.

An apostille certifies the authenticity of the signature or seal of the person or authority that signed or sealed the public document and the capacity in which this was done, it does not certify the contents of the document. In the case of a one page document , the apostille certificate may be stuck to the back of the original document that was submitted.

Common Documents needing an apostille

Common documents which need an apostille include:-

  • birth certificates, including ceremonial certificates and extracts
  • marriage certificates (excluding ceremonial certificates)
  • death certificates
  • Single Status or Record of No Result certificates
  • court documents, including Divorce Certificates
  • Police Criminal Record Checks or Fingerprint Reports
  • Australian citizenship certificate or International Movement Record (Department of Home Affairs)
  • Australian government commercial documents (e.g. ASIC, ATO or TGA documents)
  • Patents
  • Notarial attestations (acknowledgments) of signatures

DFAT only accepts original documents, or copies of documents notarised by an Australian Notary Public.

Any translations must be completed, certified and signed by a translator certified or recognised by NAATI (the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters).

How to Lodge

Before making an appointment to obtain an apostille, firstly you should check that the document is complete and where necessary has been properly executed.  Secondly, confirm with the person needing the document overseas that an apostille is required.

And even though documents can be lodged by mail, because they are often originals the better practice is to lodge at DFAT in person.

The current DFAT charge for an apostille is $85.00 (April 2021).  Time and/or mailing costs also need to be factored in.


If you need assistance with getting an apostille or are in need of notarial services, please contact us.


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