APOSTILLES & AUTHENTICATIONS

What is an Apostille and an Authentication. Find out more and whether you need one –

blog-thumb8-3APOSTILLES & AUTHENTICATIONS

An Apostille is a certificate issued by a designated authority in a country where the Apostille Convention (properly named “Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents”), is in force. Apostille is French for “certificate”. In Australia Apostilles are issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Apostilles authenticate the seals and signatures of notaries public and on on public documents such as birth certificates, notarials, court orders, or any other document issued by a public authority, so that they can be recognized in foreign countries that are parties to the Convention.Foreign governments require proof that official documents and the notarial seal and signature of the notary appearing on documents are genuine. This is achieved by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade certifying the stamp and seal the notary which are held at the Department.

Authentications are a similar certificate issued by the Department verifying the signature and seal of the notary or the authenticity of an original document issued by a government official. Generally countries who are not signatories to the Apostille Convention require an authentication. The documents are generally then provided to the Embassy or Consulate of the country of destination for a further legalisation process required by that particular country.

If you have a document for use in more than one country you may need to have one bearing an Apostille and another bearing an Authentication.

The Notary, Randal Binnie can advise if an apostille or authentication is required in the country in which it is to be relied upon. However, you should always follow the direction of the country you are dealing with (either government departments or legal advisers) as sometimes apostilles and authentications may not be required. For example, in the United States of America some states require Apostilles (the US is a signatory to the Hague Convention) only in some circumstances eg where documents deal with or touch on land transactions or where documents require lodgement in a government department.

A list of countries that are parties to the Hague Apostille convention is set out below.  The official list can be found at this link here. You can find out more about Apostilles on Wikipedia and also on the HCCH website.

Albania
Andorra  
Antigua and Barbuda  
Argentina  
Armenia  
Australia  
Austria
Azerbaijan  
Bahamas  
Bahrain  
Barbados  
Belarus  
Belgium
Belize  
Bolivia  
Bosnia and Herzegovina  
Botswana  
Brazil  
Brunei Darussalam  
Bulgaria  
Burundi  
Cabo Verde  
Chile  
China, People’s Republic of  
Colombia  
Cook Islands  
Costa Rica  
Croatia  
Cyprus  
Czech Republic  
Denmark
Dominica  
Dominican Republic  
Ecuador  
El Salvador  
Estonia  
Fiji  
Finland
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia  
France
Georgia  
Germany
Greece
Grenada  
Guatemala  
Honduras  
Hungary  
Iceland
India  
Ireland
Israel  
Italy
Japan
Kazakhstan  
Korea, Republic of  
Kosovo  
Kyrgyzstan  
Latvia  
Lesotho  
Liberia  
Liechtenstein
Lithuania  
Luxembourg
Malawi  
Malta  
Marshall Islands  
Mauritius  
Mexico  
Monaco  
Mongolia  
Montenegro  
Morocco  
Namibia  
Netherlands
New Zealand  
Nicaragua  
Niue  
Norway
Oman  
Panama  
Paraguay  
Peru  
Poland  
Portugal
Republic of Moldova  
Romania  
Russian Federation  
Saint Kitts and Nevis  
Saint Lucia  
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  
Samoa  
San Marino  
Sao Tome and Principe  
Serbia  
Seychelles  
Slovakia  
Slovenia  
South Africa  
Spain
Suriname  
Swaziland  
Sweden
Switzerland
Tajikistan  
Tonga  
Trinidad and Tobago  
Tunisia  
Turkey
Ukraine  
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
United States of America  
Uruguay  
Uzbekistan  
Vanuatu  
Venezuela