- witnessing of signatures;
- administering of affidavits;
- certifying of photographs and identity; and
- issuing of Certificates of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI).
Our offices provide in-person services at different times and BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Information on scheduling an appointment at your preferred location can be found in the table below.
When scheduling your appointment, be clear and upfront about the service(s) you require. Some services can only be performed by certain staff, who may otherwise be unavailable.
|Where||When and How|
|Washington DC||Schedule your appointment online (choose 'Notarials, Washington DC' and select the service(s) you require).|
|Chicago||Email Chicago@dfat.gov.au with the details of the service you require and your days of availability.|
|Honolulu||Schedule your appointment online.|
|Houston||Please call +1 832 962 8420 at least 48 hours in advance.|
|Los Angeles||Tuesday to Thursday between 3pm and 4pm - schedule your appointment online.|
|New York||Schedule your appointment online.|
|San Francisco||Please call +1 415 644 3620 at least 48 hours in advance.|
** Note: the Honorary Consulates in Denver and Miami DO NOT provide notarial services.
Monitor your phone and email after making your appointment - we may contact you to obtain further information to ensure that we can perform the service you require and to allow us to prepare for your appointment.
Failure to provide this information within the required timeframe may result in your appointment being cancelled.
Before attending your appointment, make sure that you’ve confirmed requirements with the requesting authority (or sought legal advice) and correctly prepared any/all forms and documents you need.
If you arrive without clear instructions or something you need, it's likely we won’t be able to proceed and you will need to make another appointment.
At a minimum, you will also need to bring with you
- your Australian or foreign passport and other forms of government-issued ID bearing or linking your name, photograph and signature; and
- your Visa, Mastercard or Discover card for payment (see 'Fees and Payment' below).
Refer to the relevant service(s) below for further information.
We can witness signatures on Australian documents overseas, including, but not limited to,
- statutory declarations;
- applications to renew Australian drivers licences;
- documents relating to the sale or transfer of property in Australia;
- Notice of Intended Marriage forms (for marriage in Australia);
- applications for Certificates of No Impediment to Marriage; and
- Powers of Attorney.
We CANNOT witness signatures on overseas documents.
Most documents requiring you to sign in front of an authorised witness contain specific instructions. Read those instructions carefully.
If there are no instructions, confirm the requirements with the requesting authority or seek independent legal advice. If a document is not witnessed correctly, it may be invalid.
In some cases, you may not even require our services - a local notary public or similarly authorised person, such as an attorney or police officer, may be able to witness your signature.
DO NOT SIGN YOUR DOCUMENT(S) BEFORE ATTENDING YOUR APPOINTMENT. We need to witness you sign.
We also need to confirm your identity by sighting valid government-issued ID that bears both your photograph and signature. This can be in the form of your Australian passport or driver’s licence, your foreign passport or driver’s licence, or a combination of identity documents linking your name, photograph and signature.
We can witness you sign your affidavit and administer the oath (a religious statement) or affirmation (a non-religious statement) confirming that the statement contained within is the truth.
Oaths and affirmations are legally equivalent - which you choose to make is up to you, but it must be meaningful to you and binding on your conscience.
If you choose to swear an oath, we ask that you provide your own religious text or item of religious significance.
If you need or prefer to make an oath or affirmation in a language other than English, you must be accompanied by an independent translator.
Because an affidavit is a legally binding statement of fact to be presented as evidence in Australian court or other legal proceedings, we strongly encourage you to seek legal advice before attending your appointment. Your lawyer should provide clear instructions regarding what is needed.
We also encourage you to confirm requirements with the receiving authority. If your affidavit contains attachments and/or is more than one page, we will bind the document. This may be unacceptable to some receiving authorities, meaning you may need to explore alternative options.
Some organisations may ask you to have a photograph certified (e.g. to assist in the renewal of your Australian driver's licence).
We can certify photographs for use in Australia ONLY. If your photograph is for use elsewhere, you will need to have your photograph certified by some other authority.
For us to certify your photograph, you must
- be physically present;
- present valid government-issued photo ID or a combination of identity documents linking your name and photograph; and
- satisfy us that you are the individual appearing in the photo.
When certifying photographs, we will state ONLY that the photograph is “a true likeness of [your name]”. We cannot and will not alter this wording. If the receiving authority requires a different form of words, you will need to have your photograph certified by an alternate provider.
Some organisations may ask you to have your identity certified or verified (e.g. when buying or selling property in Australia or opening a bank account, or for business or employment-related purposes), often in combination with another service(s).
We can verify your identity using the DFAT Identity Certificate ONLY - we cannot and will not complete or sign any other document to verify your identity.
Before attending your appointment, contact the receiving authority to confirm whether they will accept the DFAT Identity Certificate. If not, you will need to have your identity verified by a local notary public or similarly authorised person.
In order to confirm your identity, we will need to sight and certify copies of valid photo ID that satisfies us that you are you.
Contact the receiving authority to confirm what identity documents are acceptable. Typically, they include your Australian passport or driver’s licence, your foreign passport or driver’s licence, or a combination of identity documents that link your name and photograph.
There is no additional charge for the DFAT Identity Certificate but normal fees apply for accompanying services.
Current fees can be found on our Notarial services page.
If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident planning to marry overseas, you may be asked to provide a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI).
You may also be asked to provide other evidence or documentation from Australia. Depending on your circumstances, this could include your birth certificate, divorce certificate, or your deceased partner’s death certificate.
Before attending your appointment, contact the receiving authority to confirm exactly what you require. Your marriage celebrant (or similar) may also be able to assist.
Rules and requirements vary across (and even within) countries. In some cases, you may not need a CNI. In others, you may need a CNI from the Australian Embassy or Consulate-General located in the country where you plan to marry.
You may also need your CNI or supporting documentation Apostilled or Authenticated. In that case, an additional fee(s) will apply.
To apply for a CNI, you (the applicant) must be present. You must also
- be an Australian citizen or permanent resident;
- present circumstance-specific supporting documentation pertaining to both you AND your partner; and
- complete an Application for Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI).
DO NOT SIGN THE APPLICATION BEFORE ATTENDING YOUR APPOINTMENT. We must witness you sign at the time you submit your application.
Processing times vary. Depending on the location at which you apply, you may need to wait while we review your application and issue the CNI or return at a later time or date to collect it.
If neither is an option, we can send the CNI to you via FedEx (cost USD $15). You can also provide a prepaid self-addressed FedEx label or USPS envelope at the time of your application (note: we cannot accept UPS labels).
Fees vary each month, depending on fluctuations in the exchange rate. Current fees can be found on our Notarial services page.
In the United States, fees for notarial services are payable by Visa, Mastercard or Discover Card in US dollars only - payments by cash and cheque are not accepted.