What is a Public Notary in Australia? Everything You Need To Know

What is a public notary?

A Public Notary is a public officer, usually a practicing solicitor, appointed for life by the Supreme Court of Western Australia, and given statutory powers to witness documents, administer oaths and perform other wide-ranging and useful administrative functions of a national and international nature.

Is a public notary the same as a justice of the peace?

No. The main difference between a Justice of Peace and a Public Notary is that a Justice of Peace is only recognised in Australia while a Public Notary is recognised in overseas jurisdictions. A Public Notary acts as a type of international Justice of the Peace.

What does a public notary do?

Among other things a Public Notary can witness the signing of important documents, administer oaths, witness affidavits and statutory declarations and certify documents to be true and correct copies of original documents both for national and international purposes.

Do public notaries charge a fee for witnessing people sign documents?

Yes. The fees charged by a Public notary are not only for the time taken in providing his or her certificate or the materials and seals used and supplied but is also intended to reflect the importance of the work undertaken and the high office and responsibility of the Public Notary in performing that service.

How much does a Public Notary charge?

A Public Notary may charge a fee for providing notarial services but that fee shall not exceed the fee for those services fixed from time to time by costs determination (as defined in section 252 of the Legal Profession Act 2008 (WA).

What is an apostille?

An apostille is the legal process by which a signature, stamp or seal on an official Australian public document is proved to be genuine by being checked and certified by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) against a specimen held on file.

How can I get an apostille for a document?

Notarised documents can only be apostilled by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT). Where can I find a public notary? You can visit the Public Notaries Society of Western Australia web page at www.notarieswa.com.au