Authentication of Documents

It is sometimes insufficient simply to have a document certified by a Notary. In those cases the Notarial Act must be submitted to a government authentication process. This is designed to give the overseas party relying on the document greater assurance that the Notary purporting to deal with the document holds office in the jurisdiction and can be relied upon. It is in effect a double check on the Notary's position and authority.

Broadly speaking there are two methods by which Notarial Acts are authenticated by the New Zealand Government. Those documents to be used in countries that are signatories to the Hague Convention will be authenticated by apostille. This is a standard form of certificate settled by the Convention attesting to the position of the Notary and the validity of the Notarial Act.

In other cases where an apostille is not used, a more elaborate system of authentication is required whereby the Department of Internal affairs certifies to the validity of the Notarial Act and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade then certifies the certificate of Internal Affairs.

It is important to understand what is required in each case because the time taken to authenticate documents can mean that there is delay in having a notarised document released for use overseas.

For a full explanation of the Department of Internal Affairs' requirements for authentication, click here.

For more information or to make an appointment for a notarial matter, click here.     

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