Australian Consulate-General
Guangzhou
China

Notarial Service

Notarial Service

 

If you have any questions, the best point of contact is by email: consular.guangzhou@dfat.gov.au

 

Some Australian Federal and State laws require that a signature on a document be witnessed by an Australian consular officer or have other procedures applied before the document can be used for legal purposes, or in an Australian court of law. These procedures are called “notarial services”. Solicitors, justices of the peace, and notaries public normally perform these functions in Australia. It is also possible for solicitors, justices of the peace or notaries public  in China to also perform these services.

Notarial services are provided by consular officers for Australians. They are also provided in cases where the documents are Australian in origin, or are intended for use in Australia, or have been requested by an Australian Federal, State or Local Government authority.  We are unable to provide notarial services related to visa or migration, please refer to our Visas and migration page of our website for further information.

Notarial services are provided by appointment only. Appointment times depend on the service you require. We are not able to witness all documents, so to avoid disappointment, please read the below information carefully before attending the Consulate.

Consular staff cannot provide advice on specific legal requirements, including what documents need to be signed or certified.  Papers should be presented to officers in an ordered fashion and clear instructions should be given on your particular requirements.  If you are unsure of the legislative requirements relating to witnessing signatures on a particular document, you should seek independent legal advice. Please note, by witnessing a signature on a document, neither the Australian Government nor the Australian Consulate-General guarantees the legal effectiveness of the document or the accuracy of its contents.

Please visit the following website for further information on notarial services overseas: www.smartraveller.gov.au/services/legalising-documents-overseas.html

 

Appointments can be booked via https://acggz.setmore.com/.

Please bring photographic identification with you to your appointment.

Book an appointment using SetMore

 

There are some documents that we are not authorised to witness. To avoid disappointment and to ensure you book the correct time, you must email us the documents you would like notarised at least one week before your appointment day – email: consular.guangzhou@dfat.gov.au .

Name

Type of Service

Appointment Time

Ordinary Notarial Services

  Commonwealth of Australia Statutory Declarations (not State and Territory Statutory Declarations. For more information click here)

  Notices of Intended Marriage

•  Applications forms for, and issuing of, Certificates of No Impediment (CNI)

  Certified True Copies of original document/s

•  Performing Authentication/Apostille of signatures and/or seals

•  Some documents relating to land purchases or transfers (such as mortgage forms). Witnessing/executing land documentation is complex, please click here for more guidance.

Monday to Friday

15:00pm - 16:00 pm

 

Other Notarial Services

•  Witnessing of Oaths and Affidavits;

  Power of Attorney documents

  Australian State and Territory Statutory Declarations (for more information click here).

•  State and Territory government documents including driver's licence renewals, taxes and duties forms, etc.

  Some documents relating to land purchases or transfers (such as duties and loan documentation). Witnessing/executing land documentation is complex, please click here for more guidance.

Thursday Only

13:30 pm – 16:00 pm

 

What to bring

Please bring photographic identification which shows your current name and signature. A passport or photo driver's licence would normally be sufficient, however check the instructions that come with your documents as occasionally several forms of identification are required.

Please be aware that Consular Staff are unable to make any endorsement as to the identity of a person, and as such we are unable to endorse photographs as being a true photograph of an applicant.

For the Consulate to witness your land transfer or mortgage document you must bring along written instructions from an Australian legal practitioner, law practice licensed conveyancer, or mortgagee (bank etc.). For more information on land and property documentation click here.

For payment, we prefer UnionPay debit/credit card but also accept RMB cash (not AUD). We currently only take Chinese credit/debit cards, and not foreign cards.

Authority to perform notarial acts

The authority to perform notarial acts is granted by an array of Commonwealth, state and territory legislation, regulations, court rules and other procedures. It is the responsibility of the person seeking notarial services from the Australian Consulate-General to provide legislative proof that an Australian consular official holds the authority to perform the notarial services requested.

Certain officials at the Australian Consulate-General have authority to perform selected Notarial Acts in accordance with various Australian Federal and State legislation. Consular officials cannot provide legal advice and are unable to guarantee that services on your documents will meet the requirements of the other party.

Please make sure you check with the end recipient of the document(s), and/or with your lawyer, that a consular official has the authority to perform the procedure required on your documents.

Fees

Consular Current Fees 

Under the Consular Fees Act 1955 a fee applies to these services.

The fee is to be paid in Chinese currency by cash or UnionPay debit/credit card.

The amount may vary from time to time according to the exchange rate. Contact the Consulate-General for information about current fees or visit Smartraveller.

Alternative Providers of Notarial Services

Not all documents must be signed by a consular officer, and in fact, there are some documents that we are not authorised to sign at all. You should always check with your representative or legal adviser if there are alternatives to having your documents signed or witnessed by an Australian consular officer.

A consular officer is not a Justice of the Peace (JP) or Notary Public.

The Consular Section takes no responsibility should the witnessed/certified documents fail to meet the criteria specified or the intended purpose. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the documents are acceptable once witnessed/certified by an Australian consular official in China.

Statutory Declarations

Statutory declarations vary greatly and are all governed by different laws which determine whether consular officers are authorised to witness them. More information is available on Smartraveller.

Commonwealth Statutory Declarations can be witnessed by authorised consular officers. However we are not legally authorised to witness all Australian State and Territory declarations. Legislation prevents the Consulate from witnessing Victorian Statutory Declarations.

If you are unsure, email us a copy of the document you need witnessed at least one week before your appointment and we can confirm in advance if we can help you – email: consular.guangzhou@dfat.gov.au .

It is your responsibility to check with the originator of the document whether an Australian consular officer is able to witness your signature on the document.

Selling or buying land or property in Australia?

There are some land and property documents that we are not authorised to witness. If you have any documents relating to land or property in Australia, we highly recommend you send us a copy at least one week before your appointment. Email us on consular.guangzhou@dfat.gov.au .

The Australian Consulate-General can witness your signature on some land, mortgage or property documents, certify documents and complete the DFAT Identity Certificate. We can’t provide legal advice. See below for our step-by-step guide and some other helpful hints. 

We cannot complete Victorian Land Transfer Duties Form 6A. Why? Because this form must be signed and witnessed by a person authorised under section 107A(1) of the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1958 per 'How do I complete this form?' on page 1 of your form. Contact your representative to see who else can help you (such as a notary public or Australian lawyer).

Step 1: Seek advice from your Australian legal practitioner, law practice licensed conveyancer, or mortgagee (bank etc). Each document is different and we can’t tell you what you need.  Check with the person or organisation which sent you your documents to see if an Australian consular officer can witness your signature on the document.

Step 2: Ask your representative to prepare your documents and provide written instructions that include:

Dear Australian Consulate-General Guangzhou,

I request your assistance with the following:

  • Witnessing of ___ number of copies of documents ____ (insert name of documents). These documents can be witness by a ____ (insert list of persons who can witness e.g. consular officer, consul, notary public).
  • If applicable; The document does not include the title reference and lot number because ____ (insert reason if applicable e.g. property is yet to be assigned a lot number)
  • Certifying ___ number of copies of _____ (insert types of documents e.g. passport, ID card).  These must be coloured copies (if applicable).
  • Completing a DFAT Identity Certificate  for ______ (insert names of clients). Only one certificate is completed per client. Each certificate must be accompanied by at least 1 certified document. Representative must advise what documents are to be included at point (g) on the Identity Certificate.  

Step 3: Ask your representative if you require an 'Identifiers Certificates' or 'Verification of Identity Certificates'

The Consulate will only complete the DFAT Identity Certificate for land, property or mortgage transactions.  The Consulate will not sign any other 'Identifiers Certificates' or 'Verification of Identity Certificates'.  Check your requirements with your Australian representative and ask them if you need a DFAT Identity Certificate before visiting the Australian Consulate. 

Step 4: Email your prepared letter and documents to consular.guangzhou@dfat.gov.au as soon as possible before your intended appointment. We will advise you if we can execute your documents and when you can make an appointment.

Step 5: Make an appointment as per our instructions using https://acggz.setmore.com/.

Step 6: Visit our office

Things to bring to your appointment:

  1. Please bring photographic identification – a valid passport is best.
  2. A letter from your Australian legal practitioner, law practice licensed conveyancer, or mortgagee (bank etc) asking the Consulate to witness your mortgage documents, complete a DFAT identity certificate and certify your documents. The letter should list exactly how many copies of each document are required (see step 2).
  3. Your documents for witnessing (do not sign before the appointment),
  4. Your passport and other documents to be certified. You will need to have photo ID that matches the name on the document you are signing.
  5. RMB cash or a UnionPay card to pay fees. We currently only take Chinese bank/credit/debit cards, and not foreign cards.

Step 7: Send your documents to your representative. We do not do this for you.

Step 8: See below for more information on what we can and can’t do.

Visit Smartraveller http://smartraveller.gov.au/services/legalising-documents-overseas.html under the heading "Selling or buying land or property in Australia?"