Supreme Court of Tasmania


Notaries Public

What does a Notary Public do?

The principle functions of a Notary Public are to:

  • attest documents and certify their due execution for use in Australia and overseas countries;
  • prepare and certify powers of attorney, wills, deeds, contracts and other legal documents, for use in Australia and overseas countries;
  • administer oaths for Austral and international documents;
  • Witness signatures to affidavits, statutory declarations, powers of attorney, contracts, and other documents, for use in Australia and overseas countries;
  • verify documents for use in Australia and overseas countries;
  • certify copy documents for use in Australia and overseas countries;
  • exemplify official documents for use internationally;
  • note and protest bills of exchange; and
  • prepare ships' protests.

The duty of a notary is to the transaction as a whole, and not just to one of the parties. In certain circumstances a notary may act for both parties to a transaction as long as there is no conflict between them, and in such cases it is his or her duty to ensure that the transaction concluded is fair to both sides.

A notary will often need to place and complate a special clause onto or attach a special page (known as an eschatocol) to a document in order to make it valid for use overseas. In the case of some documents which are to be used overseas it may also be necessary to obtain another certificate known either as an "authentication" or an "apostille" from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.