GP Legal FAQs

This page contains answers to many of the general questions we are frequently asked at GP Legal.

See if your questions are answered here, and feel free to contact us for further support and advice.

Notary Public FAQs

What is a Notary Public?

A Notary Public is a legal professional who is authorised to verify (or notarise) documents intended for overseas / international use. They are able to complete processes such as witnessing signatures, verifying identities, completing certificates of law for overseas courts, and more.

What is the difference between a Notary Public and a Justice of the Peace (JP)?

A Justice of the Peace (JP) is typically a trusted member of the Australian community who is trained to act as independent and objective witness to documents used for official or legal purposes. They are able to witness statutory declarations, witness affidavits and certify that copies of documents are true and accurate.

A JP is only able to exercise their functions within the Australian state or territory where they were sworn in. They are not able to witness or certify anything from other states or territories, or internationally.

A notary public, on the other hand, is able to carry out the same functions as a JP plus more. They are able to provide notarisation services for overseas use.

Additionally, a notary public must be a lawyer whom has completed at least 5 years of legal practice. A notary has many more functions and responsibilities than a JP including the provision of legal advice and services.

What is an Apostille?

Sometimes of foreign government will require evidence that a public document and any signature, stamp or seal it contains is legitimate. An apostille is the certified verification that the documents have been checked and are authentic.

For private documents, an apostille can also be issued to verify that the documents have been notarised by a registered Notary Public.

In Australia, the federal government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) are the only body with the authority to issue an apostille certificate.

What is “authentication” vs “apostille”?

An apostille can only be issued for document being sent to a country that is a contracting party of the Apostille Convention. An “authentication” is an equivalent verification for documents being sent to non-contracting countries.

Similar to an apostille, federal government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) are the only body allowed to issue an authentication.

What is the Apostille Convention?

The Apostille Convention is a treaty drafted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law. It was signed in 1961 and came into effect on 24th January 1965.

Its goal is to simplify the procedures to certify documents used for legal purposes in other contracting party states (countries). If the Convention applies between two states, an apostille issued for documents by one is accepted as certification of those documents by the other.

The Convention allows for non-member of the Hague Conference (HCCH) to still be contracting parties. Over the years, more countries have become contracting parties to the Convention. This link shows the official list of members and contracting parties to the Apostille Convention.

Please read our article for more details about the Apostille Convention.

What types of documents are classified as “public documents”?

  • Passports or immigration paperwork
  • Marriage certificates
  • Estate / Death certificates
  • Court documents
  • Any official documentation issued by a government agency

GP Legal FAQs

Is GP Legal open on the weekend?

Whilst we are not typically open on the weekend, we understand that sometimes there is no other option. If you need a weekend notary service, please contact us for a special appointment.

Where is your Dee Why office?

Our office address is Suites 19 & 20 at 22 Fisher Road which runs off Pittwater Road, the primary access route through the Northern Beaches. We are situated just down from the intersection of Fisher Road with Lewis Street and St David Avenue.

Is there parking available at your Dee Why office?

There is visitor available beneath our complex at 22 Fisher Road, Dee Why. Visitor parking is on the entry level.

Alternatively, street parking is available on Fisher Road or the council carpark off St David Avenue.

Payments & Accounts FAQs

What payment types does GP Legal accept?

We accept payment via EFTPOS, direct debit, and company or bank cheques.

We accept credit card payments with VISA, Mastercard and American Express (Amex) cards. Please note, Amex cards will attract a surcharge.

Do you have credit terms?

Conveyancing fees are generally drawn at settlement of the property.

Notary services are payable on receipt of the service.

For all other legal services, we are able to arrange payment plans, should they be required.

Are your fees tax deductible?

Our fees may be tax deductible depending upon the services you require, however, we cannot advise directly on these matters. Speak with your accountant to determine if and when our services would be deductible for you.