Notarising your testamur – is it necessary?

Sending your testamur, qualifications and academic records overseas

AustraliaWe regularly assist overseas students who have studied in Australia, or Australian students who have graduated from high school, colleges or universities, by notarising their testamur, qualifications and their academic records for use overseas.

You may need this service if you studied in Australia but you are applying for work or for further studies in other countries. Depending on the intended destination country, any documents that have been notarised in Australia must also be authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and authenticated by the foreign office of the intended destination country, or stamped with an apostille.

Often, one of the most frequent questions that we are asked is whether it is necessary to have a testamur notarised, and if so whether the original testamur needs to be notarised or a copy would be sufficient. The short answer is that we do not determine if or when a testamur needs to be notarised or whether it should be the original or a copy of your testamur. The answer to this question lies with wherever you will be using your testamur and who will be receiving it. They will advise you whether your testamur needs to be notarised, whether it requires further authentication or an apostille, and whether they require all of this on the original testamur or a certified copy.

Problems with notarising an original testamur

With regards to whether the testamur should be an original or not, keep in mind that most universities or colleges will only issue one original testamur. Therefore it is important to look after that document and preferably not mark it in any way, including avoiding having it notarised or otherwise stamped with an authentication or apostille if possible. If your testamur is damaged, lost or just marked in some way and you want another one, any other testamur issued by your university or college will generally be marked as a ‘replacement testamur’. You will not receive another testamur in the same way that you received your testamur on your graduation. So, if you are asked to have your original testamur notarised (with or without further stamps), ensure that you are clear about this requirement before committing to this course of action understanding fully the implications (and the purpose) of marking your testamur in this way.

The general requirement for notarisation of a testamur

As you would know, from your research whether through this website or others, if a document such as a testamur was issued in Australia (ie, from an Australian university or college) but you wanted to use it in another country, the likelihood is that you will need to have this document and any other qualification or academic record that may be relevant, notarised by us and then authenticated or stamped with an apostille. Depending on the purpose of producing these documents, you may also need us to verify that the documents are in fact genuine – which is what we generally do for most of our clients requiring this kind of service.

Preparing the notary certificate for a testamur

When notarising a testamur, we will contact the university or college that issued the testamur to confirm that it and any other associated document was issued by that university or college, that the student named on the testamur completed and was awarded the qualification stated on the testamur, and that the testamur appears that it was issued by the respective university or college. Having completed that verification process, we then prepare a notary certificate confirming the verification and attach it to a copy of the testamur. In our notary certificate, we also certify that the copy of the testamur attached to the notary certificate is a certified copy of the original testamur. Depending on the requirement of the intended destination country, and the availability of the documents or the verification provided by the university or college, we may vary the notary certificate to properly address the situation or the requirement.

The alternative to notarisation

If you obtained your testamur from a (public) university, you should check with your students service to see whether they can provide certification of your testamur by an authorised officer recognised by DFAT. If your university has an authorised officer, then you can generally bypass having your testamur notarised by a notary public and can take the testamur certified by that authorised officer directly to DFAT for their authentication or apostille as may be required.

However, if you obtained your testamur from a private college, and you need to have your documents authenticated or stamped with an apostille from DFAT, then you must have your testamur notarised by a notary public. Private colleges do not have authorised officers who are recognised by DFAT for the purpose of authentication or stamping with an apostille.