India – An Important Change to the IDLV process

From Authentication to Apostille for the IDLV

IndiaIn January 2015, VFS introduced an important change to the Indian Drivers Licence Verification (IDLV) process. Click here to see our updated flowchart for more information.

Previously, if your name on your Indian Drivers Licence and your Indian Passport was different, one option available to you was to have a notary public confirm that you are the one and the same person. That notarised document then had to be authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) before being submitted to VFS for processing. VFS recently changed the requirement from an ‘authentication‘ to an ‘apostille‘.

Apparently VFS introduced this change without making any announcement or providing any notice or warning. Unfortunately, this also means that people who may have had their notarised document authenticated by DFAT for the IDLV application before the change but who had not submitted their application to VFS for whatever reason (maybe they were waiting on other documents), then their applications would be rejected and they would need to have their documents notarised again and this time stamped with an apostille. At least if VFS had given some warning we could have prepared our clients for this possibility and taken steps to avoid it becoming a waste or a delay.

Another issue arising from this change is that the cost of applying for an apostille is more expensive than applying for an authentication – the filing fee is higher. While the difference in cost is still small, it is still difficult for many people to justify because both stamps essentially confirm that the document has been notarised.

As a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney, we regularly assist clients with the Indian Drivers Licence Verification (IDLV) process. We have also assisted a few clients through this ‘transition period’ to ensure that their notarised document has been stamped correctly by DFAT before they submit it to VFS for processing. We also are proud to announce that despite the increased cost associated with the apostille, our ‘package fee’ for the IDLV (ie, taking care of the notarisation as well as applying for the apostille) remains the same as it always has been in previous years. For clarification, it means we have absorbed the cost increase without passing the additional cost to our clients.

If you are looking at applying for the conversion of your Indian Drivers Licence to an Australian drivers licence, and your name that appears on your Indian Drivers Licence is different to what appears on your Indian Passport – then you need to pay very close attention to this change and ensure that you fully understand what is required.