Authenticating and Legalising copies of your Australian Passport

Sending copies of your Australian passport overseas may sometimes mean your passport has to be authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and legalised by the foreign office of the intended destination country.

Why would I need to send evidence of my Australian passport overseas?

Your Australian Passport is:

  • Proof of your identity. In Australia, in the absence of some form of national identification scheme, an Australian drivers licence or a passport would generally be your primary form of photo identification. When you travel abroad,  your passport would still be your primary form of photo identification, unless you are a citizen of or have photo identification documents issued in the country that you are visiting.
  • Proof of your Australian citizenship. If you need to prove to another country that you are an Australian citizen, then one of the easiest ways to do this is by providing them with a copy of your Australian passport. In fact, the Australian passport is probably a better form of evidence of Australian citizenship than the Australian Citizenship Certificate. The Australian Citizen Certificate is issued at the time you become an Australian citizen however it does not show or prove that you are still an Australian citizen. On the other hand, the Australian passport is renewed every so often meaning at least at the time you renew your Australian passport you would have been an Australian citizen.
  • Proof of your entitlement to travel on an Australian passport and visas to enter and remain in other countries. If you use your Australian passport as your travel document, then it would be associated with your visa to other countries or evidence that you are entitled to leave/enter Australia.

Should I send a copy of my passport or my original document overseas?

Your passport is your personal identity document and your travel document. There should really be no reason for you to send your original passport overseas (except when you travel with it) and so if you need to provide proof of your passport you should only send a copy of your passport.

How do I copy my Australian Passport for use overseas?

You can have a copy of your Australian Passport authenticated by DFAT. Otherwise, you can also have it copied and notarised by a notary public. Some intended destination countries may also accept copies that have been certified by a justice of the peace, but you should check with the intended recipient whether this will be sufficient.

What else do I need to do before I can send a copy of my Australian Passport overseas?

If you are sending a copy of your passport to another country, then depending on the intended destination country, you may also need to have that copy authenticated by DFAT and then legalised by the foreign office of that intended destination country. Instead of authentication and legalisation, some countries will recognise an apostille issued by DFAT and some counties follow their own processes and protocols to recognise that the copy of your passport is correct and valid.