Spain – Signing and sending documents with an apostille

SpainDo you need to send documents from Australia to Spain? For many of our clients sending documents to Spain, the process involves having those documents notarised by us and stamped with an apostille from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The process can be a little confusing if you haven’t done it before, but that’s why you’re reading this article – we do it all the time, so let us help explain.


As a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney, we assist many clients with notarising their documents. Notarisation generally means their documents have been attested/endorsed by us in some way or another.

For example, if we’re witnessing someone sign the document, then we notarise the document on the basis that we witnessed the person sign the document in our presence and that we’ve also confirmed that person’s identity according to their photograph identity document (usually their passport). We can also make copies of original Australian government documents, like birth certificates, marriage certificates, or death certificates, and we notarise those copies on the basis that they’re certified copies of the original documents. We also verify certain documents like education documents such as school reports, college or university degrees or transcripts or other qualifications, and we can verify work experience and employment paperwork, doctor and medical records, police and criminal history checks, company and business documents – and the list continues. Essentially, we help people overseas confirm the truth, validity, and genuineness of certain documents or acts (ie, signing) originating in Australia.

When it comes to sending these documents to Spain, then the notarisation is also done for the purpose of obtaining an apostille from DFAT, which is an essential step in ensuring the documents will be accepted in Spain.


The apostille is an internationally recognised stamp issued by DFAT. Countries that are members of the Apostille Convention will recognise documents that have been stamped with an apostille issued by other member countries. Australia and Spain are both members of the Apostille Convention and so documents that originate from Australia and are intended for Spain must be stamped with an apostille (the reverse is also true, in that documents from Spain intended for Australia should also be stamped with an apostille in Spain before they will be accepted in Australia).

In Australia, DFAT is the issuing authority for the apostille which means that all documents intended for other member countries must be stamped with an apostille from DFAT. Documents that can be stamped with an apostille include public documents, like original Australian government documents, or private documents (some of those we’ve already outlined in the example above) which have been notarised by a notary public. This means that most clients who want to send documents from Australia to Spain must follow this two-step process of notarisation and then apostille.

What can we do for you?

If you are sending documents from Australia to Spain, then we can help you with notarisation and we can help arrange for the apostille from DFAT. In most cases, notarisation is as simple as making an appointment with us. We’re usually readily available to take appointments throughout the week and can often assist on short notice (or at least make time in between appointments if appointment times are already booked). Our process is simple and fast, and our notary fees are fixed and low cost. In most cases, we’re able to notarise documents on the spot at the time of the appointment or shortly after (especially if the notarisation requires verification and a response from third parties).

If you’re signing documents that need to be used in Spain, then you’ll need to come in person to sign those documents in front of our notary public. Our notary public will then confirm that you signed your documents in their presence, they witnessed you sign your documents, and that they verified your identity according to your photograph identification document (generally your passport).

For clients who have their documents notarised by us, we can also help with arranging for the apostille from DFAT if they prefer to avoid the time and hassle of doing it themselves. When handled by us, the apostille process is as simple as leaving the documents with us to make all of the necessary arrangements. In all cases, whether you decide to do it yourself or ask us to do it for you, the apostille process will take some time and cannot be done immediately.