What are certified copies?

Certified copies are copies of the original document(s) that are signed and certified as being true and correct copies of the originals by an authorised person. It must also be the copy which contains the original signature of the authorised certifier.

Getting your documents certified

You need to present a clear photocopy of your document, together with the original, to an
authorised person to view and sign as being a ‘certified true copy’.

The certification must include:

  • “This is a true and correct copy of the original” (stamp or in writing)
  • Certifier’s name
  • Certifier’s signature
  • Certifier’s qualification
  • Contact phone number
  • Date it was certified.


Must be the copy which contains the original signature of the authorised certifier.
Faxed or emailed copies not accepted.

Authorised persons

In Australia, the following people are authorised to certify documents:

  • Health professionals – Chiropractor, Dentist, Medical practitioner, Nurse, Optometrist, Pharmacist, Physiotherapist, Psychologist, Veterinary surgeon
  • Legal professionals – Legal practitioner, Patent attorney, Trademarks attorney, Commissioner for Declarations or Affidavits
  • Court professionals – Judge, Magistrate, Master of a court, CEO of a Commonwealth court, Notary public, Registrar or Deputy Registrar, Bailiff, Clerk
  • Police officer
  • Teacher – full-time at a school or tertiary education institution
  • Australia Post – permanent employee of the Australian Postal Corporation with two or more years of continuous service
  • Government representatives
  • Officer – Bank officer, Building society officer, Credit union officer or finance company officer, authorised representative of, a holder of an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) with over two or more years of continuous service)
  • Accountant – Member of Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICA), Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants (ASCPA), National Institute of Accountants (NIA) or Certified Practising Accountants (CPA), Association of Taxation & Management Accountants (ATMAA). A fellow of National Tax & Accountants Association (NTAA)
  • Sheriff or Sheriff’s officer
  • Minister of Religion or Marriage Celebrant
  • Member of – Chartered Secretaries Australia, Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy, Association of Taxation & Management Accountants and Engineers Australia (other than at the grade of student).

Proving your identity

You need to provide a current certified copy of one of the following:

  • Driver’s Licence (Australian or foreign) – must contain photo, address and signature
  • Passport (Australian or foreign) – must contain photo and signature and is current or expired within the last two years. Foreign passport must be current
  • National Identity Card – must be issued by a foreign government for the purpose of identification and must contain photo and signature
  • Card issued under State or Territory – must be for the purpose of proving a person’s age and include a photo.

Other ways to prove your identity

If you don’t have any of the above, you’ll need to provide ONE primary and ONE secondary document:

Primary Secondary
Birth certificate or birth extract Letter from Centrelink (or other Government body) within the past 12 months regarding a Government assistance payment
Citizenship certificate issued by the Commonwealth Tax Office Notice of Assessment issued within the past 12 months
Pension card issued by Centrelink that entitles the person to financial benefits Rates notice from local council issued within the past three months
  Electricity, gas or water bill issued within the past three months


Changing your name or signing on behalf of another person

Depending on the circumstance, you may need to provide a certified copy of one of the documents
listed below:

Change of name Signing on behalf of applicant
Marriage certificate Guardianship papers
Deed poll  Power of Attorney
Change of Name Certificate from Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Office