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Witnessing and Verification of Identity – Outside of Australia

An example of documents requiring a qualified witness;

Application for Lost Title
Application by Personal Representative
Transfer of Land

When a client is overseas, the witnessing and verification of identity must be by consular officials, so be aware some travel may be required in order to attend an Australian Embassy or Consulate to have documents witnessed and certified.

Some relevant information for Overseas Sellers

Landgate (The Titles Registry in Western Australia) have provided specific guidelines for the signing of the Transfer together with requiring specific forms of identification.

The witness on a Transfer must be an Australian consular officer when the execution of a Land Titles Office document occurs outside of Australia.

An Australian consular officer is defined by section 145(4) of the Transfer of Land Act as a person appointed to hold or act in any of the following offices (being an office of the Commonwealth) in a country or place outside the Commonwealth, such as:

  • ambassador
  • minister
  • high commissioner
  • head of mission
  • commissioner
  • chargé d’affaires
  • consul or secretary at an embassy
  • high commissioner’s office
  • legation or other post
  • consular-general
  • consul
  • vice-consul,
  • trade commissioner, and
  • consular agent

We recommend contacting the Embassy or Consulate you intend visiting (in most cases you must make an appointment) prior to travelling to the Embassy to confirm that they offer this service and what times the service is available.

Landgate also has mandatory identification requirements (Verification of Identity) and you will be required to provide the following ORIGINAL documents when signing the original Transfer and/or Application:

  • Current and original rate notice issued by the local Government Council for the property – which must show the address of the property and be in the name of the registered owner
  • Current and original passport of the transferor; and
  • Current and original drivers licence for the transferor

These identification documents must be copied, sighted and certified by a Consular official as described above and be provided for each registered owner as described on the Certificate of Title.

The original rate notice must be provided to us.

In the event the Registered Owner or Applicant is a Company, or other incorporated body, the Consul Officer must identify the natural person signing the document on behalf of the Company, ie. Sole Director and Sole Secretary or two officers of the Company ie. A Director and a Secretary or Two Directors.

We will complete a Company search to verify that you are authorised to sign on behalf of the Company, if you need these details verified please contact our office prior to attending the Australian Embassy or Consulate.

Upon completion of your attendance with the Consular Officer you need to ensure you have;

  1. Original Executed and Witnessed Application or Transfer;
  2. Certified copy of the Original Rates Notice (and return the original to our office also)
  3. Certified copies of your identification documents (normally Passport and Drivers Licence certified as true copies by the Consular Officer) for every registered owner that has executed the Application or Transfer of Land document