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Apply to become a Notary Public in Queensland.

What is a Notary Public?

A Notary Public is a Lawyer authorised to certify documents for use in overseas jurisdictions. The office of Notary Public is steeped in history and recognition and dates back to the days of the ancient Roman Empire.

In the Middle Ages (1279 AD) the practices of authentication of international documents was adopted by the Pope. Henry VIII appointed the Archbishop of Canterbury to designate Notaries to undertake the task.

Today, the act of Notarising documents is endorsed by all signatories to the Hague Convention. Queensland is the only State within Australia in which the appointment of a Notary Public is still made by the Archbishop of Canterbury through The Court of Faculties in London.

Qualifying requirements to be a Notary in Queensland.

To be appointed as a Notary, an applicant must at the time of their application:

  1. Be a fit and proper person to be awarded a Notarial Faculty.
  2. Be a lawyer registered on the Roll of Solicitors of the Supreme Court of Queensland.
  3. Be a lawyer practising in Queensland with at least 10 years post admission experience (PAE).
  4. Be a partner in a firm of solicitors, or a sole practitioner or an integrated legal practitioner.
  5. Hold a current unrestricted Principal’s practicing certificate.
  6. Provide evidence of a genuine need for there to be an appointment of a Notary Public in the geographical area in which the applicant intends to practice.
  7. Have undergone and successfully completed the educational program as set out and endorsed by the Society of Notaries of Queensland.
  8. Have their application endorsed by the Council of the Society of Notaries of Queensland.

The Process.

Appointments are made with the assistance of the Society of Notaries of Queensland (the Society). The Applicant is required to write to the Council of the Society formally requesting their recommendation of the application and appointment by the Master of Faculties in London. 


This letter should contain the following information and enclosures:


  1. The Applicant’s:
    • Full name
    • Date of birth
    • Qualifications
    • Languages spoken
    • Languages written
    • Specialist practice areas


  1. Date of admission in Queensland (and if the applicant was previously admitted in any other jurisdiction, the date of that admission).
  2. The name of the firm where the applicant is now in practice.
  3. Confirmation that the applicant has at least 10 years post admission experience.
  4. The professional and geographical areas in which the applicant practises.
  5. References from two notaries, and written authority to the Society to contact those referees.
  6. Letters addressed to:
    • The Queensland Law Society as to the applicant’s standing in the eyes of the Society.
    • The Chief Justice of Queensland confirming the applicant is a solicitor practising in Queensland, is of known probity and is fully qualified for appointment.
    • The Registrar of the Supreme Court of Queensland confirming that the applicant has been admitted to practice, remains on the roll, that no complaints have been lodged in the court against them and that they have not been suspended from the Roll and have held an Unrestricted Principals Practising Certificate for at least 10 years.
    • Legal Services Commission confirming that the applicant has not been suspended from practice and that no disciplinary action has been brought against them or is currently outstanding.
      **  Similar certificates are sought from all jurisdictions in which the applicant has practised
  1. A letter should be enclosed with the application signed by the applicant and addressed to the Issuer of any of the above certificates allowing them to provide any further information or clarification of the details thought necessary to support the application together with payment of any appropriate fee for procuring Certificates of Fitness.
    * Full details of this are available on the Society’s website.
  1. A Statutory Declaration confirming that the applicant:
    • Has completed all qualifying requirements.
    • Has acquired a basic working knowledge of the obligations, responsibilities, and procedures required of a Notary Public in Queensland.
    • Undertakes to maintain membership of the Society and engage in at least four [4] hours of relevant continuing professional development per annum (as determined by the Society from time to time) whilst practising as a Notary Public.
    • Will provide reasonable service and availability to the public as a notary public.

  2. Acknowledgement that the Council will not be called on to enter into any correspondence or make any comment on any decision it makes.

  3. References by at least 15 professional or businesspeople in the applicant’s locality who have some knowledge of the applicant’s ability and probity, and who have a genuine need from time to time for the services of a Notary.

  4. Payment of the appropriate application fee.

Fees and costs when applying to become a Notary Public.

When applying, amounts may vary depending on circumstances.

To ascertain details of current fees and costs, please contact the Membership Officer at

Please note that the application fee covers:

  • Assistance with the preparation of the memorial to be sent to the Court of Faculties, if the Council supports the application.
  • Registration of the applicant’s seal and signature in the Society’s Register, if appointed.
  • Registration of the applicant’s seal and signature with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, if appointed.
  • Membership of the Society including the subscription for the first year up to 30 September of the year of appointment.

The Council’s decision.

The role of the Society’s Council in assisting with applications is purely administrative and not regulatory. Applications are accepted on the understanding and acknowledgment that, the Council does not enter into any correspondence or make any comment regarding the success or otherwise of the application.


The Council retains at all times a discretion to defer, approve, conditionally approve, or deny the application.


The following are taken into account together with the material supplied by the applicant:

  1. Referees’ views.
  2. Reports from the relevant Law Society (or Societies) and the Legal Services Commission.
  3. Any other evidence considered relevant to the application.

If the Council decides to recommend the application, the applicant is advised accordingly. 

Drafts of the documents should be submitted to the Council of the Society before being sent to the Court of Faculties so that they may be checked through by the Council.
** (Precedents are provided by the Society.)


Once the documents appear to the Council to be in order, the Society’s certificate confirming its support and recommendation will then be issued to the applicant, and the documents returned, for the applicant to send to London.


Please note that the Certificate from the Society is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and thereafter lapses.


Please be aware that the final decision regarding issuing a notarial Faculty rest with the Court of Faculties (“the Court”).

The application.

The documents required to be filed in the Court of Faculties by an applicant are as follows:


  1. A Memorial which details the geographical background for the appointment, the type of practice carried on by the applicant and the reason for an appointment.
  2. A certificate from the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Queensland confirming that the applicant is on the roll of solicitors.
  3. References by two Notaries confirming the applicant’s fitness.
  4. Certificate of endorsement of the applicant by the Society.
  5. Completion of any other required forms required by the Court of Faculties.
  6. The appropriate filing fee payable to the Court of Faculties.

Awarding the Faculty.

Providing all documents are to the Court’s satisfaction and no caveats have been filed against the appointment, it is usual for the Court to make the award within a few weeks of the filing of the documents.


The Court arranges to have the Faculty engrossed on vellum and it is forwarded to the applicant with a form of oath of loyalty to The Monarch which must be sworn before the Archbishop’s delegate, who can be any Anglican Bishop or a Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland or the District Court of Queensland.


The completed oath is then returned by the applicant to the Court of Faculties where the applicant is enrolled in the records of the Court.


The applicant is then qualified to practice as a Notary Public for the State of Queensland.

What to do after appointment.

There are three matters to be attended to after appointment.

  1. Seal of Office. The applicant should obtain an impressed seal without delay.
  2. Notice to Society. The applicant should advise the Society of the appointment, the date of taking the oath and the name of the witness to such oath. The applicant should send an original example of their signature and seal to the Council of the Society, to be placed in the Society’s Register.
  3. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. A Request for Specimen Signature/Seal/Stamp Form will need to be completed and sent to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to ensure that the benefit of the Hague Convention is available.

Society Membership.

The Society assists its members and provides information to members of the public seeking the services of a Notary Public through exposure given by the Society’s website. Any matters requiring the assistance of the Council are considered at its regular meetings.

Contact the Society.

The Society of Notaries of Queensland


Post:   Level 10, 95 North Quay, Brisbane QLD 2000

Or send a message via the following contact form.

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