Attachment E – Binding Documents
If reasons of space require the authentication/Apostille to be inserted on a separate sheet, then all pages should be bound with tape with the ends of the tape covered by notarial wafer. The seal is to be impressed over the wafer. This is necessary to exclude the possibility of additional sheets being added or deleted improperly after the document has been signed or sealed.
Not all multi-page documents need to be bound. There are some time-saving advantages in doing so, however, and binding can reduce the cost to the public. A document can only be bound if the signature of the person whose signature is being authenticated appears on each page of the document. There are occasions when an overseas authority will request that a document be bound.
Examples of bound documents
As a general guide, the types of multi-page documents that it would be preferable to bind (keeping in mind that all pages need to bear the signature of the person whose signature is being authenticated) include:
- where reference is made to an attachment
- a number of certificates e.g. school certificates/results which bear the same signature
- documents that a Notary Public or Court official has attested (the Notaries signature or stamp needs to be on each page). In these cases, we would expect Notaries or Courts to have bound documents before presentation to DFAT because binding would prevent the possibility of additional sheets being added or sheets being deleted improperly.
It is not considered necessary to bind a document, however, where a signature has simply been witnessed (e.g. power of attorney document) and the overseas authority simply requires verification of the signature of the person who witnessed the signing of a document.
Documents already bound
Documents which have been legally bound (e.g. by a Notary Public) before being presented to DFAT for authentication, do not require binding by DFAT.
Method of binding
DFAT authentications/ Apostilles should appear on the back page of bound documents. Should the document require the insertion of an additional page bearing an authentication of Apostille stamp, this page should be inserted at the back iof the document and bear a Commonwealth crest. The seal used for binding should be a separate seal from that which is used in the authentication/Apostille. When the full pressed image does not appear over the ribbon in the binding, it is best practice to press the same seal image on the page in close proximity to the wafer seal.
Make a hole in the top left hand corner of the document. Cut a piece of ribbon (approx. 70 cm) fold ribbon in half and insert in the document to be bound (passing the ribbon through the hole in the front of the document). Pull this through half way and then pass the ends of the ribbon through the resulting loop and pull tightly. Place the wafer seal over the ends of the ribbon and impress the dry seal (embossing press) over the wafer seal. Neaten up the ends of the ribbon by cutting diagonally.